The Multi-Layered Nature of Hypnosis

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Essay Title:

“What is Hypnosis” Describe the psychological and physical aspects of hypnosis and discuss the role of relaxation in Hypnotherapy

2189 words

Hypnosis is a complex concept. Forms of hypnosis have been around for thousands of years, with a more detailed historical account of the development and practice of modern hypnosis being available largely from the 18th Century onwards.
No one definition of what we understand under the term hypnosis is exactly the same, in the same way as no patient who considers hypnosis as treatment is going to be the same, or will experience hypnosis in exactly the same way as others. Academic and theoretic debates about whether hypnosis is a real or imagined phenomenon have been long
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An example would be when we learn to drive, it takes all our concentration and conscious effort to learn to use a clutch, accelerator and break pedals to make a car operate. However, as we become more familiar with this practice, it gets re-located to the unconscious or subconscious, as this is where our memories, experiences, habits and beliefs get stored. We may find ourselves not recalling portions of a journey we routinely take, as our awareness alters and we switch to subconscious mode, yet we still function to operate the vehicle getting us from A to B. [5,7]

This concept lies at the heart of what is referred to as the trance or hypnotic experience, which together with suggestion form two of the most significant beliefs of what is behind hypnosis according to the state theories, mentioned earlier.

The Mind Body Connection

Hypnosis fully taps into the notion of the ‘Mind-Body or Body-Mind Connection’, which has emerged as a credible medical theory over the last decades. Science is beginning to prove that the mind and body work together as one unit and affect each other. It is well noted that stress, for example, can adversely affect the proper functioning of our immune system and conversely that serious illness can heighten the effects of stress and anxiety.

As the Dummies Guide to Hypnosis aptly puts it ‘If your mind can affect the way your body functions,