The word “hypnosis” (from the Greek hypnos, “sleep”) is an abbreviation of James Braid’s (1841) term “neuro-hypnotism”, meaning “sleep of the nervous system”.

A person who is hypnotized displays certain unusual characteristics and propensities, compared with a non-hypnotized subject, most notably hyper-suggestibility, which some authorities have considered a sine qua non of hypnosis (although whilst in a trance state patients cannot be made to do anything that is against their moral code).

Clark L. Hull, probably the first major empirical researcher in the field, wrote

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…[1]

Hypnotherapy is often applied in order to modify a subject’s behavior, emotional content, and attitudes, as well as a wide range of conditions including dysfunctional habits, anxiety, stress-related illness, pain management, and personal development.

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