Hypnosis: A Magic or Medicine?

To Hypnotise is to put oneself or another into a relaxed, focused condition. A hypnotist is a person who has the ability to hypnotize others. The verb hypnotize is derived from the Greek word ‘hypnotikos’, which means “inclined to sleep or putting to sleep,” and many conceptions of hypnosis suggest a semi-dormant condition. In actuality, when someone is hypnotised, they are awake and intensely concentrated.


Hypnosis, often known as hypnotherapy, is a very relaxed and attentive condition. It’s a type of mind-body treatment.

A trained and professional hypnotist or hypnotherapist uses verbal cues, repetition, and imagery to lead you into this profound state of focus and relaxation. Your ability to tune out daily distractions and be more open to suggestions for making adjustments to improve your health is made possible by the high level of focus and attention you experience when under hypnotize.

The Past Of Hypnosis

Although hypnotic-like trance states have been used for thousands of years, hypnotize only really took off in the late 18th century thanks to the work of a doctor named Franz Mesmer. Mesmer’s mystical beliefs gave the practice a bad start, but attention ultimately turned to a more rational method. In the late 19th century, hypnotism gained prominence in psychology. Jean-Martin Charcot employed it to treat women who were suffering from what was then known as hysteria. Sigmund Freud and the advancement of psychoanalysis were influenced by this book.

There have been several ideas to explain how hypnosis operates more recently. The neo-dissociation hypothesis of hypnosis by Hilgard is one of the most well-known hypotheses. Hilgard asserts that hypnotized individuals have a split consciousness or two separate streams of mental activity. Another dissociated stream of consciousness processes information independent of the hypnotised person’s conscious awareness as one stream of consciousness responds to the hypnotist’s instructions.

Hypnosis Subtypes

There are several methods for hypnosis induction, including:

  • Guided hypnosis: This type of hypnotize uses aids like music and recorded instructions to put the subject into a trance. Websites and apps for mobile devices regularly employ this form of hypnosis.

  • Hypnotherapy: Using hypnosis in psychotherapy to treat problems including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders, hypnotherapy is carried out by qualified medical professionals and psychologists.
  • Self-hypnosis: The act of producing a hypnotic state in oneself results in self-hypnosis. It is widely employed as a self-help technique to reduce discomfort or manage stress.
How Hypnosis Works?

Hypnosis’s mechanism of action is not well known. But it’s generally accepted that in the very focused and relaxed state attained by hypnotize:

  • You have calmed your conscious thoughts.
  • You have access to the area of your brain that controls your beliefs, perceptions, feelings, memories, and behaviours.
  • When your hypnotherapist gently guides you to change or replace the subconscious thoughts that are motivating your current behaviour, you’re more receptive to his or her suggestions.
Applications Of Hypnosis

Hypnotherapy can be used to treat any medical condition when physical symptoms are influenced by psychological factors. Common applications in mental health include:

  • Panic attacks, stress and anxiety, particularly before to medical or dental operations, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Phobias.
  • Challenges with behaviour control, such as stopping smoking, eating healthier, and bedwetting.
Common medical applications include:
  • Insomnia.
  • Asthma.
  • Menopausal hot flushes.
  • diseases of the digestive system, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • Pain management, such as for headaches (tension and migraine), following surgery, childbirth, cancer, fibromyalgia, and burns.
  • Skin diseases like psoriasis and warts.
  • nausea and vomiting are side effects of cancer chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
  • Hypnosis is still being researched for treatment of these and other medical disorders.
The Effect Of Hypnosis

Hypnosis experiences might differ greatly from person to person.

During the hypnotic state, some hypnotised people claim to feel detached or extremely relaxed. While others even claim that their activities seem to happen without their conscious will. Others who are hypnotised could nevertheless be completely awake and capable of having discussions.

The experiments of researcher Ernest Hilgard shown how hypnosis may be used to drastically alter perceptions. The hypnotised subject was instructed not to feel pain in the arm before having it immersed in cold water. The hypnotised people were able to leave their arms in the chilly water for many minutes without feeling any discomfort, however the non-hypnotized people had to take their arm from the water after a few seconds owing to the agony.

Pitfalls Of Hypnosis

Hypnosis may not be appropriate for someone who abuses drugs or alcohol, or who displays psychotic symptoms like hallucinations and delusions. After a physical examination to rule out any physical issues that would require medical or surgical intervention, it should only be used for pain control. For mental problems, hypnosis may also be less successful than other, more conventional therapies like medicine.

Some therapists employ hypnosis to unearth memories that may have been suppressed and that they think may be connected to the patient’s mental condition. Information recalled by the patient while under hypnosis may not necessarily be of high quality or dependability. As a consequence of unwanted recommendations or the therapist’s use of leading questions, hypnosis also carries the potential of inducing false memories. Due to these factors, hypnosis is no longer regarded as a typical or mainstream component of the majority of therapeutic techniques. Additionally, the utility of hypnosis for specific mental conditions, including dissociative disorders, in which patients may be particularly open to suggestion, is still up for debate.

Is hypnosis risky?

Hypnosis is not a risky practice. It is not brainwashing or mind control. A person cannot be forced to perform anything embarrassing or against their will by a therapist. The likelihood of creating false memories and the possibility that it may be less beneficial than seeking out other, more established and conventional psychiatric therapies provide the biggest risks, as was already mentioned.

hypnotize could also be less successful than going through other, more well-known and conventional psychiatric therapies. For example, it is not accepted as a substitute for proven therapies for serious mental conditions including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or significant depression.

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