The earliest definition of hypnosis was given by Braid, who coined the term "hypnotism" as an abbreviation for "neuro-hypnotism", or nervous sleep, which he opposed to normal sleep, and defined as:

“a peculiar condition of the nervous system, induced by a fixed and abstracted attention of the mental and visual eye, on one object, not of an exciting nature.”

 "Hypnosis often is used to modify behavior and overcome phobias and bad habits – it can help you make changes that you've been unable to make otherwise."  

National Women's Health Resource Center, November 2003


Hypnosis watchHypnosis is a phenomenon with which we are all quite familiar, and certainly the majority of us are amenable to hypnotic induction at the hands of an operator, or hypnotist. The induced condition, or trance, is an altered state of consciousness totally dissimilar from either the waking condition or that of sleep and in its commonest form is consists of a trance inducted in a subject by a hypnotist. When a trance is induced by an operator (as opposed to self- hypnosis), it establishes a strong bond, or rapport, between the hypnotist and the subject which is best illustrated by the act (of the subject) surrendering his or her critical faculty (the Censor) to the operator. The trance also entails a heightened response to suggestion by the subject and, as the trance deepens, so the attention of the subject is concentrated on the inner mental, sensory and physiological experience.


When in the trance state, the responses of the subject are controlled by the hypnotist, yet the phenomena or behavior that the subject manifests objectively is still the product of his or her motivational set. Not that of the hypnotist. What this means is that the subject's response reflects what is sought from the experience. Hypnosis can be induced by another person, the hypnotist or operator, or it can be self-induced (self-hypnosis) by the subject alone. Most of us can be hypnotized quite easily, just as most of us are able to master the induction of self-hypnosis (although this usually takes time). The depth of trance we may achieve is, however, subject to a number of variables. What this means is that either being hypnotized by an operator or inducing the trance state yourself requires work in the form of repetition in order to reach the deeper levels of the trance state. Naturally, the deeper the trance the more positive the achievements, although therapeutic effects occur in even the lightest trance.


A hypnotist induces the trance state in a subject by holding the attention of the subject and requiring adherence to one or a series of simple tasks. As these tasks are being performed, the operator maintains a stream of verbal commands, delivered in a monotone. At some point in the course of the induction, the subject relinquishes control of his or her critical faculty to the operator.


When self-hypnosis is achieved it can be through the means of trained relaxation, the practice of rhythmic breathing, or by performing the ritual or rituals that may be found in many mind control, philosophical or mystical systems or a combination of all of these. A subject can also achieve self-hypnosis through the use of a good hypnosis cassette recording. This method offers privacy, secrecy and efficiency, the quality of the results obtained being in direct proportion to the degree of effort on the part of the subject. There is no free lunch. If you choose this method, then be prepared to work for it. Repetition is the key!


There are at least four different electrical brain emissions that can be detected by the appropriate instrumentation.

These are:

ALPHA: A state most often described as pleasant, passive and relaxed. This is the state of hypnotism and meditation. It appears to be a slowing down of electrical discord into a pulsating hum, which sweeps regularly over the brains cortex from front to rear.

BETAThe higher brainwave usually associated with the normal waking state. It consists of a flurry of electrical static and usually implies that you are using your brain to get something done.

THETA: Is associated with both creative hallucinations and, occasionally with anxiety. Theta and Delta represent even slower rates of cortical synchronization.

DELTA: Occurs almost exclusively during sleep.


The ability to enter into Alpha prior to listening to a hypnotic cassette for example, is extremely valuable. Alpha is associated with hypnosis and the results will be materially improved upon by doing so, since it speeds up the induction of the trance state.


Facts about Hypnosis

  • Hypnosis is a natural state of mind and has been established as safe. It has been accepted as a therapeutic technique by various medical bodies across the world
  • In over 200 years, no one has ever been hurt by hypnosis
  • Hypnosis is often confused with but it is not mind control
  • As a subject going through hypnosis, you are always in control and can choose to come out of hypnotic state
  • You can hear at all times
  • It is not what is mostly portrayed in stage shows or in movies
  • No one has ever been stuck in hypnosis, if practitioner stops for some reason you either come out of trance straightaway or will go in natural and relaxing sleep.
  • Hypnosis is not sleep, it is heightened consciousness
  • Sleep is a state of unconsciousness
  • Sleep in hypnosis mean close your eyes and go deeply relaxed as in case of sleep


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