Essay 1

“What is Hypnosis”
By Dena Ludford

Word count: 2040

Hypnosis put simply is a state of mind, However it has proven far from simple to quantify and science over the years has both helped, and hindered people’s perceptions of ‘Hypnosis’.
As it is practised, hypnosis refers to an interaction between two people one of whom is identified as the ‘hypnotist’, the other the ‘subject’ {heap 2012 pg1} .   Hypnosis is very individual for each subject. The state of hypnosis is brought on by a series of set techniques and can affect both the Psychological and Physical aspect of the subject.
Hypnosis dates back centuries, early relics from Egypt although difficult to decipher indicate that some form of trance state was employed, this is also the case with Australian Aborigines which is still used today. It has also been noted that similar practises can be found in the Hindu culture and North American Indians, so the practise and idea of Hypnosis in nothing new. Beginning a new journey in to the modern world of western medicine was no small step though. A German Doctor by the name of Franz Anton Mesmer born in 1734 received his doctorate in 1766 for work related to his studies that the human body was influenced by the planets forces exerted by an invisible fluid. Mesmer was said to have witnessed a priest in the early 1770’s perform several exorcisms with a metal crucifix,   this paved the way for Mesmer to introduce magnets in his field of work as he did not believe the people were possessed, rather that the metal crucifix used during the trance was magnetising them. In 1774 Mesmer went on to practise his theory with his first patient and in subsequent years to follow the magnets were replaced with electrodes, the phrase ‘animal magnetism’ had been born and we still remain ‘Mesmer-ised’ to this day.
So we were beginning to understand that the human body was made up of several functioning organs all of which scientists were keen to explore.   In 1929 Harz Berger...