People have been using hypnosis in various forms for thousands of years but it was coined the term Hypnosis in the early 19th century by a Scottish Doctor, James Braid, who originally thought it was some strange form of sleep. Later on discoveries were made revealing that hypnosis and sleep only resemble themselves in appearance as someone could be lying or sitting with their eyes comfortably closed when in fact the mind is very alert.
Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness induced by a period of focused concentration, usually accompanying profound feelings of relaxation. In a state of hypnosis various hypnotic phenomena can occur spontaneously or elicited through suggestions, which have therapeutic value in the process of making positive changes in the individual through changes in subjective experience, alterations in thoughts, behaviours and feelings which no longer have any value.
Recent years have seen a number of developments in the study of hypnosis, particularly with the use of measuring electrical activity in the brain using EEG readings, adding to the evidence based research which is increasing steadily.
In hypnosis, right hemispheric brain activity is increased along with para-sympathetic dominance of the nervous system, characteristic of increased relaxation, imagination and creativity. Hypnosis is particularly effective at bridging the gap between conscious awareness and unconscious functioning.
Hypnotherapy is a talking therapy based on utilising the naturally occurring state of mind of hypnosis to make changes in the subjective experience of individuals by changing the perceptions of thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
Hypnotherapy is a brief strategic therapy, unlike Cognitive Behavioural therapy or counselling, problems can be resolved and rapid change is possible in some cases as little as one session.
Hypnotherapy also incorporates elements of CBT, counselling, Solution focused therapy, NLP and multi-modal therapy. Using hypnosis, suggestions can be given directly or indirectly to the unconscious mind by-passing conscious resistance. Most of the suggestions will be client generated as a result of established treatment goals during the interviewing process to ensure that maximum effectiveness is achieved. Due to the implicit relaxation response of hypnosis, hypnotherapy is useful with a range of conditions but are also useful in sporting and corporate performance.