Hypnotherapy Explained ...
What is Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy?
By Tom Connelly D.Hyp, FBSCH
word 'Hypnosis' was first coined by Dr James Braid in 1841 to describe
the state that ensued when his patients became fixated, or deeply
concentrated on an object. The word hypnosis was taken from the Greek
god named 'Hypnos' the god of sleep and dreams. Later Braid would try to rename
the science he helped birth because he realised that hypnosis was not
really a relative of the sleep state but it was too late and the term
passed into public use.
though the naturally occurring state represented by the word hypnosis
has been around since mankind has had a mind it wasn't until Braid's
studies of the state that it achieved a form of respectability. Up to
this point it was the domain of magicians, priests, magnetisers and
So what is Hypnosis?
We know the state of hypnosis is a naturally occurring state which appears when certain psychological and physiological conditions are met. These are usually bodily stillness and relaxation (mimicking the sleeping posture), eyes closed (reducing visual stimulation), focus on feelings (internalising awareness) and perhaps concentration on the hypnotists voice. Monotony can also trigger this state as the conscious mind drifts from the normal focus of outward attention onto an internal train of thought. Fascination (such as being engrossed in a book or film) is also a doorway into hypnosis.
The experience of hypnosis is similar to a dream-like reverie, being neither asleep nor awake but focused (or absorbed) around some point and usually (though not essentially) in a state of physical and mental relaxation.
So what is Hypnotherapy?
The thing that makes hypnosis useful is that people can become more open to suggestion. In fact the whole modus operandi of hypnotherapy is to utilise this state of heightened suggestibility (or lack of criticality) found in hypnosis to 'plant' or change instructions already held at an unconscious level which are affecting behaviour. So hypnotherapy - through hypnosis, is a means of modifying the patterns of belief held by a person.
if the mind is made up of two parts which have different functions:
there is the wakeful conscious part and there is the dream-like
unconscious part. One of the functions of the wakeful part is to notice
the difference between things, especially between true and false, or
real and not real. The unconscious part does not seem to have this
ability in a pronounced form and tends to accept all perception as
real. Some evidence of this comes from our nightly dreams, which are
often quite impossible or absurd, yet while we are in the dream we feel
they are very real because the wakeful conscious mind is asleep.
Hypnotherapy is a valuable technique in the hands of a skilled professional and can help in the resolutoin of many problems. It is also possible (perhaps to a lesser extent) to practice hypnotherapy on oneself via self-hypnosis.
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