What is hypnosis?

This has been debated for many decades and you will get varying answers depending on the people you ask. When you look at the dictionary definition the term ‘hypnosis’ (Greek: ὕπνωσις) comes from the Greek word hypnos, ‘sleep’, and the suffix –osis, or from hypnoō, ‘(I) put to sleep’, then this seems outdated.

Hypnosis in layman’s terms

Hypnosis is focused concentration; it is a natural state we go in and out of several times a day and this is sometimes referred to as trance. Trance is a natural every day occurring event that is very similar to the state during the transition from waking to sleeping.

Some examples of our natural hypnotic state include:

  • Watching a film and focusing so intensely that you are not distracted by external sensation.
  • Being at dinner, reaching for the salt and so engrossed in a friend’s story that you stop yourself in mid-reach.
  • Driving a car and day dreaming.
  • Reading a good book and not hearing the kids playing in the next room.