You know those cartoons or movies where, in most cases, the villain hypnotizes a person and that unfortunate someone suddenly believes they’re a chicken? Hypnotism is a much more complex topic then that.  The idea of hypnosis may seem unusual, usually associated with the idea of experiencing something supernatural. To better understand hypnosis, we need to look into how it came to be, the advantages and disadvantages that come with it, and how it exactly works.Hypnotism has been around for an extremely long time. It’s only recently that we’ve discovered it and are learning more about it. Many used to believe, and still believe, that hypnosis is some sort of “occulent power.” Dating back to the times of the Ancient Egyptians, the main purpose of hypnosis has always been to increase knowledge and curing human illnesses, according to the website History of Hypnosis. The article states that the Egyptians performed practices “that tend to be for magical or religious purposes, such as divination or communicating with gods and spirits.” Although today, it is more often used for scientific purposes. Speed up to the 18th century, and you meet a man named Franz Mesmer. He was one of the first people to make scientific notions of hypnotism. Add physicians named James Esdaille and John Elliston, and you create a group of people eager to further advance the science behind hypnosis. Many people use hypnotism to better help themselves but many are also wary of it. “All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. You are in control of your hypnotic state each moment,” according to Mind Based Healing. “It activates a deep relaxation response in your body that reduces sympathetic nervous system activity, decreases blood pressure, slows heart rate, and accelerates healing.” The art of hypnosis helps trick the mind to help the person feel better. Although, along with advantages, there are several precautions. If the patient is not willing to go through with hypnosis and is carrying doubts, it won’t help. It isn’t a permanent solution to your problem either. Sarah Vaughter, medical expert, states, that there could even be potential side effects such as “obscuring actual physical health problems, suicidal depression, panic attacks or psychotic episodes, and symptom substitution.”The process of hypnotism is much more diverse than you would first believe. Strongly recommended to do the process with professional aid, hypnosis is a psychological method involving the relaxation of the mind. According to Oxford Hypnotherapy, “Hypnosis is not a state of deep sleep. It is thought to work by altering our state of consciousness in such a way that the analytical left-hand side of the brain is turned off, while the non-analytical right-hand side is made more alert.” Say that you have a strong fear of spiders. You may try to consciously overcome the fear but as long as your mind holds onto this terror, you will fail. The process of hypnosis involves the rewiring of the brain, causing opinions, or in this case fears, to change, according to Dr. Hilary Jones. Hypnotism is still a brand-new concept but understanding how it came to be, the advantages and disadvantages, and how the process works can help you comprehend. The idea of controlling someone with a pocket watch or seeing swirls and suddenly thinking you’re a chicken is an old misconception. Next time you watch a film where someone hypnotizes a person, know that there is so much more behind it.

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