Medications

Hypnosis to tackle painkiller crisis

New research shows that hypnosis can reduce pain by up to 42% and may offer a genuine alternative to painkillers.

Oncology & Cancer

Hypnosis doesn't cut post-op pain in breast cancer surgery

(HealthDay)—Hypnosis before general anesthesia does not reduce postoperative breast pain among patients undergoing minor breast cancer surgery, according to a study published online Aug. 17 in JAMA Network Open.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Hypnosis transforms treatment for chronic pain

Researchers from UNSW Sydney and Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), Universidade Cidade de São Paulo, Brazil and the University of Washington, US have identified a new drug-free treatment which combines hypnosis with ...

Neuroscience

Researchers induce a form of synesthesia with hypnosis

Hypnosis can alter the way certain individuals information process information. A new phenomenon has been identified by researchers from the University of Skövde in Sweden and the University of Turku in Finland. They have ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Hypnosis, medicine and Freud

There has always been a fascination with hypnotism throughout the centuries. The latest special issue of Notes and Records examines the history of hypnotism in Europe and we asked one of the Guest Editors, Andreas-Holger ...

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Hypnosis

Hypnosis is "a trance state characterized by extreme suggestibility, relaxation and heightened imagination." It is a mental state (according to "state theory") or imaginative role-enactment (according to "non-state theory"). It is usually induced by a procedure known as a hypnotic induction, which is commonly composed of a long series of preliminary instructions and suggestions. Hypnotic suggestions may be delivered by a hypnotist in the presence of the subject, or may be self-administered ("self-suggestion" or "autosuggestion"). The use of hypnotism for therapeutic purposes is referred to as "hypnotherapy", while its use as a form of entertainment for an audience is known as "stage hypnosis".

The words hypnosis and hypnotism both derive from the term neuro-hypnotism (nervous sleep) coined by the Scottish surgeon James Braid around 1841. Braid based his practice on that developed by Franz Mesmer and his followers ("Mesmerism" or "animal magnetism"), but differed in his theory as to how the procedure worked.

Contrary to a popular misconception—that hypnosis is a form of unconsciousness resembling sleep—contemporary research suggests that hypnotic subjects are fully awake and are focusing attention, with a corresponding decrease in their peripheral awareness. Subjects also show an increased response to suggestions. In the first book on the subject, Neurypnology (1843), Braid described "hypnotism" as a state of physical relaxation accompanied and induced by mental concentration ("abstraction").

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