Hypnosis
Overview
Hypnosis is "a trance state characterized by extreme suggestibility, relaxation and heightened imagination."
It is a mental state
Mental health
Mental health describes either a level of cognitive or emotional well-being or an absence of a mental disorder. From perspectives of the discipline of positive psychology or holism mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and procure a balance between life activities and...

 (according to "state theory
State theory
State theory is a theory of absolute time in which the number of states from the first moment in time up to the current moment in time can be counted. This is in contrast to Einstein's theory of relativity, in which time is modelled using the real number system. A state is a moment in time, a...

") or imaginative
Imagination
Imagination, also called the faculty of imagining, is the ability of forming mental images, sensations and concepts, in a moment when they are not perceived through sight, hearing or other senses...

 role-enactment (according to "non-state theory"). It is usually induced by a procedure known as a hypnotic induction, which is commonly composed of a long series of preliminary instructions and suggestions. Hypnotic suggestions may be delivered by a hypnotist in the presence of the subject, or may be self-administered ("self-suggestion" or "autosuggestion").
Encyclopedia
Hypnosis is "a trance state characterized by extreme suggestibility, relaxation and heightened imagination."
It is a mental state
Mental health
Mental health describes either a level of cognitive or emotional well-being or an absence of a mental disorder. From perspectives of the discipline of positive psychology or holism mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and procure a balance between life activities and...

 (according to "state theory
State theory
State theory is a theory of absolute time in which the number of states from the first moment in time up to the current moment in time can be counted. This is in contrast to Einstein's theory of relativity, in which time is modelled using the real number system. A state is a moment in time, a...

") or imaginative
Imagination
Imagination, also called the faculty of imagining, is the ability of forming mental images, sensations and concepts, in a moment when they are not perceived through sight, hearing or other senses...

 role-enactment (according to "non-state theory"). It is usually induced by a procedure known as a hypnotic induction, which is commonly composed of a long series of preliminary instructions and suggestions. Hypnotic suggestions may be delivered by a hypnotist in the presence of the subject, or may be self-administered ("self-suggestion" or "autosuggestion"). The use of hypnotism for therapeutic purposes is referred to as "hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is a therapy that is undertaken with a subject in hypnosis.The word "hypnosis" is an abbreviation of James Braid's term "neuro-hypnotism", meaning "sleep of the nervous system"....

", while its use as a form of entertainment for an audience is known as "stage hypnosis
Stage hypnosis
Stage hypnosis is hypnosis performed in front of an audience for the purposes of entertainment, usually in a theatre or club. Expert opinion is divided over whether participants' responses are best explained as being due to an altered state of consciousness or by a combination of deliberate...

".

The words hypnosis and hypnotism both derive from the term neuro-hypnotism (nervous sleep) coined by the Scottish surgeon James Braid around 1841. Braid based his practice on that developed by Franz Mesmer
Franz Mesmer
Franz Anton Mesmer , sometimes, albeit incorrectly, referred to as Friedrich Anton Mesmer, was a German physician with an interest in astronomy, who theorised that there was a natural energetic transference that occurred between all animated and inanimate objects that he called magnétisme animal ...

 and his followers ("Mesmerism" or "animal magnetism
Animal magnetism
Animal magnetism , in modern usage, refers to a person's sexual attractiveness or raw charisma. As postulated by Franz Mesmer in the 18th century, the term referred to a supposed magnetic fluid or ethereal medium believed to reside in the bodies of animate beings...

"), but differed in his theory as to how the procedure worked.

Contrary to a popular misconception—that hypnosis is a form of unconsciousness
Unconsciousness
Unconsciousness is the condition of being not conscious—in a mental state that involves complete or near-complete lack of responsiveness to people and other environmental stimuli. Being in a comatose state or coma is a type of unconsciousness. Fainting due to a drop in blood pressure and a...

 resembling sleep—contemporary research suggests that hypnotic subjects are fully awake and are focusing attention, with a corresponding decrease in their peripheral awareness. Subjects also show an increased response to suggestions. In the first book on the subject, Neurypnology (1843), Braid described "hypnotism" as a state of physical relaxation accompanied and induced by mental concentration ("abstraction").

Characteristics

It could be said that hypnotic suggestion is explicitly intended to make use of the placebo effect. For example, in 1994, Irving Kirsch
Irving Kirsch
Irving Kirsch is Associate Director of the Program in Placebo Studies and a lecturer in medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is also a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Hull, United Kingdom and the University of Connecticut in the...

 characterized hypnosis as a "nondeceptive placebo," i. e., a method that openly makes use of suggestion and employs methods to amplify its effects.

Definitions

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."

Braid elaborated upon this brief definition in a later work:
Therefore, Braid defined hypnotism as a state of mental concentration that often leads to a form of progressive relaxation, termed "nervous sleep". Later, in his The Physiology of Fascination (1855), Braid conceded that his original terminology was misleading, and argued that the term "hypnotism" or "nervous sleep" should be reserved for the minority (10%) of subjects who exhibit amnesia
Amnesia
Amnesia is a condition in which one's memory is lost. The causes of amnesia have traditionally been divided into categories. Memory appears to be stored in several parts of the limbic system of the brain, and any condition that interferes with the function of this system can cause amnesia...

, substituting the term "monoideism", meaning concentration upon a single idea, as a description for the more alert state experienced by the others.

A new definition of hypnosis, derived from academic psychology, was provided in 2005, when the Society for Psychological Hypnosis, Division 30 of the American Psychological Association
American Psychological Association
The American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional organization of psychologists in the United States. It is the world's largest association of psychologists with around 154,000 members including scientists, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. The APA...

 (APA), published the following formal definition:

Induction

Hypnosis is normally preceded by a "hypnotic induction" technique. Traditionally this was interpreted as a method of putting the subject into a "hypnotic trance"; however subsequent "nonstate" theorists have viewed it differently, as a means of heightening client expectation, defining their role, focusing attention, etc. There is an enormous variety of different induction techniques used in hypnotism. However, by far the most influential method was the original "eye-fixation" technique of Braid, also known as "Braidism". Many variations of the eye-fixation approach exist, including the induction used in the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale (SHSS), the most widely used research tool in the field of hypnotism. Braid's original description of his induction is as follows:Braid himself later acknowledged that the hypnotic induction technique was not necessary in every case and subsequent researchers have generally found that on average it contributes less than previously expected to the effect of hypnotic suggestions (q.v., Barber, Spanos & Chaves, 1974). Many variations and alternatives to the original hypnotic induction techniques were subsequently developed. However, exactly 100 years after Braid introduced the method, another expert could still state: "It can be safely stated that nine out of ten hypnotic techniques call for reclining posture, muscular relaxation, and optical fixation followed by eye closure."

Suggestion

When James Braid first described hypnotism, he did not use the term "suggestion" but referred instead to the act of focusing the conscious mind of the subject upon a single dominant idea. Braid's main therapeutic strategy involved stimulating or reducing physiological functioning in different regions of the body. In his later works, however, Braid placed increasing emphasis upon the use of a variety of different verbal and non-verbal forms of suggestion, including the use of "waking suggestion" and self-hypnosis. Subsequently, Hippolyte Bernheim
Hippolyte Bernheim
Hippolyte Bernheim was a French physician and neurologist, born at Mülhausen, Alsace. He received his education in his native town and at the University of Strasbourg, where he was graduated as doctor of medicine in 1867...

 shifted the emphasis from the physical state of hypnosis on to the psychological process of verbal suggestion.


I define hypnotism as the induction of a peculiar psychical [i.e., mental] condition which increases the susceptibility to suggestion. Often, it is true, the [hypnotic] sleep that may be induced facilitates suggestion, but it is not the necessary preliminary. It is suggestion that rules hypnotism. (Hypnosis & Suggestion, 1884: 15)


Bernheim's conception of the primacy of verbal suggestion in hypnotism dominated the subject throughout the twentieth century, leading some authorities to declare him the father of modern hypnotism (Weitzenhoffer, 2000).

Contemporary hypnotism makes use of a wide variety of different forms of suggestion including: direct verbal suggestions, "indirect" verbal suggestions such as requests or insinuations, metaphors and other rhetorical figures of speech, and non-verbal suggestion in the form of mental imagery, voice tonality, and physical manipulation. A distinction is commonly made between suggestions delivered "permissively" or in a more "authoritarian" manner. As Harvard hypnotherapist Deirdre Barrett describes in the book Tales from a Hypnotherapist’s Couch, most modern research suggestions are designed to bring about immediate responses—an arm rises immediately, whereas hypnotheraputic suggestions are usually post-hypnotic ones are intended to trigger responses affecting behavior for periods ranging from days to a lifetime in duration. The hypnotheraputic ones are often repeated in multiple sessions before they achieve peak effectiveness.

Consciousness vs. unconscious mind

Some hypnotists conceive of suggestions as being a form of communication directed primarily to the subject's conscious mind, whereas others view suggestion as a means of communicating with the "unconscious
Unconscious mind
The unconscious mind is a term coined by the 18th century German romantic philosopher Friedrich Schelling and later introduced into English by the poet and essayist Samuel Taylor Coleridge...

" or "subconscious
Subconscious
The term subconscious is used in many different contexts and has no single or precise definition. This greatly limits its significance as a definition-bearing concept, and in consequence the word tends to be avoided in academic and scientific settings....

" mind. These concepts were introduced into hypnotism at the end of 19th century by Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

 and Pierre Janet
Pierre Janet
Pierre Marie Félix Janet was a pioneering French psychologist, philosopher and psychotherapist in the field of dissociation and traumatic memory....

