‘Hypnos’ is Greek for ‘sleep’.
Hypnosis literally means ‘sleep-like’
Hypnosis has been described as a state of introspection or trance – of inner focus – of deep relaxation and peaceful tranquility – accompanied by a sense of heightened awareness. The name was coined in 1840 by Dr James Braid, a Scottish physician.
Individuals vary in their descriptions of this state of directed attention.
Hypnosis has been clinically defined as ‘an altered state of consciousness’ – emphasising that one remains fully conscious during hypnosis, albeit in a different mode to normal waking alertness. A person is not asleep during hypnosis, nor are they unconscious. Indeed, people often report that are more aware of what is taking place than usual.
Hypnosis is a naturally occurring, resourceful, dreamlike state, similar to drifting into sleep.