“What Is Hypnosis?” Describe the Psychological and Physical Aspects of Hypnosis and Discuss the Role of Relaxation in Hypnotherapy

1707 words 7 pages
In this essay I will be explaining “what is hypnosis” by looking through various

literature sources, internet sources and by using my own knowledge, I will include a brief

history of hypnosis to aid this. I will then go on to describe the psychological and

physical aspects of hypnosis, followed by discussing the role of relaxation in


Hypnosis is a state of mind achieved using a set of techniques. The hypnotic state is

natural for all human beings.

Hypnosis enhances an individual’s concentration which increases their responsiveness to

suggestion; this is due to when being in a hypnotic state the subconscious is the one that

is more responsive to suggestion than when you are in a fully
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However, after a few years Freud’s research

turned to the techniques of free association and dream interpretation instead of the

hypnotherapy technique. As a consequence hypnosis declined in popularity, but in the

beginning of the 1950’s hypnosis experienced a rebirth as researchers found new and

potent uses for it in therapy (Hadley and Staudacher 1996 pg16).

Now in the 21st century we are in a much better position to explain hypnosis than the

previous researchers mentioned. The progression of science now enables us to measure

the electrical activity of the brain; this can be done using an EEG (electroencephalogram)

which represents the brain waves.

Brain waves were identified by four different types and stages of the brains activity, Beta

waves are the fastest waves of 15 to 40 cycles per second and occur when the mind is

engaged and fully focused. As the waves start to slow down to 9 to 14 cycles per second

these are known as the Alpha waves and represent a less aroused state. Theta waves occur

during dreaming and meditative states; they are 4 to 8 cycles per second and associated

with serene calmness and a medium to deep hypnotic state. The slowest and last brain

waves are Delta waves, running only 1 to 4 cycles per second. They are produced in our

subconscious mind and are present in our deepest state of rest – sleep.

Research has shown that waves commonly seen in hypnotised clients are


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