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Over the years, hypnosis has overcome a lot of skepticism. This
research paper will explore the art, use, and questions about hypnosis
both in recreation and in therapy. In this paper, you will learn what
hypnosis is, different types of it, and different techniques for using it.
Hypnosis, as defined by Roy Hunter, is “a natural state of mind,
induced in everyday living much more than it is induced artificially”.
Another definition by Hunter is “guided meditation”. Many people do not
realize this, but you can be hypnotized by many things. Anytime you
become engrossed in a book or a movie, you may enter a sort of meditative
trance. There are different techniques for induction into a hypnotic
trance. One is eye fixation. This simply uses a fixed gaze, and was very
popular in the 1800’s and is most commonly used by Hollywood. Another is
progressive relaxation or imagery. You have someone imagine being in a
safe or peaceful place, and then awaken to full consciousness. Another
induction method is the mental confusion method which confuse the
conscious mind to the point where it just lets go and becomes relaxed.
Another one is shock to nervous system. This technique is commonly used
by stage hypnotists and it is employing a sudden exited command in a
surprising way. The participant will experience a “moment of
passivity”(Hunter)where they’ll either resist the trance or “let go” into
Hypnosis also has some useful situations. One would be in the area
of memory. When you are entranced in the hypnotic state, your sense of
memory is enhanced. Although this is true, the things which are
remembered can not be regarded a truth. Sometimes when a person is
entranced, they will ‘remember’ things that never actually happened, but
have great personal significance.
One area that has caused tremendous controversy is in the area of
hypnotizability. The question has been raised many times if there are
certain people who can be hypnotized and certain people who cannot be
hypnotized. There are indeed people who can and cannot. The only thing
it depends on is how well you can focus. People who have better focus
generally have better results with hypnotizability, and people who have a
harder time focusing generally tend to be less susceptible, as a general
Although hypnosis is totally safe as long as your hypnotist is
competent and trustworthy, some skeptical people still have fears and
concerns. This, once again, all relies on how ethical your hypnotist is.
Some people also think that people lose control of their actions when they
are hypnotized. In a way, you do “lose control”. From what I’ve learned,
you enter what I’d describe as an “uninhibited state” where things that
you would normally find horribly embarrassing would seem perfectly normal,
but you do not give up control over moral decisions. A person in a
hypnotic trance can come out anytime they want to if they are asked to do
something that goes against their moral values.
Another use of hypnosis is in therapy. This is called hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy, as defined by Hunter is “the use of hypnosis for
self-improvement and/or the release of problems. All hypnotherapy employs
hypnosis, but not all hypnosis is hypnotherapy”. Another definition is
“any form of psychotherapy practiced in conjunction with the hypnotic
modality, within that altered state of consciousness called a hypnotic
trance”(source unknown). Hypnotherapy has a wide variety of uses. Some
surgeons and anesthesiologists use it in controlling pain, relaxing the
patient, relieving postsurgical depression, and controlling nausea. It is
helpful in treating sexual disorders such as impotence and frigidity, and
the psychosomatic disorders. Treatment of problems using hypnosis has
been used throughout history. Anton Mesmer is considered the first modern
hypnotherapist. He is the one to come up with the term “animal
Some people believe that hypnotherapy can be used as a substitute for
cognitive counseling. This is not true. Hypnotherapy can be used for
some things, but some things just can’t be solved by solved by
hypnotherapy. For example, hypnotherapy is not a substitute for marriage
counciling. Hypnosis cannot solve all of life’s problems.
In conclusion, hypnosis is a natural state of mind and anyone with
enough focus can enter the hypnotic state. Also, hypnotherapy is good for
treating many illnesses.
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