. The original Victorian pioneers of hypnotism, including Braid and Bernheim, did not employ these concepts but considered hypnotic suggestions to be addressed to the subject's conscious mind. Indeed, Braid actually defines hypnotism as focused (conscious) attention upon a dominant idea (or suggestion). Different views regarding the nature of the mind have led to different conceptions of suggestion. Hypnotists who believed that responses are mediated primarily by an "unconscious mind", like Milton Erickson, made more use of indirect suggestions, such as metaphors or stories, whose intended meaning may be concealed from the subject's conscious mind. The concept of subliminal suggestion also depends upon this view of the mind. By contrast, hypnotists who believed that responses to suggestion are primarily mediated by the conscious mind, such as Theodore Barber and Nicholas Spanos
Nicholas Spanos
Nicholas P. Spanos , PhD, was Professor of Psychology and Director of the Laboratory for Experimental Hypnosis at Carleton University from 1975 to his death in a single engine plane crash in 1994.-Biography:...

 tended to make more use of direct verbal suggestions and instructions.

Ideo-dynamic reflex

The first neuropsychological theory of hypnotic suggestion was introduced early on by James Braid who adopted his friend and colleague William Carpenter's
William Benjamin Carpenter
William Benjamin Carpenter MD CB FRS was an English physician, invertebrate zoologist and physiologist. He was instrumental in the early stages of the unified University of London.-Life:...

 theory of the ideo-motor reflex response
Ideo motor response
The ideo-motor response , often abbreviated to IMR, is a concept in hypnosis and psychological research. It is derived from the terms 'ideo' and 'motor'...

 to account for the phenomenon of hypnotism. Carpenter had observed from close examination of everyday experience that under certain circumstances the mere idea of a muscular movement could be sufficient to produce a reflexive, or automatic, contraction or movement of the muscles involved, albeit in a very small degree. Braid extended Carpenter's theory to encompass the observation that a wide variety of bodily responses, other than muscular movement, can be thus affected, e.g., the idea of sucking a lemon can automatically stimulate salivation, a secretory response. Braid, therefore, adopted the term "ideo-dynamic", meaning "by the power of an idea" to explain a broad range of "psycho-physiological" (mind-body) phenomena. Braid coined the term "mono-ideodynamic" to refer to the theory that hypnotism operates by concentrating attention on a single idea in order to amplify the ideo-dynamic reflex response. Variations of the basic ideo-motor or ideo-dynamic theory of suggestion have continued to hold considerable influence over subsequent theories of hypnosis, including those of Clark L. Hull
Clark L. Hull
Clark Leonard Hull was an influential American psychologist who sought to explain learning and motivation by scientific laws of behavior. Born in Akron, New York, Hull obtained bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Michigan, and in 1918 a PhD from the University of...

, Hans Eysenck
Hans Eysenck
Hans Jürgen Eysenck was a German-British psychologist who spent most of his career in Britain, best remembered for his work on intelligence and personality, though he worked in a wide range of areas...

, and Ernest Rossi. It should be noted that in Victorian psychology, the word "idea" encompasses any mental representation, e.g., including mental imagery, or memories, etc.

Post-hypnotic suggestion

It has been alleged post-hypnotic suggestion can be used to change people's behaviour after emerging from hypnosis.

Susceptibility

Braid made a rough distinction between different stages of hypnosis, which he termed the first and second conscious stage of hypnotism; he later replaced this with a distinction between "sub-hypnotic", "full hypnotic", and "hypnotic coma" stages. Jean-Martin Charcot
Jean-Martin Charcot
Jean-Martin Charcot was a French neurologist and professor of anatomical pathology. He is known as "the founder of modern neurology" and is "associated with at least 15 medical eponyms", including Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis...

 made a similar distinction between stages named somnambulism, lethargy, and catalepsy. However, Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault
Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault
Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault was a French physician universally acknowledged as the founder of the famous school that became known as the "Nancy School", or the "Suggestion School", and he is considered by many to...

 and Bernheim introduced more complex hypnotic "depth" scales, based on a combination of behavioural, physiological and subjective responses, some of which were due to direct suggestion and some of which were not. In the first few decades of the 20th century, these early clinical "depth" scales were superseded by more sophisticated "hypnotic susceptibility" scales based on experimental research. The most influential were the Davis-Husband and Friedlander-Sarbin scales developed in the 1930s. Andre Weitzenhoffer
André Muller Weitzenhoffer
André Muller Weitzenhoffer was one of the most prolific researchers in the field of hypnosis in the latter half of the 20th century, having authored over 100 publications between 1949 and 2004...

 and Ernest R. Hilgard developed the Stanford Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility in 1959, consisting of 12 suggestion test items following a standardised hypnotic eye-fixation induction script, and this has become one of the most widely referenced research tools in the field of hypnosis. Soon after, in 1962, Ronald Shor and Emily Carota Orne developed a similar group scale called the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility (HGSHS).

Whereas the older "depth scales" tried to infer the level of "hypnotic trance" based upon supposed observable signs, such as spontaneous amnesia, most subsequent scales measure the degree of observed or self-evaluated responsiveness to specific suggestion tests, such as direct suggestions of arm rigidity (catalepsy). The Stanford, Harvard, HIP, and most other susceptibility scales convert numbers into an assessment of a person's susceptibility as 'high', 'medium', or 'low'. Approximately 80% of the population are medium, 10% are high and 10% are low. There is some controversy as to whether this is distributed on a “normal” bell-shaped curve or whether it is bi-modal with a small “blip” of people at the high end. Hypnotizability Scores are highly stable over a person’s lifetime.
Research by Deirdre Barrett
Deirdre Barrett
Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D. is an author and psychologist who teaches at Harvard Medical School. She is known for her research on dreams, hypnosis, and imagery and has written on evolutionary psychology. Barrett is a Past President of The International Association for the Study of Dreams and of the...

 has found that there are two distinct types of highly susceptible subjects, which she terms fantasizers and dissociaters. Fantasizers score high on absorption scales, find it easy to block out real-world stimuli without hypnosis, spend much time daydreaming, report imaginary companions as a child and grew up with parents who encouraged imaginary play. Dissociaters often have a history of childhood abuse or other trauma, learned to escape into numbness, and to forget unpleasant events. Their association to “daydreaming” was often going blank rather than vividly recalled fantasies. Both score equally high on formal scales of hypnotic susceptibility.

Precursors

According to his writings, Braid began to hear reports concerning various Oriental meditative practices
Meditation
Meditation is any form of a family of practices in which practitioners train their minds or self-induce a mode of consciousness to realize some benefit....

 soon after the release of his first publication on hypnotism, Neurypnology (1843). He first discussed some of these oriental practices in a series of articles entitled Magic, Mesmerism, Hypnotism, etc., Historically & Physiologically Considered. He drew analogies between his own practice of hypnotism and various forms of Hindu yoga meditation and other ancient spiritual practices, especially those involving voluntary burial and apparent human hibernation
Hibernation
Hibernation is a state of inactivity and metabolic depression in animals, characterized by lower body temperature, slower breathing, and lower metabolic rate. Hibernating animals conserve food, especially during winter when food supplies are limited, tapping energy reserves, body fat, at a slow rate...

. Braid’s interest in these practices stems from his studies of the Dabistān-i Mazāhib, the “School of Religions”, an ancient Persian text describing a wide variety of Oriental religious rituals, beliefs, and practices.


Last May [1843], a gentleman residing in Edinburgh, personally unknown to me, who had long resided in India, favored me with a letter expressing his approbation of the views which I had published on the nature and causes of hypnotic and mesmeric phenomena. In corroboration of my views, he referred to what he had previously witnessed in oriental regions, and recommended me to look into the “Dabistan,” a book lately published, for additional proof to the same effect. On much recommendation I immediately sent for a copy of the “Dabistan”, in which I found many statements corroborative of the fact, that the eastern saints are all self-hypnotisers, adopting means essentially the same as those which I had recommended for similar purposes.


Although he rejected the transcendental/metaphysical interpretation given to these phenomena outright, Braid accepted that these accounts of Oriental practices supported his view that the effects of hypnotism could be produced in solitude, without the presence of any other person (as he had already proved to his own satisfaction with the experiments he had conducted in November 1841); and he saw correlations between many of the "metaphysical" Oriental practices and his own "rational" neuro-hypnotism, and totally rejected all of the fluid theories and magnetic practices of the mesmerists. As he later wrote:


In as much as patients can throw themselves into the nervous sleep, and manifest all the usual phenomena of Mesmerism, through their own unaided efforts, as I have so repeatedly proved by causing them to maintain a steady fixed gaze at any point, concentrating their whole mental energies on the idea of the object looked at; or that the same may arise by the patient looking at the point of his own finger, or as the Magi of Persia and Yogi of India have practised for the last 2,400 years, for religious purposes, throwing themselves into their ecstatic trances by each maintaining a steady fixed gaze at the tip of his own nose; it is obvious that there is no need for an exoteric influence to produce the phenomena of Mesmerism. […] The great object in all these processes is to induce a habit of abstraction or concentration of attention, in which the subject is entirely absorbed with one idea, or train of ideas, whilst he is unconscious of, or indifferently conscious to, every other object, purpose, or action.

Franz Mesmer

Franz Mesmer
Franz Mesmer
Franz Anton Mesmer , sometimes, albeit incorrectly, referred to as Friedrich Anton Mesmer, was a German physician with an interest in astronomy, who theorised that there was a natural energetic transference that occurred between all animated and inanimate objects that he called magnétisme animal ...

 (1734–1815) believed that there is a magnetic force or "fluid" within the universe that influences the health of the human body. He experimented with magnets to influence this field and, so, cause healing. By around 1774, he had concluded that the same effects could be created by passing the hands, at a distance, in front of the subject's body, referred to as making "Mesmeric passes." The word mesmerize originates from the name of Franz Mesmer, and was intentionally used to separate its users from the various "fluid" and "magnetic" theories embedded within the label "magnetism".

In 1784, at the request of King Louis XVI, a Board of Inquiry started to investigate whether
Animal Magnetism existed. Three of the board members include a founding father of modern chemistry Antoine Lavoisier
Antoine Lavoisier
Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier , the "father of modern chemistry", was a French nobleman prominent in the histories of chemistry and biology...

, Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

 and an expert in pain control Joseph-Ignace Guillotin
Joseph-Ignace Guillotin
Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin was a French physician who proposed on 10 October 1789 the use of a device to carry out death penalties in France. While he did not invent the guillotine, and in fact opposed the death penalty, his name became an eponym for it...

. They also investigated the practices of a disaffected student of Mesmer, one Charles d'Eslon (1750–1786), and despite the fact that they accepted that Mesmer's results were valid, their placebo
Placebo
A placebo is a simulated or otherwise medically ineffectual treatment for a disease or other medical condition intended to deceive the recipient...

-controlled experiments following d'Eslon's practices convinced them that Mesmerism's were most likely due to belief and imagination rather than to any sort of invisible energy ("animal magnetism") transmitted from the body of the Mesmerist.

In writing the majority opinion, Franklin said, "This fellow Mesmer is not flowing anything from his hands that I can see. Therefore, this mesmerism must be a fraud." Mesmer left Paris and went back to Vienna to practise mesmerism.

James Braid


Following the French committee's findings, in his Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind (1818), Dugald Stewart
Dugald Stewart
Dugald Stewart was a Scottish Enlightenment philosopher and mathematician. His father, Matthew Stewart , was professor of mathematics in the University of Edinburgh .-Life and works:...

, an influential academic philosopher of the "Scottish School of Common Sense", encouraged physicians to salvage elements of Mesmerism by replacing the supernatural theory of "animal magnetism" with a new interpretation based upon "common sense" laws of physiology
Physiology
Physiology is the science of the function of living systems. This includes how organisms, organ systems, organs, cells, and bio-molecules carry out the chemical or physical functions that exist in a living system. The highest honor awarded in physiology is the Nobel Prize in Physiology or...

 and psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

. Braid quotes the following passage from Stewart:


It appears to me, that the general conclusions established by Mesmer’s practice, with respect to the physical effects of the principle of imagination [...] are incomparably more curious than if he had actually demonstrated the existence of his boasted science [of "animal magnetism"]: nor can I see any good reason why a physician, who admits the efficacy of the moral [i.e., psychological] agents employed by Mesmer, should, in the exercise of his profession, scruple to copy whatever processes are necessary for subjecting them to his command, any more than that he should hesitate about employing a new physical agent, such as electricity or galvanism.


In Braid's day, the Scottish School of Common Sense provided the dominant theories of academic psychology and Braid refers to other philosophers within this tradition throughout his writings. Braid therefore revised the theory and practice of Mesmerism and developed his own method of "hypnotism" as a more rational and "common sense" alternative.


It may here be requisite for me to explain, that by the term Hypnotism, or Nervous Sleep, which frequently occurs in the following pages, I mean a peculiar condition of the nervous system, into which it may be thrown by artificial contrivance, and which differs, in several respects, from common sleep or the waking condition. I do not allege that this condition is induced through the transmission of a magnetic or occult influence from my body into that of my patients; nor do I profess, by my processes, to produce the higher [i.e., supernatural] phenomena of the Mesmerists. My pretensions are of a much more humble character, and are all consistent with generally admitted principles in physiological and psychological science. Hypnotism might therefore not inaptly be designated, Rational Mesmerism, in contra-distinction to the Transcendental Mesmerism of the Mesmerists.


Despite briefly toying with the name "rational Mesmerism", Braid ultimately emphasised his approach's uniqueness, carrying out informal experiments throughout his career to refute the arguments invoking supernatural practices, and demonstrate instead the role of ordinary physiological and psychological processes such as suggestion and focused attention in producing the observed effects.

Braid worked very closely with his friend and ally the eminent physiologist Professor William Benjamin Carpenter
William Benjamin Carpenter
William Benjamin Carpenter MD CB FRS was an English physician, invertebrate zoologist and physiologist. He was instrumental in the early stages of the unified University of London.-Life:...

, an early neuro-psychologist, who introduced the "ideo-motor reflex" theory of suggestion. Carpenter had observed examples of expectation and imagination apparently influencing involuntarily muscle movement. A classic example of the ideo-motor principle in action is the so-called "Chevreul pendulum" (named after Michel Eugène Chevreul
Michel Eugène Chevreul
Michel Eugène Chevreul was a French chemist whose work with fatty acids led to early applications in the fields of art and science. He is credited with the discovery of margaric acid and designing an early form of soap made from animal fats and salt...

). Chevreul claimed that divinatory pendulae were made to swing by unconscious muscle movements, brought about by appropriate concentration alone.

Braid soon assimilated Carpenter's observations into his own theory, realising that the effect of focusing attention was to enhance the ideo-motor reflex response. Braid extended Carpenter's theory to encompass the influence of the mind upon the body more generally, beyond the muscular system, and therefore referred to the "ideo-dynamic" response and coined the term "psycho-physiology" to refer to the study of general mind/body interaction.

In his later works, Braid reserved the term "hypnotism" for cases in which subjects entered a state of amnesia resembling sleep. For the rest, he spoke of a "mono-ideodynamic" principle to emphasise that the eye-fixation induction technique worked by narrowing the subject's attention to a single idea or train of thought ("monoideism"), which amplified the effect of the consequent "dominant idea" upon the subject's body by means of the ideo-dynamic principle.

Hysteria vs. suggestion

For several decades, Braid's work became more influential abroad than in his own country, except for a handful of followers, most notably Dr. John Milne Bramwell
John Milne Bramwell
John Milne Bramwell was a Scottish physician and author, born at Perth, and educated at the University of Edinburgh.He collected the works of James Braid the founder of hypnotism and helped to revive and maintain Braid's legacy in Great Britain. He studied hypnotism thoroughly, including that...

. The eminent neurologist Dr. George Miller Beard
George Miller Beard
George Miller Beard was a U.S. neurologist who popularized the term neurasthenia, starting around 1869.-Biography:...

 took Braid's theories to America. Meanwhile his works were translated into German by Wilhelm T. Preyer, Professor of Physiology at Jena University. The psychiatrist Albert Moll subsequently continued German research, publishing Hypnotism in 1889. France became the focal point for the study after the eminent neurologist Dr. Étienne Eugène Azam
Étienne Eugène Azam
Étienne Eugène Azam was a French surgeon from Bordeaux who is chiefly remembered for his work in psychology, particularly a case involving a female patient he named "Félida X" who seemed to have "alternating personalities", or what Azam referred to as doublement de la vie.Over a number of years...

 presented Braid's research to the French Academy of Sciences
Academy of Sciences
An Academy of Sciences is a national academy or another learned society dedicated to sciences.In non-English speaking countries, the range of academic fields of the members of a national Academy of Science often includes fields which would not normally be classed as "science" in English...

. Azam also translated Braid's last manuscript (On Hypnotism, 1860) into French. At the request of Azam, Paul Broca
Paul Broca
Pierre Paul Broca was a French physician, surgeon, anatomist, and anthropologist. He was born in Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, Gironde. He is best known for his research on Broca's area, a region of the frontal lobe that has been named after him. Broca’s Area is responsible for articulated language...

, and others, the French Academy of Science, who had examined Mesmerism in 1784, examined Braid's writings shortly after his demise.

Azam's enthusiasm for hypnotism influenced Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault
Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault
Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault was a French physician universally acknowledged as the founder of the famous school that became known as the "Nancy School", or the "Suggestion School", and he is considered by many to...

, a country doctor. Hippolyte Bernheim
Hippolyte Bernheim
Hippolyte Bernheim was a French physician and neurologist, born at Mülhausen, Alsace. He received his education in his native town and at the University of Strasbourg, where he was graduated as doctor of medicine in 1867...

 discovered Liébeault's enormously popular group hypnotherapy clinic and subsequently became an influential hypnotist. The study of hypnotism subsequently revolved around the fierce debate between Jean-Martin Charcot
Jean-Martin Charcot
Jean-Martin Charcot was a French neurologist and professor of anatomical pathology. He is known as "the founder of modern neurology" and is "associated with at least 15 medical eponyms", including Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis...

 and Hippolyte Bernheim
Hippolyte Bernheim
Hippolyte Bernheim was a French physician and neurologist, born at Mülhausen, Alsace. He received his education in his native town and at the University of Strasbourg, where he was graduated as doctor of medicine in 1867...

, the two most influential figures in late 19th-century hypnotism.

Charcot operated a clinic at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital
Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital
The Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital is a teaching hospital located in Paris, France. Part of the Assistance publique - Hôpitaux de Paris, it is one of Europe's largest hospitals...

 (thus, also known as the "Paris School" or the "Salpêtrière School"), while Bernheim had a clinic in Nancy (also known as the "Nancy School
Nancy School
The Nancy School was an early French suggestion-centred school of psychotherapy founded in 1866 by Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault, a follower of the theory of Abbé Faria, in the city of Nancy....

"). Charcot, influenced more by the Mesmerists, argued that hypnotism is an abnormal state of nervous functioning found only in certain hysterical women. He claimed that it manifests in a series of physical reactions that could be divided into distinct stages. Bernheim argued that anyone could be hypnotised, that it is an extension of normal psychological functioning, and that its effects are due to suggestion. After decades of debate, Bernheim's view dominated. Charcot's theory is now just a historical curiosity.

Pierre Janet

Pierre Janet
Pierre Janet
Pierre Marie Félix Janet was a pioneering French psychologist, philosopher and psychotherapist in the field of dissociation and traumatic memory....

 (1859–1947) reported studies on a hypnotic subject in 1882. Charcot subsequently appointed him director of the psychological laboratory at the Salpêtrière in 1889, after Janet completed his doctorate in philosophy, which dealt with psychological automatism
Automatic behavior
Automatic behavior, from the Greek automatos or self-acting, is the spontaneous production of often purposeless verbal or motor behavior without conscious self-control or self-censorship...

. In 1898, Janet was appointed psychology lecturer at the Sorbonne
Sorbonne
The Sorbonne is an edifice of the Latin Quarter, in Paris, France, which has been the historical house of the former University of Paris...

