DEFINITION OF HYPNOSIS
No consensus definition of hypnosis exists, so here are several.
Hypnosis—a mind-over-body state of deep concentration and self-control—has been used in medicine for over a hundred years, and though there are some skeptics in the medical community, studies confirm it often works where traditional interventions have failed… Hypnosis taps into the autonomic nervous system, which modulates processes like blood flow, breathing, digestion and—importantly—the body’s immune response.
Others have described hypnosis as an attentive, receptive point of concentration. A common assumption is that, during hypnosis, the subconscious mind is more engaged and the conscious mind is less engaged.
Hypnosis is associated with certain brain wave states, but has not yet been localized to any specific area or formation of the brain (Oakley, 2009). It is not sleep, yet it is often associated with deep physical and mental relaxation.
According to the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH), “Hypnosis elicits and makes use of the experience of inner absorption, concentration, and focused attention. When our minds are concentrated and focused in this way, we are able to make use of the power of our minds to bring about change. Using hypnosis and self-hypnosis can allow people to have increased control over their behaviors, thoughts, emotional responses, and even physiological responses and physical health.”
According to the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association, “Hypnosis may be defined as an education communication process to a person’s mind that allows his/her conscious and subconscious mind to receive the same message. The process produces an altered state of consciousness through physical and mental relaxation. The critical faculty of mind is by-passed and the subconscious openly receives the communication. At this time, the senses are in a state of heightened awareness. The mind will only accept that which goes along with the established morals and ethics. The person in a hypnotic state will respond only to suggestions with which he/she is in agreement. Desire, belief, and expectancy are necessary for this altered state to have an effect in the outer behavior of the individual.”