Recently, I was watching an episode of the Ricki Lake Show that featured a master hypnotist. Glued to the television, I witnessed a group of volunteers make fools of themselves - dancing with mops, impersonating animals, and other abnormal acts. Thus, my curiosity peaked. Over the years, hypnosis has been a topic studied by scientists, doctors, philosophers, new agers, and those such as myself.
The Encarta Encyclopedia defines hypnosis as, "an altered state of consciousness and heightened responsiveness to suggestion". It may be induced by normal persons through a variety of methods and has been used occasionally in medical and psychiatric treatment. Most frequently brought about through the actions of an operator, or "hypnotist", who engages the attention of a subject and assigns certain tasks to him or her while uttering monotonous, repetitive verbal commands. Such tasks may include muscle relaxation, eye fixation, and arm levitation. Hypnosis a...