What Is Hypnosis?

Like any great phenomena, Hypnosis will probably always be a contentious word and the debate about its effectiveness, and existence ongoing. For many, it can create negative images of swinging pocket watches, witchcraft and well-known TV sketches or gimmicky stage shows. But there is credible and growing evidence demonstrating how Hypnotism can be the gateway to the endless potential of our subconscious mind. It holds the key to life enhancing physiological and psychological changes that can have an enormous impact on our everyday lives and happiness, from phobia’s to pain relief, to extraordinary physical achievements and anxiety.   To fully understand the role of hypnosis in this, it’s important to explore the link between the mind and body, look at some case studies and define how relaxation and hypnotherapy are significant in the process.
Hypnosis has been around for thousands of years, under many guises and within many cultures. According to one author, an early existence of hypnosis was among the shamans; referred to as ‘witch doctors’ (Hadley and Staudacher.) In the early 19th century, Dr John Elliotson was the first to use hypnosis in British medicine. Freud later started to recognise the unconscious mind and it’s potential. During the late 19th Century, an English physician, James Braid, who coined the word hypnosis from the Greek word ‘hypnos’ or ‘sleep’, carried out the first studies involving ‘verbal suggestion’. In connection to this, Freud later championed the power of the unconscious mind and in 1901 Erickson broke new ground in his work advancing the healing possibilities of hypnotherapy.
Hypnotism has been defined in many ways, but essentially is an induced trance or altered state of mind, deeming a person highly responsive to instruction, commands or ‘suggestions’ which subsequently help them to modify a behaviour, ability or physiological set up. A parallel awareness where our awareness of   reality has faded. Or as an author puts...