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What Is Hypnosis? Describe the Psychological and Physical Aspects of Hypnosis and Discuss the Role of Relaxation in Hypnotherapy

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Introduction

Hypnotherapy has often been associated with being strange and mysterious, curing people by unknown means. In order to explain what hypnosis is, this essay will be considering both the psychological and the physiological aspects of hypnosis.

It will start with a brief history of hypnosis before explaining a person’s different states of mind and how these states of mind can be measured. It will then go on to discuss the importance of relaxation as a technique in order to establish the necessary state of mind of a client for hypnosis. The client being in this state of mind can then be used to make the beneficial changes that an individual may wish to make in their thought patterns, their behaviors or their physiological state through suggestion.

By discussing the psychological and physiological aspects of hypnosis, the essay will reach a conclusion of “what is hypnosis?”

Psychology of Hypnosis

Historically, hypnosis could not be explained, it seemed that people were being cured by unknown means. Mesmer in the1770s believed that these unexplained cures were down to the laws of magnetism, placing magnets on patient’s bodies or filling tubs with water and iron rods that induced convulsions during his therapy. He believed that the convulsions released a block that a patient had in their fluid flow. Mesmer’s therapy, known as mesmerism, was observed by the Marquis de Puysegur who witnessed that the patients were falling asleep and that he could talk to them, ask questions and get replies whilst they slept. He therefore believed that it was actually due to the psychological state of the patient rather than a physical one.

This was followed on by James Braid whose studies found that not only was it the psychological state of the patient, seemingly asleep, but the suggestions that could be given and taken on board when they were in this state....

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