Hypnosis, according to medical definitions, is a type of natural state of ‘focused, selective attention’ that people fall under when eased or coaxed into that particular state of mind. While the process of undergoing hypnosis is considered completely normal, it’s still one of the most mysterious and, at the same time, fascinating subjects that involve the human mind.
The background of hypnosis
Hypnosis has been used in various cultures around the world for centuries. Besides being used as a viable medical treatment, people have researched hypnosis throughout centuries.
Many researchers observe hypnosis to understand how hypnosis works itself; some of the most commonly studied aspects of hypnosis include its impact on a person’s sensation, learning, memory, perception and physiology.
Hypnosis started gaining widespread use as ‘hypnosis’ as early as the 1880s. It started gaining popularity among practitioners influenced by the development of hypnosis within France, about two decades after the death of the progenitor of the term ‘hypnotism,’ James Braid.
Braid initially fostered the term out of a need to contrast the definition of ‘hypnosis’ at the time (one that applied to the practitioner, rather than the patient) with one that applied exclusively to the state of the patient. Braid was one of many who practiced hypnosis with a focus on the subject (patient) rather than the technique of the practitioner.
The most common theory regarding hypnosis applies to the subject or patient. Also known as the Hilgard neo-dissociation theory of hypnosis, it describes the state of people who are hypnotized. When hypnotized, they experience a ‘split consciousness where they have two distinct streams of mental activity.’ One stream responds to the suggestions provided by the hypnotist, while the other, more disassociated stream, processes information that’s outside of the patient’s conscious awareness.
Behind the use of hypnosis
According to the American Psychological Association, hypnosis is a type of cooperative interaction where the participant responds to suggestions provided by a hypnotist,’ a practitioner who works with a patient to ease them into a hypnotic state of mind.
While hypnosis itself is commonly known as a kind of spectacle where people watch other hypnotized participants perform ‘outrageous feats,’ it’s better known as a type of medical and therapeutic technique that’s used to help people relieve various types of mental and physical conditions. To provide an example, hypnosis is commonly used in the treatment of different types of pain and anxiety.
In fact, hypnosis is known to have been used in treatments aimed at relieving stress, depression, habit disorders and other psychological problems. Even though hypnosis isn’t as commonly suggested as a treatment option as one would think, it’s still used as potential treatment option when under the care of a licensed heath practitioner who’s trained to administer clinical hypnosis.