2. Etymology: from Greek hypnos, "sleep" + paideia "child".
2. Persisting temporarily after sleep before complete awakening; as with dreams or visions.
The ancient Greeks invoked sleep by appealing to a god called Hypnos, from whose name the word "hypnotism" was coined many centuries later. The link is quite appropriate, for in ancient Greece, if a person went into a deep sleep or trance situation from which it was difficult to arouse him, it was logically assumed that Hypnos had taken control over that unfortunate individual.
So, even that far back, there was a discernible difference between natural and hypnotic sleep. The Romans had a similar god named Somnus, who was blamed for producing odd forms of sleep; hence, the modern term "somnambulism" is used to signify sleep-walking and also to denote a hypnotic state that resembles it.
In artistic works, he is often represented as a winged god, the twin brother of Thanatos (ancient Greek personification of death) who is similarly represented.
2. An artificially induced altered state of consciousness, characterized by heightened suggestibility and receptivity to direction: Hypnosis can be used successfully to reduce fears, anxieties, and pain in addition to overcoming undesirable habits and in order to pursue self-desired goals.
Hypnosis also provides the means to cope with the stresses of the modern world more easily.
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2. Therapy based on, or using hypnosis, especially for treatment of chronic pain.
3. The use of hypnosis as the major or sole modality of psychotherapy.
Hypnotherapy is defined by some as "psychotherapy" that uses hypnosis as part of its treatment in an effort to uncover events from a person's past that may be influencing someone's present thoughts.
It is emphasized by experts that "hypnosis in itself is not hypnotherapy."
2. An agent that causes an insensitivity to pain by inhibiting certain impulses or by inhibiting the reception of sensory impressions in the cortical centers of the brain, thus causing partial or complete unconsciousness.
3. Any agent that produces, or tends to produce, sleep; an opiate; a soporific; a narcotic.
Hypnotics include sedatives, analgesics, anesthetics, and intoxicants, and are sometimes called somnifacients and soporifics when used to induce sleep.
Following the challenges about the validity or accuracy of Mesmerism by the medical profession, few reputable physicians practiced mesmerism until the middle of the nineteenth century, or early 1840's, when James Braid, a Manchester, England, surgeon, experimenting with the phenomenon, decided that it was not at all due to "animal magnetism" or to any other mysterious influence that passed from the physician to the patient.
Braid noticed that a trance produced by "fixing attention" was similar to that of animal magnetism but at first thought it was a different condition.
Later he concluded the two were identical. Early in his work, he believed that the fixation of the eyes on a bright object brought on a trance but, with more experience, he concluded that suggestion was the real explanation.
It was Braid who coined from the Greek element hypnos, meaning "sleep", the words hypnotism and hypnosis to describe this new science and the trance condition that was produced. He maintained that through the aid of hypnotism important physical and psychical effects could be obtained.
So, it was James Braid (1795-1860), a Scottish surgeon and hypnotist, who inaugurated modern hypnotic techniques in his book, Neurypnology, studying the subject with a seriousness that led to the inclusion of hypnotism in the treatment of nervous disorders by his successors.
At first he called the procedure "neuro-hypnosis" and then, believing sleep was involved, he suggested "hypnosis". Realizing that hypnosis was not really "sleep", he later tried to change the name to monoideaism (or monoideism, "a marked preoccupation with one idea or subject"), but the term hypnosis has remained ever since.
For many years, Braid practiced in London, using suggestion therapy and performing operations by using hypnotic anesthesia (typically anaesthesia is the British spelling).