In this essay, I shall be looking at the history and nature of hypnosis, and its benefits. I will be exploring the work of Franz Anton Mesmer and how hypnosis has evolved and progressed in following years. I will discuss its psychological and physical aspects and delve into the role that relaxation plays in hypnosis.
Hypnosis is often used to modify a person's behaviour or habits, for example to enable them to stop smoking, lose weight, become more confident over a debilitating phobia or simply to just relax and try and lower stress levels.
HYPNOSIS - noun (Oxford English Dictionary)
* 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.
* A hypnotic state
The word 'Hypnotism' comes from the Greek word 'Hypnos' (derived from the mythological God) and means to sleep. (Mythagora.com)
No-one actually knows when hypnosis originated but there is evidence to suggest that the ancient Egyptians used a form of it in their sleep temples going back around 3000 years. Hypnosis is recognised and performed in many different cultures and religions around the world. In Greece, sleep temples were renowned as places of great healing and were dedicated to the healing God Æsclepius. Sleep therapy was practised in the temples of Æsculapius, constructed by the Greeks in the fifth and fourth centuries BC (www.mindtec.co.uk/hyp-art/roots.html). The temples were well known for their healing properties. People often took their sick to be cured by hypnotic suggestion, although we now know that hypnosis is different from sleep.