Hypnosis is an inferred psychophysiological state characterised by increased suggestibility, and is thought to be an altered state of consciousness. Hypnotism is the study and use of suggestion with or without the presence of hypnosis, while hypnotherapy is a form of therapy in which the use of hypnotism constitutes the core of the treatment.
Simply speaking hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness. Clinical Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy, therefore, is the use of an altered state of consciousness, or trance, for therapeutic endpoint. This means that people are not treated with hypnosis but are treated in hypnosis. Hypnotherapy has become more and more popular as years pass by. People seek alternative ways of treatment and self-help in today´s society.
All hypnotic states are characterised by a tremendously pleasant state of relaxation, which individuals allow themselves to enter so that desired, beneficial suggestions may be given directly to the part of the mind known as the subconscious. Under hypnosis, the conscious, rational part of the brain is temporarily bypassed, making the subconscious part, which influences mental and physical functions, receptive to therapy. During the trance state there is heightened concentration for the specific purpose of maximising potential, changing limiting beliefs and behaviours and gaining insight and wisdom.
Although hypnosis may be light, medium or deep, a medium trance is usually used during which metabolism, breathing and heartbeat slow and the brain produces alpha waves. Normal states of consciousness i.e. sleeping, dreaming, being awake, can be detected in the wave patterns produced by the brain. The state of hypnosis differs from all three. The brain waves associated with quiet, receptive states are called alpha waves. In alpha states, the body gradually relaxes. Hypnosis, meditation, day dreaming, being absorbed in a book or music or television, driving and arriving at your destination without recalling all the usual landmarks etc. are good examples of alpha states. The trance state is therefore a natural phenomenon.
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