, and in 1902 became chair of experimental and comparative psychology at the Collège de France
Collège de France
The Collège de France is a higher education and research establishment located in Paris, France, in the 5th arrondissement, or Latin Quarter, across the street from the historical campus of La Sorbonne at the intersection of Rue Saint-Jacques and Rue des Écoles...

. Janet reconciled elements of his views with those of Bernheim and his followers, developing his own sophisticated hypnotic psychotherapy based upon the concept of psychological dissociation
Dissociation
Dissociation is an altered state of consciousness characterized by partial or complete disruption of the normal integration of a person’s normal conscious or psychological functioning. Dissociation is most commonly experienced as a subjective perception of one's consciousness being detached from...

, which, at the turn of the century, rivaled Freud's attempt to provide a more comprehensive theory of psychotherapy.

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

, the founder of psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud's former students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav...

, studied hypnotism at Paris school and briefly visited the Nancy school.

At first, Freud was an enthusiastic proponent of hypnotherapy, and soon began to emphasise hypnotic regression and ab reaction (catharsis) as therapeutic methods. He wrote a favorable encyclopedia article on hypnotism, translated one of Bernheim's works into German, and published an influential series of case studies with his colleague Joseph Breuer entitled Studies on Hysteria
Studies on Hysteria
Studies on Hysteria was a book published in 1895 by Sigmund Freud and Josef Breuer. It contained a number of Breuer and Freud's case studies of "hysterics". It included one of their most famous cases, Breuer's Anna O. , which introduced the technique of psychoanalysis as a form of cure...

(1895). This became the founding text of the subsequent tradition known as "hypno-analysis" or "regression hypnotherapy."

However, Freud gradually abandoned hypnotism in favour of psychoanalysis, emphasizing free association and interpretation of the unconscious. Struggling with the great expense of time that psychoanalysis required, Freud later suggested that it might be combined with hypnotic suggestion to hasten the outcome of treatment,

It is very probable, too, that the application of our therapy to numbers will compel us to alloy the pure gold of analysis plentifully with the copper of direct [hypnotic] suggestion.


However only a handful of Freud's followers were sufficiently qualified in hypnosis to attempt the synthesis. Their work had a limited influence on the hypno-therapeutic approaches now known variously as "hypnotic regression", "hypnotic progression", and "hypnoanalysis".

Émile Coué

Émile Coué
Émile Coué
Émile Coué de la Châtaigneraie was a French psychologist and pharmacist who introduced a method of psychotherapy and self-improvement based on optimistic autosuggestion....

 (1857–1926) assisted Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault
Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault
Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault was a French physician universally acknowledged as the founder of the famous school that became known as the "Nancy School", or the "Suggestion School", and he is considered by many to...

 for around two years at Nancy. After practicing for several years as a hypnotherapist employing the methods of Liébeault and Bernheim's Nancy School, Coué developed a new orientation called "conscious autosuggestion
Autosuggestion
Autosuggestion is a psychological technique that was developed by apothecary Émile Coué from the late 19th century to the early 20th century.-Origins:...

." Several years after Liébeault's death in 1904, Coué founded what became known as the New Nancy School, a loose collaboration of practitioners who taught and promoted his views. Coué's method did not emphasise "sleep" or deep relaxation and instead focused upon autosuggestion involving a specific series of suggestion tests. Although Coué argued that he was no longer using hypnosis, followers such as Charles Baudouin
Charles Baudouin
Charles Baudouin was a French-Swiss psychoanalyst, who combined Freudianism with elements of the thought of Carl Jung and Alfred Adler.-Works:...

 viewed his approach as a form of light self-hypnosis. Coué's method became a renowned self-help
Self-help
Self-help, or self-improvement, is a self-guided improvement—economically, intellectually, or emotionally—often with a substantial psychological basis. There are many different self-help movements and each has its own focus, techniques, associated beliefs, proponents and in some cases, leaders...

 and psychotherapy
Psychotherapy
Psychotherapy is a general term referring to any form of therapeutic interaction or treatment contracted between a trained professional and a client or patient; family, couple or group...

 technique, which contrasted with psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud's former students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav...

 and prefigured self-hypnosis and cognitive therapy
Cognitive therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach: a talking therapy. CBT aims to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure in the present...

.

Clark L. Hull

The next major development came from behavioral psychology in American university research. Clark L. Hull
Clark L. Hull
Clark Leonard Hull was an influential American psychologist who sought to explain learning and motivation by scientific laws of behavior. Born in Akron, New York, Hull obtained bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Michigan, and in 1918 a PhD from the University of...

, an eminent American psychologist, published the first major compilation of laboratory studies on hypnosis, Hypnosis & Suggestibility (1933), in which he proved that hypnosis and sleep had nothing in common. Hull published many quantitative findings from hypnosis and suggestion experiments and encouraged research by mainstream psychologists. Hull's behavioural psychology interpretation of hypnosis, emphasizing conditioned reflexes, rivaled the Freudian psycho dynamic interpretation emphasizing unconscious transference.

Dave Elman

Although Dave Elman
Dave Elman
Dave Elman is primarily known today as an author of a book on hypnosis. Over the course of his life he was also well known as the creator and host of a popular radio show known as Hobby Lobby as well as a songwriter and lyricist.-Early life:...

 was a noted radio host, comedian and (song)writer, he also made a name as a hypnotist. He led many courses for physicians and wrote in 1964 the classic book: 'Findings in Hypnosis', later to be re-titled 'Hypnotherapy' (published by Westwood Publishing).
Perhaps the most well known aspect of Elman's legacy is his method of induction, which was originally fashioned for speed work and later adapted for the use of medical professionals; his students routinely obtained states of hypnosis adequate for medical and surgical procedures in under three minutes. His book and recordings provide much more than just his rapid induction techniques, however. The first heart operation using hypnosis rather than normal anesthesia (because of severe problems with the patient) was performed by his students with Dave Elman in the operating room as "coach".

Milton Erickson

Milton H. Erickson
Milton H. Erickson
Milton Hyland Erickson, was an American psychiatrist specializing in medical hypnosis and family therapy...

, M.D. was one of the most influential post-war hypnotherapists. He wrote several books and journal articles on the subject. During the 1960s, Erickson popularized a new branch of hypnotherapy, known as Ericksonian hypnotherapy, characterised primarily by indirect suggestion, "metaphor" (actually analogies), confusion techniques, and double bind
Double bind
A double bind is an emotionally distressing dilemma in communication in which an individual receives two or more conflicting messages, in which one message negates the other. This creates a situation in which a successful response to one message results in a failed response to the other , so that...

s in place of formal hypnotic inductions. However, the difference between Erickson's methods and traditional hypnotism led contemporaries such as André Weitzenhoffer
André Muller Weitzenhoffer
André Muller Weitzenhoffer was one of the most prolific researchers in the field of hypnosis in the latter half of the 20th century, having authored over 100 publications between 1949 and 2004...

, to question whether he was practicing "hypnosis" at all, and his approach remains in question.


Erickson had no hesitation in presenting any suggested effect as being "hypnosis", whether or not the subject was in a hypnotic state. In fact, he was not hesitant in passing off behaviour that was dubiously hypnotic as being hypnotic.

Cognitive-behavioural

In the latter half of the twentieth century, two factors contributed to the development of the cognitive-behavioural approach to hypnosis. 1 Cognitive and behavioural theories of the nature of hypnosis (influenced by the theories of Sarbin and Barber became increasingly influential. 2 The therapeutic practices of hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is a therapy that is undertaken with a subject in hypnosis.The word "hypnosis" is an abbreviation of James Braid's term "neuro-hypnotism", meaning "sleep of the nervous system"....

 and various forms of cognitive-behavioural therapy overlapped and influenced each other. Although cognitive-behavioural theories of hypnosis must be distinguished from cognitive-behavioural approaches to hypnotherapy, they share similar concepts, terminology, and assumptions and have been integrated by influential researchers and clinicians such as Irving Kirsch
Irving Kirsch
Irving Kirsch is Associate Director of the Program in Placebo Studies and a lecturer in medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is also a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Hull, United Kingdom and the University of Connecticut in the...

, Steven Jay Lynn, and others.

At the outset of cognitive-behavioural therapy during the 1950s, hypnosis was used by early behaviour therapists such as Joseph Wolpe
Joseph Wolpe
Joseph Wolpe was born on April 20, 1915, in Johannesburg, South Africa, and died on December 4, 1997, from lung cancer. He is one of the most influential figures in behavior therapy....

 and also by early cognitive therapists such as Albert Ellis. Barber, Spanos & Chaves introduced the term "cognitive-behavioural" to describe their "nonstate" theory of hypnosis in Hypnotism: Imagination & Human Potentialities (1974). However, Clark L. Hull
Clark L. Hull
Clark Leonard Hull was an influential American psychologist who sought to explain learning and motivation by scientific laws of behavior. Born in Akron, New York, Hull obtained bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Michigan, and in 1918 a PhD from the University of...

 had introduced a behavioural psychology as far back as 1933, which in turn was preceded by Ivan Pavlov
Ivan Pavlov
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was a famous Russian physiologist. Although he made significant contributions to psychology, he was not in fact a psychologist himself but was a mathematician and actually had strong distaste for the field....

. Indeed, the earliest theories and practices of hypnotism, even those of Braid, resemble the cognitive-behavioural orientation in some respects.

Applications

There are numerous applications for hypnosis across multiple fields of interest including medical/psychotherapeutic uses, military uses, self-improvement, and entertainment.

Hypnotism has also been used in forensics
Forensics
Forensic science is the application of a broad spectrum of sciences to answer questions of interest to a legal system. This may be in relation to a crime or a civil action...

, sports, education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

, physical therapy
Physical therapy
Physical therapy , often abbreviated PT, is a health care profession. Physical therapy is concerned with identifying and maximizing quality of life and movement potential within the spheres of promotion, prevention, diagnosis, treatment/intervention,and rehabilitation...

 and rehabilitation
Drug rehabilitation
Drug rehabilitation is a term for the processes of medical or psychotherapeutic treatment, for dependency on psychoactive substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and so-called street drugs such as cocaine, heroin or amphetamines...

