What Is Hypnotism?
Hypnotism is the study or practice of hypnosis, an art of putting a person’s brain into a trance-like state which the hypnotist can then control. It is a way of exploring the deeper areas of the mind and, by so doing, releasing a patient from unconscious worries and strains.
For hypnotism to succeed, the patient must trust the hypnotist and cooperate with him. Once the patient is in a trance, his mind returns to a simpler, childlike state. He often remembers incidents that happened to him when he was young, incidents which may have affected him deeply and which have made him the sort of person he is.
The hypnotist, who in these circumstances should also be a trained doctor, will help him to understand his fears. The first doctor who used hypnotism as medical treatment was called Franz Mesmer. He was Viennese. His technique of hypnotism was known as Mesmerism.
Theories’ explaining what occurs during hypnosis fall into two groups. Altered state theories see hypnosis as an altered state of mind or trance, marked by a level of awareness different from the ordinary conscious state. In contrast, nonstate theories see hypnosis as a form of imaginative role-enactment.
During hypnosis, a person is said to have heightened focus and concentration. The person can concentrate intensely on a specific thought or memory, while blocking out sources of distraction. Hypnotised subjects are said to show an increased response to suggestions.
Hypnosis is usually induced by a procedure known as a hypnotic induction involving a series of preliminary instructions and suggestion. 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”. Stage hypnosis is often performed by mentalists practicing the art form of mentalism.