What Is Hypnosis?

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

The history of hypnosis reflects the history of sleep and relaxation, documenting the cultural use of an inherent universal biological response for therapeutic purposes. Through cultures, relaxed states have been appreciated for their vital importance for emotional, psychological and physical well bring. Hypnosis has had a controversial journey since the early modern hypnotists and there supernatural theories of Animal Magnetism and Mesmerism in the eighteenth century. Only when the medical and scientific world would once again consider the study of hypnosis did the academic appreciation of the subject come to life. Due to studies into this field finally becoming credible we have increased our understanding of relaxation and the role of brain waves, conformity and suggestion. The question and definition of trance states remains controversial but more and more evidence supports that not only do true trance states occur in hypnosis and hypnotherapy but in everyday life as well.    
The use of hypnosis for the purpose of healing has been part of every culture since the ancient Egyptians who held a tradition called Temple Sleep over five thousand years ago, believing that this practice provided a cure from the gods. Following the ingestion of herbs and the repetition of prayer the Egyptians would be led to a darkened chamber for sleep. This practice was continued by the ancient Greek civilisation who built specialist sleep temples for the god of healing Asclepius. These experiences relied on sensory overload and direct suggestion to result in emotional and physical healing. Another example of hypnosis in the ancient world was Oracles which were individuals employed by temples to divine the future. Both the Oracle and the people seeking reassurance and guidance were again in this practice required to submit to sensory overload and...