Hypnosis is the term for a state of the body where the mind is subconsciously active but the conscious mind and the body is in a sleep like state. Hypnosis is an old phenomenon, noticed and described by many thinkers and analysts in their own ways.
Zilborg has quoted the Greek in ancient period to have considered hypnosis a means to communicate with deities in sleep in their temples (1941). Similarly, Crabtree refers to Mesmer’s time when hypnosis was believed to be an agitated situation originating from the assimilation of cosmic forces (1993). However, the modern scientific approach to hypnosis was introduced by Sigmund Freud naming it as hypnotherapy (Bernik). Today hypnosis is used in treatment of various psychological disorders.
There are several myths about hypnosis branding it almost a certain kind of magical or hallucinative phenomenon, which is altogether a misjudged view. Hypnosis is
In hypnosis a patient goes through several stages, states or levels namely the Hypnoidal or light stage including fluttering movements of eyes. Cataleptic is a deeper level, distinguish by side-to-side eye movements and a final and deepest stage called Somnambulistic including the rolling up of eyes (Hypnotherapy).
Hypnotic susceptibility is a phenomenon researched and analyzed since centuries. Spanos holds that individual differs in their responses during hypnosis and these differences could hardly be altered through training or any other methods (1986).
Hypnosis does effects the memory of the person undergone the process. Experiment shows that it increases productivity and confidence as described by Dr. Perry, “these increases in productivity and confidence are found at all levels of hypnotizability, but these effects are most pronounced in high hypnotizables in hypnosis (as compared to when they are assigned to an imagination or a repeated recall condition), and as compared to low hypnotizables who receive either hypnosis, imagination and repeated recall instructions”. It also helps in release of stress, phobias and fears, increases concentration and develops motivation, helps in anger and pain management and many other psychological ailments.
Bernik, Vladimir. Hypnosis: From Myths to Reality. Accessed September 24, 2008 http://www.cerebromente.org.br/n01/bernik/hipnose_i.htm
Crabtree A. (1993) From Mesmer to Freud: Magnetic Sleep and the Roots of Psychological Healing. New Haven. Yale University Press
Hypnotherapy. Accessed September 24, 2008 http://www.alternativemedicinechannel.com/hypnotherapy/stages.shtml
Perry, Campbell Dr. Key Concepts in Hypnosis. Accessed September 24, 2008 http://www.fmsfonline.org/hypnosis.html
Spanos, N.P. (1986) Hypnosis and the modification of hypnotic susceptibility: A social psychological perspective. In P.L.N. Naish (Ed.) What is hypnosis? Philadelphia, PA: Open University Press
Zilborg G. (1941) A History of Medical Psychology. New York, Norton