What Is Hypnosis

During the course of this assignment I hope to explain what hypnosis is through exploring its history and origins, explaining the psychological and physical aspects involved and to explain the role of relaxation in hypnotherapy.
To understand what hypnosis is we can look at the definitions such as the English Oxford Dictionary (internet addition accessed 2014) which defines hypnosis as “The induction of a state of consciousness in which a person apparently loses the power of voluntary action and is highly responsive to suggestion or direction. Its use in therapy, typically to recover suppressed memories or to allow modification of behaviour, has been revived but is still controversial” whereas other sources such as Wikipedia (accessed 2014) write “Hypnosis is a psychological state with physiological attributes superficially resembling sleep and marked by an individual's level of awareness other than the ordinary conscious state. Another description of the phenomenon is that of an altered mental state, while another links it to imaginative role-enactment”. The term "hypnosis" actually comes from the Greek word Hypnos, meaning "sleep" and although this is an actually an inaccurate terminology as described by Spiegel et al (2004:8) (as you are not actually asleep during hypnosis) it has stuck. These are the definitions given to describe the word hypnosis; the actual art of hypnosis itself varies for each individual and can have varied positive effects depending on the reasons for its use in therapy.
Although the definitions explain a basic concept of hypnosis the actual art of hypnosis has a lot more depth, and for thousands of years different cultures all over the world have used the art of Meditation or placing people into a Trance like state as an integral part of their healing rituals, and over the years a lot of attention has been paid to these rituals and the mystery behind the skills used to perform them. One common and noticeable factor was that through...