. Hypnotism has also been employed by artists for creative purposes most notably the surrealist circle of André Breton
André Breton
André Breton was a French writer and poet. He is known best as the founder of Surrealism. His writings include the first Surrealist Manifesto of 1924, in which he defined surrealism as "pure psychic automatism"....

 who employed hypnosis, automatic writing
Automatic writing
Automatic writing or psychography is writing which the writer states to be produced from a subconscious and/or spiritual source without conscious awareness of the content.-History:...

 and sketches for creative purposes. Hypnotic methods have been used to re-experience drug states, and mystical experiences. Self-hypnosis is popularly used to quit smoking and reduce stress, while stage hypnosis can persuade people to perform unusual public feats. It could even be theorized that hypnosis could be used to help a person reveal an inner personality that they had kept deep inside them, reason being is that they would worry that society would judge them for it, yet under this circumstance they can simply state " hey I don't remember this" and therefore blame the hypnotist for their erratic behaviour, even though they were completely aware of it

Some people have drawn analogies between certain aspects of hypnotism and areas such as crowd psychology, religious hysteria, and ritual trances in preliterate tribal cultures.

Many famous sports figures like Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods
Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods is an American professional golfer whose achievements to date rank him among the most successful golfers of all time. Formerly the World No...

 have used hypnosis to gain an edge on their competition. This is accomplished by accessing an athlete's altered conscious state and incorporating a different way of processing information.

Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is a therapy that is undertaken with a subject in hypnosis.The word "hypnosis" is an abbreviation of James Braid's term "neuro-hypnotism", meaning "sleep of the nervous system"....

 is the use of hypnosis in psychotherapy. It is used by licensed physicians, psychologists, and others. Physicians and psychiatrists may use hypnosis to treat depression, anxiety, eating disorders, sleep disorders, compulsive gaming, and posttraumatic stress, while certified hypnotherapists who are not physicians or psychologists often treat smoking and weight management.

Modern hypnotherapy has been used in a variety of forms with varying success, such as:
  • Age regression hypnotherapy
    Age regression in therapy
    Age regression is an aspect of a number of psychotherapies: i.e., in hypnotherapy the term describes a process in which the patient returns to an earlier stage of life in order to explore a memory or to get in touch with some difficult-to-access aspect of their personality...

     (or "hypnoanalysis")
  • Ericksonian hypnotherapy.
  • Fears and phobias
  • Addictions
  • Habit control
  • Pain management
  • Psychological therapy
  • Relaxation
  • Skin disease
  • Soothing anxious surgical patients
  • Sports performance
  • Weight loss


In a January 2001 article in Psychology Today Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett
Deirdre Barrett
Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D. is an author and psychologist who teaches at Harvard Medical School. She is known for her research on dreams, hypnosis, and imagery and has written on evolutionary psychology. Barrett is a Past President of The International Association for the Study of Dreams and of the...

 wrote:
A hypnotic trance is not therapeutic in and of itself, but specific suggestions and images fed to clients in a trance can profoundly alter their behavior. As they rehearse the new ways they want to think and feel, they lay the groundwork for changes in their future actions...
and she described specific ways this is operationalized for habit change and amelioration of phobias. In her 1998 book of hypnotherapy case studies, she reviews the clinical research on hypnosis with dissociative disorders, smoking cessation
Smoking cessation
Smoking cessation is the process of discontinuing the practice of inhaling a smoked substance. This article focuses exclusively on cessation of tobacco smoking; however, the methods described may apply to cessation of smoking other substances that can be difficult to stop using due to the...

, and insomnia and describes successful treatments of these complaints.

In a July 2001 article for Scientific American
Scientific American
Scientific American is a popular science magazine. It is notable for its long history of presenting science monthly to an educated but not necessarily scientific public, through its careful attention to the clarity of its text as well as the quality of its specially commissioned color graphics...

titled "The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis", Michael Nash wrote:

...using hypnosis, scientists have temporarily created hallucinations, compulsions, certain types of memory loss, false memories, and delusions in the laboratory so that these phenomena can be studied in a controlled environment.

Irritable bowel syndrome

Hypnotherapy has been used to treat irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is a diagnosis of exclusion. It is a functional bowel disorder characterized by chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and alteration of bowel habits in the absence of any detectable organic cause. In some cases, the symptoms are relieved by bowel movements...

. Researchers who recently reviewed the best studies in this area conclude:


The evidence for hypnosis as an efficacious treatment of IBS was encouraging. Two of three studies that investigated the use of hypnosis for IBS were well designed and showed a clear effect for the hypnotic treatment of IBS.


Hypnosis for IBS has received moderate support in the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is a special health authority of the English National Health Service , serving both English NHS and the Welsh NHS...

 guidance published for UK health services. It has been used as an aid or alternative to chemical anesthesia
Anesthesia
Anesthesia, or anaesthesia , traditionally meant the condition of having sensation blocked or temporarily taken away...

, and it has been studied as a way to soothe skin ailments.

In one study conducted at the Frenchay Hospital
Frenchay Hospital
Frenchay Hospital is a large hospital situated in Frenchay, South Gloucestershire, on the outskirts of Bristol, England, part of the North Bristol NHS Trust....

, thirty-three patients with IBS were given four separate sessions of hypnosis over the course of seven weeks, each session lasting 40 minutes. Of the thirty-three patients, twenty reported an improvement in their symptoms while eleven were shown to be cleared of all symptoms. However some skeptics have claimed this sample size too small to be a meaningful result.

Pain management

A number of studies show that hypnosis can reduce the pain experienced during burn-wound debridement, bone marrow aspirations, and childbirth. The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis found that hypnosis relieved the pain of 75% of 933 subjects participating in 27 different experiments.

In 1996, the National Institutes of Health
National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health are an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and are the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research. Its science and engineering counterpart is the National Science Foundation...

 declared hypnosis effective in reducing pain from cancer and other chronic conditions. Nausea and other symptoms related to incurable diseases may also be managed with hypnosis. For example, research done at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine is an American medical school in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, currently ranked among the top 20 medical schools in the United States. It was chartered by Mount Sinai Hospital in 1963....

 studied two patient groups facing breast cancer surgery. The group that received hypnosis reported less pain, nausea, and anxiety post-surgery. The average hypnosis patient reduced treatment costs by an average $772.00.

The American Psychological Association published a study comparing the effects of hypnosis, ordinary suggestion and placebo in reducing pain. The study found that highly suggestible individuals experienced a greater reduction in pain from hypnosis compared with placebo, whereas less suggestible subjects experienced no pain reduction from hypnosis when compared with placebo. Ordinary non-hypnotic suggestion also caused reduction in pain compared to placebo, but was able to reduce pain in a wider range of subjects (both high and low suggestible) than hypnosis. The results showed that it is primarily the subject's responsiveness to suggestion, whether within the context of hypnosis or not, that is the main determinant of causing reduction in pain.

Other medical and psychotherapeutic uses

Treating skin diseases with hypnosis (hypnodermatology
Hypnodermatology
Hypnodermatology is an informal label for the use of hypnosis in treating the skin conditions that fall between conventional medical dermatology and the mental health disciplines....

) has performed well in treating warts, psoriasis
Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that appears on the skin. It occurs when the immune system mistakes the skin cells as a pathogen, and sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis is not contagious. However, psoriasis has been linked to an increased risk of...

, and atopic dermatitis.

The success rate for habit control is varied. A meta-study researching hypnosis as a quit-smoking tool found it had a 20 to 30 percent success rate, similar to other quit-smoking methods, while a 2007 study of patients hospitalised for cardiac and pulmonary ailments found that smokers who used hypnosis to quit smoking doubled their chances of success.

Hypnosis may be useful as an adjunct therapy for weight loss
Weight loss
Weight loss, in the context of medicine, health or physical fitness, is a reduction of the total body mass, due to a mean loss of fluid, body fat or adipose tissue and/or lean mass, namely bone mineral deposits, muscle, tendon and other connective tissue...

. A 1996 meta-analysis studying hypnosis combined with cognitive-behavioural therapy found that people using both treatments lost more weight than people using CBT alone. The virtual gastric band
Virtual gastric band
The Virtual gastric band is a procedure of hypnotherapy intended to make the brain believe that the stomach is smaller than it really is, with the purpose of limiting the amount of food ingested.- History :...

 procedure mixes hypnosis with hypnopedia. The hypnosis instructs the stomach it is smaller than it really is and hypnopedia reinforces alimentary habits.

Controversy surrounds the use of hypnotherapy to retrieve memories, especially those from early childhood or (alleged) past-lives. The American Medical Association
American Medical Association
The American Medical Association , founded in 1847 and incorporated in 1897, is the largest association of medical doctors and medical students in the United States.-Scope and operations:...

 and the American Psychological Association
American Psychological Association
The American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional organization of psychologists in the United States. It is the world's largest association of psychologists with around 154,000 members including scientists, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. The APA...

 caution against repressed memory therapy
Recovered memory therapy
Recovered-memory therapy is a term coined by affiliates of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation in the early 1990s, to refer what they described as a range of psychotherapy methods based on recalling memories of abuse that had previously been forgotten by the patient...

 in cases of alleged childhood trauma, stating that "it is impossible, without corroborative evidence, to distinguish a true memory from a false one." Past life regression
Past life regression
Past life regression is a technique that uses hypnosis to recover what practitioners believe are memories of past lives or incarnations, though others regard them as fantasies or delusions. Past life regression is typically undertaken either in pursuit of a spiritual experience, or in a...

, meanwhile, is often viewed with skepticism.

