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What Is Hypnosis?

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In this assignment I will discuss what hypnosis is and explore its history. I will describe the psychological and physical aspects of hypnosis and the importance of a Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) screed and its use in hypnosis.

Hypnosis has been extensively investigated in a scientific manner through history and yet no general accepted definition of the phenomenon exists. Fortunately with modern science, hypnotherapy is understood as when a therapist uses various techniques to bring about the client to an 'altered state of mind'. This altered state of mind can be seen as a level of enhanced concentration and at this level useful appropriate suggestions can be made. These suggestions aim to make positive changes in the client's thought pattern which will later reflect in their behaviour. The client has attended for therapy at their choice and given consent.

This particular 'altered state of mind' can be classed as a 'hypnotic trance' which has carefully been initiated by the therapist using techniques; initial technique would be a PMR. The person is actually conscious and alert but appears as if they are asleep. On conclusion of the session, the therapist will bring the person back full consciousness and the person will resume with daily life.

The subconscious mind is a reservoir of material that was once conscious but has been forgotten or suppressed but can be accessed when needed. Consciousness is when the mind is alert and interacting with the world. Developing new feelings, awareness, wakefulness, selfhood, and control over the mind. We learn at conscious level and once mastered it becomes a part of our subconscious mind.

Taking a look at history, hypnosis does not have a clear and concise understanding on how it has developed. The practice of hypnotherapy 'then' and 'now' is different indefinitely. Hypnosis initially started in ancient Greece; it was used in medical clinics as a treatment. From here it was identified that ancient Egyptians and Samsons used it for spiritual purposes. Then 'Franz Anton Mesmer' discovered it in the 1700's. Let's take a look at Mesmer, Braid, Esdaile and Elliotson. These are some medical doctors and physicians who developed theories to introduce hypnotic states in their clients to help cure illnesses.

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