- : A part of healing from ancient times. The induction of trance states and the use of therapeutic suggestion were a central feature of the early Greek healing temples, and variations of these techniques were practiced throughout the ancient world. Modern hypnosis began in the eighteenth century with Franz Anton Mesmer, who used what he called "magnetic healing" to treat a variety of psychological and psychophysiological disorders, such as hysterical blindness, paralysis, headaches, and joint pains. Since then, the fortunes of hypnosis have ebbed and flowed. Freud, at first, found it extremely effective in treating hysteria and then, troubled by the sudden emergence of powerful emotions in his patients and his own difficulty with its use, abandoned it. In the past 50 years, however, hypnosis has experienced a resurgence, first with physicians and dentists and more recently with psychologists and other mental health professionals. Today, it is widely used for addictions, such as smoking and drug use, for pain controls, and for phobias, such as the fear of flying. Hypnosis is frequently used either independently or in concert with other treatment, including the management of pain, reduction of bleeding in hemophiliacs, stabilization of blood sugar in diabetics, reduction in severity of attacks of hay fever and asthma, increased breast size, the cure of warts, the production of skin blisters and bruises, and control of reaction to allergies such as poison ivy and certain foods.
* * *An artificially induced trancelike state, resembling somnambulism, in which the subject is highly susceptible to suggestion, oblivious to all else, and responds readily to the commands of the hypnotist; its scientific validity has been accepted and rejected through several cycles during the past two centuries. See mesmerism. SYN: hypnotic sleep, hypnotic state. [G. hypnos, sleep, + -osis, condition]- major h. a state of extreme suggestibility in h. in which the subject is insensible to all outside impressions except the commands of the hypnotist.- minor h. an induced state resembling normal sleep in which the subject is susceptible to suggestion, though not to the extent of catalepsy or somnambulism.
* * *1) a trancelike state of altered consciousness that resembles sleep but is induced by a person whose suggestions are readily accepted by the subject2) any of various conditions that resemble sleep3) HYPNOTISM (1)
* * *n.a sleeplike state, artificially induced in a person by a hypnotist, in which the mind is more than usually receptive to suggestion and memories of past events - apparently forgotten - may be elicited by questioning. Hypnotic suggestion has been used for a variety of purposes in medicine, for example as a cure for addiction and in other forms of psychotherapy.
* * *hyp·no·sis (hip-noґsis) [Gr. hypnos sleep] a state of altered consciousness, usually artificially induced, characterized by focusing of attention, heightened responsiveness to suggestions and commands, suspension of disbelief with lowering of critical judgment, the potential of alteration in perceptions, motor control, or memory in response to suggestions, and the subjective experience of responding involuntarily.
Medical dictionary. 2011.