Military applications

A recently declassified document obtained by The Black Vault Freedom of Information Act archive shows that hypnosis was investigated for military applications. However, the overall conclusion of the study was that there was no evidence that hypnosis could be used for military applications, and also that there was no clear evidence for whether 'hypnosis' actually exists as a definable phenomenon outside of ordinary suggestion, high motivation and subject expectancy. According to the document,

The use of hypnosis in intelligence would present certain technical problems not encountered in the clinic or laboratory. To obtain compliance from a resistant source, for example, it would be necessary to hypnotise the source under essentially hostile circumstances. There is no good evidence, clinical or experimental, that this can be done.


Furthermore, the document states that:

It would be difficult to find an area of scientific interest more beset by divided professional opinion and contradictory experimental evidence…No one can say whether hypnosis is a qualitatively unique state with some physiological and conditioned response components or only a form of suggestion induced by high motivation and a positive relationship between hypnotist and subject…T.X. Barber has produced “hypnotic deafness” and “hypnotic blindness”, analgesia and other responses seen in hypnosis—all without hypnotizing anyone…Orne has shown that unhypnotized persons can be motivated to equal and surpass the supposed superhuman physical feats seen in hypnosis.


The study concludes:

It is probably significant that in the long history of hypnosis, where the potential application to intelligence has always been known, there are no reliable accounts of its effective use by an intelligence service.


Research into hypnosis in military applications is further verified by the MKULTRA experiments, also conducted by the CIA. According to Congressional testimony, the CIA experimented with utilizing LSD
LSD
Lysergic acid diethylamide, abbreviated LSD or LSD-25, also known as lysergide and colloquially as acid, is a semisynthetic psychedelic drug of the ergoline family, well known for its psychological effects which can include altered thinking processes, closed and open eye visuals, synaesthesia, an...

 and hypnosis for mind control. Many of these programs were done domestically and on participants who were not informed of the study's purposes or that they would be given drugs.

The full paper explores the potentials of operational uses.

Self-hypnosis

Self-hypnosis happens when a person hypnotises oneself, commonly involving the use of autosuggestion. The technique is often used to increase motivation for a diet
Dieting
Dieting is the practice of eating food in a regulated fashion to achieve or maintain a controlled weight. In most cases dieting is used in combination with physical exercise to lose weight in those who are overweight or obese. Some athletes, however, follow a diet to gain weight...

, quit smoking
Cigarette
A cigarette is a small roll of finely cut tobacco leaves wrapped in a cylinder of thin paper for smoking. The cigarette is ignited at one end and allowed to smoulder; its smoke is inhaled from the other end, which is held in or to the mouth and in some cases a cigarette holder may be used as well...

, or reduce stress. People who practice self-hypnosis sometimes require assistance; some people use devices known as mind machine
Mind machine
A mind machine uses pulsing rhythmic sound and/or flashing light to alter the brainwave frequency of the user...

s to assist in the process, whereas others use hypnotic recordings.

Self-hypnosis is claimed to help with stage fright, relaxation, and physical well-being.

Stage hypnosis

Stage hypnosis is a form of entertainment, traditionally employed in a club or theatre before an audience. Due to stage hypnotists' showmanship, many people believe that hypnosis is a form of mind control. Stage hypnotists typically attempt to hypnotise the entire audience and then select individuals who are "under" to come up on stage and perform embarrassing acts, while the audience watches. However, the effects of stage hypnosis are probably due to a combination of psychological factors, participant selection, suggestibility, physical manipulation, stagecraft, and trickery. The desire to be the centre of attention, having an excuse to violate their own fear suppressors and the pressure to please are thought to convince subjects to 'play along'. Books by stage hypnotists sometimes explicitly describe the use of deception in their acts, for example, Ormond McGill's
Ormond McGill
Ormond Dale McGill was the "Dean of American Hypnotists".Born in Palo Alto, California, McGill became interested in magic as a child , but first studied hypnosis in 1927 while still a teenager...

 New Encyclopedia of Stage Hypnosis describes an entire "fake hypnosis" act that depends upon the use of private whispers throughout.

The state versus non-state debate

The central theoretical disagreement is known as the "state versus nonstate" debate. When Braid introduced the concept of hypnotism, he equivocated over the nature of the "state", sometimes describing it as a specific sleep-like neurological state comparable to animal hibernation or yogic meditation, while at other times he emphasised that hypnotism encompasses a number of different stages or states that are
an extension of ordinary psychological and physiological processes. Overall, Braid appears to have moved from a more "special state" understanding of hypnotism toward a more complex "nonstate" orientation.

State theorists interpret the effects of hypnotism as due primarily to a specific, abnormal, and uniform psychological or physiological state of some description, often referred to as "hypnotic trance" or an "altered state of consciousness." Nonstate theorists rejected the idea of hypnotic trance and interpret the effects of hypnotism as due to a combination of multiple task-specific factors derived from normal cognitive, behavioural, and social psychology, such as social role-perception and favorable motivation (Sarbin
Theodore R. Sarbin
Theodore Roy Sarbin , known as "Ted Sarbin", was an American psychologist and professor emeritus of psychology and criminology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He was known as "Mr. Role Theory" because of his contributions to the social psychology of role-taking.- Biography :Sarbin was...

), active imagination and positive cognitive set (Barber), response expectancy (Kirsch), and the active use of task-specific subjective strategies (Spanos
Nicholas Spanos
Nicholas P. Spanos , PhD, was Professor of Psychology and Director of the Laboratory for Experimental Hypnosis at Carleton University from 1975 to his death in a single engine plane crash in 1994.-Biography:...

). The personality psychologist Robert White is often cited as providing one of the first nonstate definitions of hypnosis in a 1941 article:


Hypnotic behaviour is meaningful, goal-directed striving, its most general goal being to behave like a hypnotised person as this is continuously defined by the operator and understood by the client.


Put simply, it is often claimed that whereas the older "special state" interpretation emphasises the difference between hypnosis and ordinary psychological processes, the "nonstate" interpretation emphasises their similarity.

Comparisons between hypnotised and non-hypnotised subjects suggest that if a "hypnotic trance" does exist it only accounts for a small proportion of the effects attributed to hypnotic suggestion, most of which can be replicated without hypnotic induction.

Hyper-suggestibility

Braid can be taken to imply, in later writings, that hypnosis is largely a state of heightened suggestibility induced by expectation and focused attention. In particular, Hippolyte Bernheim
Hippolyte Bernheim
Hippolyte Bernheim was a French physician and neurologist, born at Mülhausen, Alsace. He received his education in his native town and at the University of Strasbourg, where he was graduated as doctor of medicine in 1867...

 became known as the leading proponent of the "suggestion theory" of hypnosis, at one point going so far as to declare that there is no hypnotic state, only heightened suggestibility. There is a general consensus that heightened suggestibility is an essential characteristic of hypnosis.

If a subject after submitting to the hypnotic procedure shows no genuine increase in susceptibility to any suggestions whatever, there seems no point in calling him hypnotised, regardless of how fully and readily he may respond to suggestions of lid-closure and other superficial sleeping behaviour.

Conditioned inhibition

Ivan Pavlov
Ivan Pavlov
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was a famous Russian physiologist. Although he made significant contributions to psychology, he was not in fact a psychologist himself but was a mathematician and actually had strong distaste for the field....

 stated that hypnotic suggestion provided the best example of a conditioned reflex response in human beings, i.e., that responses to suggestions were learned associations triggered by the words used. Pavlov himself wrote:

Speech, on account of the whole preceding life of the adult, is connected up with all the internal and external stimuli which can reach the cortex, signaling all of them and replacing all of them, and therefore it can call forth all those reactions of the organism which are normally determined by the actual stimuli themselves. We can, therefore, regard ‘suggestion’ as the most simple form of a typical reflex in man.


He also believed that hypnosis was a "partial sleep" meaning that a generalised inhibition of cortical functioning could be encouraged to spread throughout regions of the brain. He observed that the various degrees of hypnosis did not significantly differ physiologically from the waking state and hypnosis depended on insignificant changes of environmental stimuli. Pavlov also suggested that lower-brain-stem mechanisms were involved in hypnotic conditioning.

Pavlov's ideas combined with those of his rival Bekhterev and became the basis of hypnotic psychotherapy in the Soviet Union, as documented in the writings of his follower K.I. Platonov. Soviet theories of hypnotism subsequently influenced the writings of Western behaviourally-oriented hypnotherapists such as Andrew Salter
Andrew Salter
Andrew Salter was the founder of Conditioned Reflex Therapy, an early form of behaviour therapy which emphasized assertive and expressive behaviour as the way to combat the inhibitory personality traits which Salter believed were the underlying cause of most neuroses...

.

Neuropsychology

Neurological imaging techniques provide no evidence of a neurological pattern that can be equated with a "hypnotic trance". Changes in brain activity have been found in some studies of highly responsive hypnotic subjects. These changes vary depending upon the type of suggestions being given. However, what these results indicate is unclear. They may indicate that suggestions genuinely produce changes in perception or experience that are not simply a result of imagination. However, in normal circumstances without hypnosis, the brain regions associated with motion detection are activated both when motion is seen and when motion is imagined, without any changes in the subjects' perception or experience. This may therefore indicate that highly suggestible hypnotic subjects are simply activating to a greater extent the areas of the brain used in imagination, without real perceptual changes.

Another study has demonstrated that a color hallucination suggestion given to subjects in hypnosis activated color-processing regions of the occipital cortex. A 2004 review of research examining the EEG laboratory work in this area concludes:
The induction phase of hypnosis may also affect the activity in brain regions that control intention
Intention
Intention is an agent's specific purpose in performing an action or series of actions, the end or goal that is aimed at. Outcomes that are unanticipated or unforeseen are known as unintended consequences....

 and process conflict
Emotional conflict
"Emotional conflicts and the intervention of the unconscious are the classical features of...medical psychology" for C. G. Jung. Equally, 'Freud's concept of emotional conflict as amplified by Anna Freud...Erikson and others is central in contemporary theories of mental disorder in children,...

