This is a good article which looks into hypnosis in terms of what it is, its history throughout time and its potential uses:
Hypnosis is being researched more and more, in fact it is one of, if not the most heavily researched fields in terms of looking into the use of so called Talking Therapies.
No other field of Talking Therapy has been researched as much as the use of hypnosis in behaviour modification. Despite that we in the modern world are still scratching at the surface so to speak in terms of fully understanding how hypnosis works.
In my 20 years within the hypnosis. hypnotherapy and psychotherapy fields I can most definitely say what hypnosis is.
Hypnosis is not mind control. In addition, it is not devoid or completely separate in comparison to the everyday awakening states because naturalistic or everyday awakening hypnotic states do occur for example drifting off to sleep at night (hypnogogic state) and awakening each morning (hypnopompic state) is a classic example, other examples would be, being engrossed in a good book or movie, sat in front of the TV, being totally absorbed in the plot unfolding before you or driving on automatic pilot on a well known route. These are examples of what are termed, everyday altered states of awareness.
The word trance, is slowly being phased out of hypnotic language and yet I still use it because it is so well known. In addition modern hypnotists are moving away from the terms Conscious Mind, Subconscious Mind and Unconscious Mind and looking at the brain neurology to use terms such as Pre-Frontal Cortex, the Limbic System and the Reptilian or Primal Brain. That said, I still see relevance in keeping well known names such as the Conscious, the Subconscious and the Unconscious because the general public know them so well.
Sleep is a short word often used by hypnotists and hypnotherapists as a hypnotic cue for a person to enter into or re-enter into hypnosis. The word sleep used in this way will have been encoded to cultivate or bring about the hypnotic state.
Its just a simple plus quick way of allowing the individual being hypnotised to go into hypnosis after being hypnotised before. Again some hypnotists and hypnotherapists want to get rid of this word because hypnosis is not sleep and whilst I fully understand that because hypnosis is in fact a state of complete absorption with magnified concentration, a far cry from deep night time sleep, the word sleep is still synonymous with hypnosis in the minds of the general public, so why get rid of it?
I still find hypnosis a fascinating subject and most days you'll discover me, training in hypnosis, learning more about hypnosis and treating clients.
Long live Hypnosis!!
Douglas Clark Master of Hypnotherapy