Neuroscience

Study identifies brain areas altered during hypnotic trances

Your eyelids are getting heavy, your arms are going limp and you feel like you're floating through space. The power of hypnosis to alter your mind and body like this is all thanks to changes in a few specific areas of the ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Flashing glasses may help PTSD sufferers

(PhysOrg.com) -- Psychologists in the UK propose using spectacles with flashing lights at each side to identify people likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and possibly to treat them.

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 ...

Other

Relieving the effects of surgery with hypnosis

When Don Gotler was undergoing two procedures preparing him for treatment for his esophageal cancer last year, his doctor asked if he wanted to take part in the hospital's new hypnotherapy program. Combined with anesthesia, ...

Other

Acupuncture calms highly anxious dental patients

Acupuncture can calm highly anxious dental patients and ensure that they can be given the treatment they need, suggests a small study published in Acupuncture in Medicine.

Psychology & Psychiatry

Hypnosis can relieve symptoms in children with respiratory diseases

Hypnosis has potential therapeutic value in children with respiratory disorders for alleviating symptoms such as habit cough or unexplained sensations of difficulty breathing and for lessening a child's discomfort during ...

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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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