Definitions of hypnosis are many. Probably the most accurately we can say that it is a strange psychological condition or state of our mind, in which the hypnotist is trying to induce dependence on hypnotized person. To create this state is used many different techniques and methods, and the aim is to bring hypnotized person into a hypnotic trance. Hypnotic trance is a state that is accompanied by increased suggestibility. Hypnotist can directly affect the psychic reality of hypnotized client.
Prerequisites to induce hypnosis
The basic premise is called - Hypnotisability of client. It is the ability to be hypnotised and to yield to hypnosis. Confidence in hypnotist, suggestive abilities, and motivation of hypnotized persons are important preconditions for inducing hypnosis. In the event that the client is trying deliberately to prevent hypnosis, then it is probable that it will not be possible to induce it. The ability to dive into hypnosis is individual, with the success it is possible this ability first test. Some individuals can be hypnotized with difficulties or they cannot be hypnotized at all, on others hypnosis works very strongly.
Hypnosis in history and today
Already in the fourth millennium BC, was hypnosis used by ancient Sumerians. Doctors from among the priests, who have been specially trained, were using hypnosis to treat patients. As a meditation, it was practised also used in ancient Egypt and Greece. Paracelsus, who adumbrated the formation of modern medicine, mentioned about the monks in Carinthia who treated in such a way that let sick person to look into a crystal ball. They then fell into a deep sleep. In this sleep, they then gave the sick patient suggestion needed for their recovery.
The ancient Romans knew the media that were able to intermediate for the sick people and those who were looking for advices contact with the gods. Christian monks were able to heal miraculously by using only praying, holy water, relics of saints, and by laying hands on the affected person. Evolution of hypnosis continued until today in very little changed form, with the only difference that it is used in several diseases, which brings present times.
Today, hypnosis is commonly used to treat various addictions, phobias, it is also used to access events from our past, which are to man in conscious state of mind unavailable. It is used with the success to treat psychological health problems, to cope with anxiety, fear, insomnia, headaches and to treat a variety of psychosomatic illnesses, for instance asthma, psoriasis, eczema, stomach ulcers, diarrhoea, obesity, anorexia, bulimia, migraine, and others. It can be a great help in coping with addiction, whether it is alcohol, soft or hard drugs. Hypnosis was also used within criminology and other fields of human activities.
The father of hypnosis as a method is considered Franz Mesmer (1734-1815). James Braid (1785-1860) was the first person who used the term hypnosis, which comes from the Greek word Hypnos = sleep. Sigmund Freud was using hypnosis for his work used an after the 1.st World War, was hypnosis used for therapeutic abreaction among traumatized war veterans.
In the US in the second half of 20th century was interested in hypnosis Milton H. Erickson (1901-1980), whose concept of hypnosis – so-called Erickson’s hypnotherapy differs from classical hypnosis in the way that it looks at the client as an active factor in the whole process, not just as a passive recipient. In this alternative approach, the therapist utilizes creatively everything that the client brings to the consultation. Milton H. Erickson was using in his treatment also hypnotic trance, along with other various unusual techniques.
How you can find out, if you have experienced hypnosis?
In Erickson’s concept can be hypnotic trance considered essentially as a special type of interaction of two or more people. It is therefore a certain specific way of communicating that a psychologist working with the client is using during the treatment process. Everyone comes into this trance in his completely own way and each will therefore perform a unique, variable hypnotic phenomena and changes at the following levels:
Thinking and attention: it may occur amnesia, either partial or even full of events that happened during hypnosis
A different perception of itself: the differences in self-concept and self-image
Variations in the perception of time: it is possible to perceive changes in the perception of time, time flows faster or slower
Age Regression: experiencing ourselves in the previous life term
Changes of motion patterns: e.g. Catatonic stiffness or unconscious or automatic lifting arms
Anaesthesia: suppress of physical sensitivity
Changes of perception: not only of our own body, but also of the surroundings
Hallucinations: the perception of something that is not present or, conversely, neglecting what is present
What is hypnosis?
In a state of hypnosis, are bodily functions reduced, while the spiritual functions are activated. This is a temporary altered state of attention of the client. There is a change of consciousness and memory, susceptibility to suggestion, reactions, and thoughts, which does not occur in the normal state of mind, is higher.
Hetero-hypnosis: is hypnosis of another person. On experimental person is transferred projection by the second person.
