The use of hypnosis as a scientific method started in the late 18th century with Franz Mesmer (hence the word mesmerise!) but it first had its roots in ancient history. It is the oldest form of psychotherapy in the Western world. Hypnotherapy today is the use of hypnosis to facilitate therapeutic change. Put simply, hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation, hyper focus, concentration and suggestibility. People are often sceptical about, or scared of hypnosis because they associate it with stage hypnotism however
During a hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy goes well beyond the concept of simple suggestions that can be seen with hypnosis. A hypnotherapist is working with you to find the underlying reason for any current issue, examining past events and the interpretation of these events to identify a root cause. Once the root cause is understood the hypnotherapist will then use techniques to rewire the neural pathways within the brain to create the required change.
Hypnotherapy is therefore based on neuroscience and works with the neuroplasticity of the brain. This refers to the brain’s ability to change which is a relatively new concept. A 2005 study by Draganski et al discovered that the effects of neuroplasticity actually occur more rapidly than first thought. Although it is early days for research it is clear from the existing studies that hypnosis involves a specific psychological state. This is good news for hypnotherapy as studies have shown that the power of suggestion causes real, measurable changes in the brain.