Hypnosis has moved from the world of magic into the world of medicine.
Hypnosis is being used to help people stop smoking, lose weight, overcome phobias and control pain in a variety of medicinal situations from childbirth to cancer.
Trance, which occurs spontaneously under certain psychological conditions, is artificially induced by means of hypnosis.
From 1845 to 1851 Dr Esdail was treating patients under mesmerism in Imambura hospital at Hoogly, Calcutta. Before he left India he had performed three hundred major operations and innumerable minor ones- all of them in mesmeric trance. He reduced the mortality in the operation for scrotal tumors from about 50 percent to 5 percent.
Esdail’s, ‘Mesmerism in India and its practical application in surgery and medicine, 1847’, gives a good account of his work.
A committee appointed by the Bengal Government consisting J.Atkinson, Inspector-General of Hospitals and six other Europeans, three of whom were doctors, to go into these mesmeric cures gave a favourable report.
Hypnosis is used:
1)by a dentist to get an extra nervous patient to relax and cooperate
2)by an obstetrician to relieve fear and pain during child birth
3)by a psychiatrist to treat anxiety and phobias
4)by a cancer specialist to help patients tolerate intense pain
Hypnotic suggestions or auto-suggestion made under the trance is not a trivial affair.
By hypnotic suggestions even the electrical rhythm of the brain is modified to accord with the suggestion.
Hypnosis is achieved progressively revealing increasing depths of susceptibility. Hypnotic suggestibility forms a graded continuum, different people being susceptible to different degrees. The hypnotic rapport reaches its maximum strength in somnambulic stage, when the subject becomes effectively suggestible.
The subject may be told that a lemon is sweet orange. He will eat it skin and all and behave in all respects as though the lemon were a juicy, sweet, succulent orange.
Hypnosis is to be carried out by a real hypnotist. But some quacks treat people with hypnosis using the names like mind control, relaxation which is unscientific.
Hence those who want to get cured by hypnotherapy should approach a skilled hypnotist only.
The Indian Yogis achieved Para psychic powers through the psycho-physical disciplines known as Yoga. By understanding Yoga one can understand how and why hypnosis works.