Self-hypnosis: is auto-hypnosis, the projection is produced and receives by the same person without consent and acceptance of the idea is any effect excluded
A prerequisite for induction of hypnosis is the consent of the persons and their deep conviction that the hypnotist wants only their own good. The success of hypnosis is thus conditioned. The trust of hypnotized person is necessary, therefore, it is necessary before the own hypnosis during the preparatory conversation with the person to establish contact and create the atmosphere of sympathy and understanding.
Group Hypnosis: Hypnosis can also take place within the group. As during the individual hypnosis, it is necessary to remove all the disturbing factors - noise from the street, slamming doors, ringing phones. It is necessary to pay particular attention to members of the group, because the member of the group, who responds particularly slow or violently, may disrupt the whole group. The ideal number of people in a group is twelve. It is possible to control and guide thus a large group. Within this group increases the sensitivity. The disadvantage of group hypnosis is that one participant could affect the overall progress of hypnosis.
Myths about hypnosis - which is definitely not true
About hypnosis float around many myths and therefore have many people misconceptions about it. Many of these myths and half-truths created in many people the idea that hypnosis is something dangerous and bad, what is better to avoid. They think that the hypnotist is a man with bewitching eyes and glittering watches on a chain, but it is primarily a man who masterfully mastered the art of effective communication.
- The basic myth about hypnosis is that it is possible to hypnotize anyone. This is not true, it is not possible to hypnotize anyone against his own will.
- Hypnotized person does not hear voice of hypnotist.
- Under hypnosis, the body gets into a state of levitation.
- Hypnotized person has no memory about progress of the session from the moment of hypnotizing.
- If the hypnotist during a hypnosis dies, then the hypnotized person does not have to come up from the hypnosis.
The truth about hypnosis
- You cannot hypnotize anyone against his own will.
- It is not possible to force hypnotized person during the hypnosis to do things that would be against his conviction.
- It is not possible to hypnotize someone in a noisy environment without previous training.
- Physical contact, except a necessity of touching hands of clients, is not necessary.
- It is not true that the hypnotized person does not hear the voice of hypnotist, with some exceptions during the deep hypnosis.
- The truth is that the hypnotized persons can have difficulties to distinguish the reality, what they really heard, from what they visualized before his eyes.
- Levitation has not been scientifically proven, and even hypnosis cannot cause it.
Possibilities for the medical use of hypnosis - hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is one of the methods of psychotherapy. It is not a miraculous technique, but it can be successfully used to treat and eliminate many psychological, psychosomatic, and somatic disorders and problems or at least their significant suppression or attenuation. Other options of hypnosis are also relaxing - motivated.
Hypnotherapy can undergo practically everyone, but for some psychiatric or psychological diagnoses is hypnosis counterproductive.
Hypnotic trance can be deliberately extended, for therapeutic reasons.
Individual form of therapy can solve many problems, such as sleep disorders, burnout syndrome, it can remove experienced traumas, and stressful events, tics, migraine, it may also eliminate or attenuate some fears and phobias, and it can be used for treatment of addictions, workaholism and some sexual problems.
Individual as well as group therapy helps mental relaxation, eliminates fatigue syndrome, helps overall relaxation, eliminate stage fright, improve concentration, and improve mental and physical endurance, and so on.
The course of hypnotherapy
As part of the initial session client portrays his reasons for coming on hypnosis and he also explain what he wants. A therapist evaluates then this situation and recommends to client next steps. Above all, it is necessary to consider whether hypnotherapy is appropriate at all or not, and whether it will be appropriate to combine it with other hypnotherapeutic procedures.
The clients should be thoroughly acquainted with hypnotherapy with the course, what they can expect from it and what they can experience through the therapy itself, perceive, what will actually happen to them. If the clients have still any doubts, it is good to dispel them with help of discussion before the actual therapy. This meeting is very important for gaining the trust of the client, so it is advisable that the therapist say also to client all information about their individual and professional practice. These are generally long-term, multiple therapy.
So-called hypnotisability is a prerequisite for induction of hypnosis. Hypnotisability is an individual's ability to delve into hypnosis, depending on the level of hypnotisability is possible to induce a deep state of hypnosis. Hypnotisability develops during the life, it develops during childhood, particularly in the age of 9-12 years it is highest, then it decline. In adulthood is relatively independent personality feature, correlated significantly with suggestibility and experiential skills, such as creativity and imagination. Hypnotisability is distributed across the population similarly, as is any other characteristic feature of man - people without this ability are about 10% and 1-2% of the population are hypnosis talents who are able to experience even amnesia and other special operations.