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comes from the Greek word hypnos, ‘sleep’, and the suffix –osis, or from hypnoō, ‘(I) put to sleep’, then this seems outdated.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.