. Anna Gosline claims:

Dissociation

Pierre Janet
Pierre Janet
Pierre Marie Félix Janet was a pioneering French psychologist, philosopher and psychotherapist in the field of dissociation and traumatic memory....

 originally developed the idea of dissociation of consciousness from his work with hysterical patients. He believed that hypnosis was an example of dissociation, whereby areas of an individual's behavioural control separate from ordinary awareness. Hypnosis would remove some control from the conscious mind, and the individual would respond with autonomic, reflexive behaviour. Weitzenhoffer describes hypnosis via this theory as "dissociation of awareness from the majority of sensory and even strictly neural events taking place."

Neodissociation

Ernest Hilgard
Ernest Hilgard
Ernest Ropiequet "Jack" Hilgard was an American psychologist, professor at Stanford university, who became famous in the 1950s for his research on hypnosis, especially with regard to pain control...

, who developed the "neodissociation" theory of hypnotism, hypothesised that hypnosis causes the subjects to divide their consciousness voluntarily. One part responds to the hypnotist while the other retains awareness of reality. Hilgard made subjects take an ice water bath. They said nothing about the water being cold or feeling pain. Hilgard then asked the subjects to lift their index finger if they felt pain and 70% of the subjects lifted their index finger. This showed that even though the subjects were listening to the suggestive hypnotist they still sensed the water's temperature.

Mind-dissociation

This theory was proposed by Y.D. Tsai in 1995 as part of his psychosomatic theory of dream
Dream
Dreams are successions of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. The content and purpose of dreams are not definitively understood, though they have been a topic of scientific speculation, philosophical intrigue and religious...

s. Inside each brain, there is a program "I" (the conscious self), which is distributed over the conscious brain and coordinates mental functions (cortices), such as thinking, imagining, sensing, moving and reasoning. "I" also supervises memory storage. Many bizarre states of consciousness are actually the results of dissociation of certain mental functions from "I".

There are several possible types of dissociation that may occur:
  • the subject's imagination is dissociated and sends the imagined content back to the sensory cortex resulting in dreams or hallucinations
  • some senses are dissociated, resulting in hypnotic anesthesia
  • motor function is dissociated, resulting in immobility
  • reason is dissociated and he/she obeys the hypnotist's orders
  • thought is dissociated and not controlled by reason, hence, for example striving to straighten the body between two chairs.


A hypnotist's suggestion can also influence the subject long after the hypnosis session, as follows. In a normal state of mind, the subject will do or believe as his reason dictates. However, when hypnotized, reason is replaced by the hypnotist's suggestions to make up decisions or beliefs, and the subject will be very uneasy in later days if he/she does not do things as decided or his/her belief is contradicted. Hypnotherapy is also based on this principle.

Social role-taking theory

The main theorist who pioneered the influential role-taking theory of hypnotism was Theodore Sarbin
Theodore R. Sarbin
Theodore Roy Sarbin , known as "Ted Sarbin", was an American psychologist and professor emeritus of psychology and criminology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He was known as "Mr. Role Theory" because of his contributions to the social psychology of role-taking.- Biography :Sarbin was...

. Sarbin argued that hypnotic responses were motivated attempts to fulfill the socially constructed roles of hypnotic subjects. This has led to the misconception that hypnotic subjects are simply "faking". However, Sarbin emphasised the difference between faking, in which there is little subjective identification with the role in question, and role-taking, in which the subject not only acts externally in accord with the role but also subjectively identifies with it to some degree, acting, thinking, and feeling "as if" they are hypnotised. Sarbin drew analogies between role-taking in hypnosis and role-taking in other areas such as method acting, mental illness, and shamanic possession, etc. This interpretation of hypnosis is particularly relevant to understanding stage hypnosis in which there is clearly strong peer pressure to comply with a socially constructed role by performing accordingly on a theatrical stage.

Hence, the social constructionism and role-taking theory of hypnosis suggests that individuals are enacting (as opposed to merely playing) a role and that really there is no such thing as a hypnotic trance. A socially constructed relationship is built depending on how much rapport
Rapport
Rapport is a term used to describe, in common terms, the relationship of two or more people who are in sync or on the same wavelength because they feel similar and/or relate well to each other....

 has been established between the "hypnotist" and the subject (see Hawthorne effect
Hawthorne effect
The Hawthorne effect is a form of reactivity whereby subjects improve or modify an aspect of their behavior being experimentally measured simply in response to the fact that they know they are being studied, not in response to any particular experimental manipulation.The term was coined in 1950 by...

, Pygmalion effect
Pygmalion effect
The Pygmalion effect, or Rosenthal effect, refers to the phenomenon in which the greater the expectation placed upon people, often children or students and employees, the better they perform...

, and placebo effect
Placebo effect
Placebo effect may refer to:* Placebo effect, the tendency of any medication or treatment, even an inert or ineffective one, to exhibit results simply because the recipient believes that it will work...

).

Psychologists such as Robert Baker
Robert A. Baker
Robert Allen Baker Jr. was an American psychologist, skeptic, author, and investigator of ghosts, UFO abductions, lake monsters and other paranormal phenomena. He wrote 15 books and is a Past Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.-Early life:Baker was born in 1921 in the little community...

 and Graham Wagstaff claim that what we call hypnosis is actually a form of learned social behaviour, a complex hybrid of social compliance, relaxation, and suggestibility that can account for many esoteric behavioural manifestations.

Cognitive-behavioural theory

Barber, Spanos, & Chaves (1974) proposed a nonstate "cognitive-behavioural" theory of hypnosis, similar in some respects to Sarbin's
Theodore R. Sarbin
Theodore Roy Sarbin , known as "Ted Sarbin", was an American psychologist and professor emeritus of psychology and criminology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He was known as "Mr. Role Theory" because of his contributions to the social psychology of role-taking.- Biography :Sarbin was...

 social role-taking theory and building upon the earlier research of Barber. On this model, hypnosis is explained as an extension of ordinary psychological processes like imagination, relaxation, expectation, social compliance, etc. In particular, Barber argued that responses to hypnotic suggestions were mediated by a "positive cognitive set" consisting of positive expectations, attitudes, and motivation. Daniel Araoz subsequently coined the acronym "TEAM" to symbolise the subject's orientation to hypnosis in terms of "trust", "expectation", "attitude", and "motivation".

Barber et al., noted that similar factors appeared to mediate the response both to hypnotism and to cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), in particular systematic desensitization. Hence, research and clinical practice inspired by their interpretation has led to growing interest in the relationship between hypnotherapy and CBT.

Information theory

An approach loosely based on Information theory
Information theory
Information theory is a branch of applied mathematics and electrical engineering involving the quantification of information. Information theory was developed by Claude E. Shannon to find fundamental limits on signal processing operations such as compressing data and on reliably storing and...

 uses a brain-as-computer
Computer
A computer is a programmable machine designed to sequentially and automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem...

 model. In adaptive systems, feedback
Feedback
Feedback describes the situation when output from an event or phenomenon in the past will influence an occurrence or occurrences of the same Feedback describes the situation when output from (or information about the result of) an event or phenomenon in the past will influence an occurrence or...

 increases the signal-to-noise ratio
Signal-to-noise ratio
Signal-to-noise ratio is a measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise. It is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power. A ratio higher than 1:1 indicates more signal than noise...

, which may converge towards a steady state. Increasing the signal-to-noise ratio enables messages to be more clearly received. The hypnotist's object is to use techniques to reduce interference and increase the receptability of specific messages (suggestions).

Systems theory

Systems theory
Systems theory
Systems theory is the transdisciplinary study of systems in general, with the goal of elucidating principles that can be applied to all types of systems at all nesting levels in all fields of research...

, in this context, may be regarded as an extension of Braid's original conceptualization of hypnosis as involving a process of enhancing or depressing nervous system activity. Systems theory considers the nervous system
Nervous system
The nervous system is an organ system containing a network of specialized cells called neurons that coordinate the actions of an animal and transmit signals between different parts of its body. In most animals the nervous system consists of two parts, central and peripheral. The central nervous...

's organization into interacting subsystems. Hypnotic phenomena thus involve not only increased or decreased activity of particular subsystems, but also their interaction. A central phenomenon in this regard is that of feedback loops, which suggest a mechanism for creating hypnotic phenomena.

Practicing hypnosis

Hypnosis clinics may be found around the world specializing in:
  • Weight loss
  • Pain relief
  • Stress relief
  • Athletics
  • Addiction cessation

Historical figures

  • Étienne Eugène Azam
    Étienne Eugène Azam
    Étienne Eugène Azam was a French surgeon from Bordeaux who is chiefly remembered for his work in psychology, particularly a case involving a female patient he named "Félida X" who seemed to have "alternating personalities", or what Azam referred to as doublement de la vie.Over a number of years...

  • Vladimir Bekhterev
    Vladimir Bekhterev
    Vladimir Mikhailovich Bekhterev was a Russian Neurologist and the Father of Objective Psychology. He is best known for noting the role of the hippocampus in memory, his study of reflexes, and Bekhterev’s Disease...

  • Hippolyte Bernheim
    Hippolyte Bernheim
    Hippolyte Bernheim was a French physician and neurologist, born at Mülhausen, Alsace. He received his education in his native town and at the University of Strasbourg, where he was graduated as doctor of medicine in 1867...

  • Alfred Binet
    Alfred Binet
    Alfred Binet was a French psychologist who was the inventor of the first usable intelligence test, known at that time as the Binet test and today referred to as the IQ test. His principal goal was to identify students who needed special help in coping with the school curriculum...

  • James Braid (surgeon)
  • John Milne Bramwell
    John Milne Bramwell
    John Milne Bramwell was a Scottish physician and author, born at Perth, and educated at the University of Edinburgh.He collected the works of James Braid the founder of hypnotism and helped to revive and maintain Braid's legacy in Great Britain. He studied hypnotism thoroughly, including that...

  • Jean-Martin Charcot
    Jean-Martin Charcot
    Jean-Martin Charcot was a French neurologist and professor of anatomical pathology. He is known as "the founder of modern neurology" and is "associated with at least 15 medical eponyms", including Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis...

  • Émile Coué
    Émile Coué
    Émile Coué de la Châtaigneraie was a French psychologist and pharmacist who introduced a method of psychotherapy and self-improvement based on optimistic autosuggestion....


  • John Elliotson
    John Elliotson
    John Elliotson was an English physician, born in Southwark, London.He studied medicine first at the University of Edinburgh , where he was influenced by Thomas Brown, M.D...

  • James Esdaile
    James Esdaile
    Dr James Esdaile , the eldest son of the Rev. James Esdaile and Margaret Blair, was born on 6 February 1808 in Montrose, Angus, Scotland, is a notable figure in the history of mesmerism. Esdaile married three times.-Education:...

  • George Estabrooks
    George Estabrooks
    George Hoben Estabrooks was a Canadian-American psychologist.George Estabrooks was a Harvard University graduate, a Rhodes Scholar, chairman of the Department of Psychology at Colgate University and an authority on hypnosis during World War II. He is known for hypnoprogramming U.S...

  • Abbé Faria
    Abbé Faria
    Abbé Faria , or Abbé José Custódio de Faria, , was a colourful Goan Catholic monk who was one of the pioneers of the scientific study of hypnotism, following on from the work of Franz Anton Mesmer...

  • Sigmund Freud
    Sigmund Freud
    Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

  • Pierre Janet
    Pierre Janet
    Pierre Marie Félix Janet was a pioneering French psychologist, philosopher and psychotherapist in the field of dissociation and traumatic memory....

  • Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault
    Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault
    Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault was a French physician universally acknowledged as the founder of the famous school that became known as the "Nancy School", or the "Suggestion School", and he is considered by many to...


  • Franz Mesmer
    Franz Mesmer
    Franz Anton Mesmer , sometimes, albeit incorrectly, referred to as Friedrich Anton Mesmer, was a German physician with an interest in astronomy, who theorised that there was a natural energetic transference that occurred between all animated and inanimate objects that he called magnétisme animal ...

  • Albert Moll
  • Julian Ochorowicz
    Julian Ochorowicz
    Julian Leopold Ochorowicz was a Polish philosopher, psychologist, inventor , poet, publicist and leading exponent of Polish Positivism.-Life:Julian Ochorowicz was the son of Julian and Jadwiga, née...

  • Ivan Pavlov
    Ivan Pavlov
    Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was a famous Russian physiologist. Although he made significant contributions to psychology, he was not in fact a psychologist himself but was a mathematician and actually had strong distaste for the field....

  • Morton Prince
    Morton Prince
    Morton Henry Prince was an American physician who specialized in neurology and abnormal psychology, and was a leading force in establishing psychology as a clinical and academic discipline. He was part of a handful of men who disseminated European ideas about psychopathology, especially in...

  • Marquis de Puységur
    Marquis de Puységur
    Although Armand-Marie-Jacques de Chastenet, Marquis de Puységur , was a French aristocrat from one of the most illustrious families of the French nobility, he is now remembered as one of the pre-scientific founders of hypnotism .The Marquis de Puységur learned about Mesmerism from his brother...

  • Otto Georg Wetterstrand
    Otto Georg Wetterstrand
    Otto Georg Wetterstrand was a Swedish physician and psychotherapist who was a native of Skövde.Wetterstrand studied medicine at the University of Uppsala, and in 1871 received his medical license at Karolinska Institute...

  • Bodhidharma
    Bodhidharma
    Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th/6th century AD. He is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Ch'an to China, and regarded as the first Chinese patriarch...



Modern researchers

  • Theodore X. Barber
  • Deirdre Barrett
    Deirdre Barrett
    Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D. is an author and psychologist who teaches at Harvard Medical School. She is known for her research on dreams, hypnosis, and imagery and has written on evolutionary psychology. Barrett is a Past President of The International Association for the Study of Dreams and of the...

  • Stephen Brooks
    Stephen Brooks (hypnotherapist)
    Stephen Haig Brooks, is a British hypnotherapist and a pioneer in the development of indirect hypnosis...

  • Etzel Cardeña
    Etzel Cardeña
    Etzel Cardeña ' is Thorsen Professor of Psychology at Lund University, Sweden where he is Director of the Centre for Research on Consciousness and Anomalous Psychology...

  • Dave Elman
    Dave Elman
    Dave Elman is primarily known today as an author of a book on hypnosis. Over the course of his life he was also well known as the creator and host of a popular radio show known as Hobby Lobby as well as a songwriter and lyricist.-Early life:...

  • George Estabrooks
    George Estabrooks
    George Hoben Estabrooks was a Canadian-American psychologist.George Estabrooks was a Harvard University graduate, a Rhodes Scholar, chairman of the Department of Psychology at Colgate University and an authority on hypnosis during World War II. He is known for hypnoprogramming U.S...



  • Milton Erickson
  • Hans Eysenck
    Hans Eysenck
    Hans Jürgen Eysenck was a German-British psychologist who spent most of his career in Britain, best remembered for his work on intelligence and personality, though he worked in a wide range of areas...

  • Jack Stanley Gibson
    Jack Stanley Gibson
    Dr Jack Stanley Gibson was an Irish surgeon remembered for having advocated the use of hypnosis as an alternative to anaesthetics, not only through his surgical practice, but also through popular phonograph records, books, and videotapes....

  • Ernest R. Hilgard
  • Clark L. Hull
    Clark L. Hull
    Clark Leonard Hull was an influential American psychologist who sought to explain learning and motivation by scientific laws of behavior. Born in Akron, New York, Hull obtained bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Michigan, and in 1918 a PhD from the University of...

  • Irving Kirsch
    Irving Kirsch
    Irving Kirsch is Associate Director of the Program in Placebo Studies and a lecturer in medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He is also a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Hull, United Kingdom and the University of Connecticut in the...



  • Ainslie Meares
    Ainslie Meares
    Ainslie Dixon Meares was an Australian psychiatrist, scholar of hypnotism, psychotherapist, authority on stress and a prolific author who lived and practised in Melbourne.-Early life:...

  • Dylan Morgan
    Dylan Morgan
    John Dylan Morgan was a physicist, hypnotherapist and author. He developed a theoretical approach to hypnotherapy which he published in his book Principles of Hypnotherapy...

  • Martin Orne
  • Theodore Sarbin
  • Nicholas Spanos
    Nicholas Spanos
    Nicholas P. Spanos , PhD, was Professor of Psychology and Director of the Laboratory for Experimental Hypnosis at Carleton University from 1975 to his death in a single engine plane crash in 1994.-Biography:...

  • Andre Weitzenhoffer


Related subjects

  • Erotic hypnosis
  • Highway hypnosis
    Highway hypnosis
    Highway hypnosis, also popularly known as driving without attention mode or white line fever, is a mental state in which a person can drive a truck or automobile great distances, responding to external events in the expected manner with no recollection of having consciously done so...

  • History of hypnosis
    History of hypnosis
    This article is about the development of concepts, beliefs and practices related to hypnosis and hypnotherapy from prehistoric to modern times.Although often viewed as one continuous history, the term hypnosis only gained widespread use in the 1880s, initially amongst those influenced by the...

  • Hypnagogia
    Hypnagogia
    Hypnagogia is the transitional state between wakefulness and sleep , originally coined in adjectival form as "hypnagogic" by Alfred Maury....

  • Hypnosis in popular culture
    Hypnosis in popular culture
    For over a century hypnosis has been a popular theme in fiction and music; it features in film from almost their inception and more recently has been depicted in television and online media...

  • Hypnosurgery
    Hypnosurgery
    Hypnosurgery is the term given to an operation where the patient is sedated using hypnotherapy rather than traditional anaesthetics. It is still in its experimental stages, and not often used....

  • Hypnotherapy
    Hypnotherapy
    Hypnotherapy is a therapy that is undertaken with a subject in hypnosis.The word "hypnosis" is an abbreviation of James Braid's term "neuro-hypnotism", meaning "sleep of the nervous system"....

  • Hypnotherapy in childbirth
  • Hypnotherapy in the United Kingdom
    Hypnotherapy in the United Kingdom
    In the United Kingdom there are several hypnotherapy organizations. Each organisation has a Code of Ethics and Practise seeking to protect the public and maintain professional standards. Over the years the number of hypnotherapy organisations has proliferated, often associated with particular...

  • Neuro-linguistic programming
    Neuro-linguistic programming
    Neuro-linguistic programming is an approach to psychotherapy, self-help and organizational change. Founders Richard Bandler and John Grinder say that NLP is a model of interpersonal communication and a system of alternative therapy which seeks to educate people in self-awareness and effective...

  • Scientology and hypnosis
    Scientology and hypnosis
    The Church of Scientology officially denies that it uses hypnosis as part of its beliefs and practices. Individuals admitting to having had hypnosis, as either a participant or practitioner, are not permitted to undergo training due to the possibility of harm caused by the prior exposure to hypnosis...

  • Sedative
    Sedative
    A sedative or tranquilizer is a substance that induces sedation by reducing irritability or excitement....

     (also known as sedative-hypnotic drug)


External links

  • Hypnosis at the Open Directory Project
    Open Directory Project
    The Open Directory Project , also known as Dmoz , is a multilingual open content directory of World Wide Web links. It is owned by Netscape but it is constructed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors.ODP uses a hierarchical ontology scheme for organizing site listings...

  • Hypnosis at the Best of the Web
    Best of the Web Directory
    Best of the Web Directory is a commercial web directory providing websites categorized topically and regionally. Headquartered in Jericho, New York, BOTW also maintains offices in Orange, Texas, Rocklin, California, Studio City, California and Highland Beach, Florida.Founded in 1994 at the...

  • Hypnosis: Why it's done at the Mayo Clinic
    Mayo Clinic
    Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical practice and medical research group specializing in treating difficult patients . Patients are referred to Mayo Clinic from across the U.S. and the world, and it is known for innovative and effective treatments. Mayo Clinic is known for being at the top of...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK