Clinical hypnosis has been defined as a mind-body therapy that involves a deeply relaxed state, individualized mental imagery, and therapeutic suggestion. Clinical hypnosis has a very long history, with reports of medical application dating back to the 18th century. Some have suggested that there is even evidence for the use of clinical hypnosis since ancient times, with inscriptions of hypnotic-like phenomena on a stone stele from Egypt during the reign of Ramses XII, some 3,000 years ago.
The word hypnosis, derived from the Greek word for sleep, was coined by James Braid in 1841. Clinical hypnosis is a mind-body therapy, one of the fastest-growing and most commonly employed categories of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), as defined by the NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) of the National Institutes of Health. A national health interview survey of medical usage in 2007 found that 4 out of 10 US respondents reported having used complementary and alternative medical treatments in the previous year. Further, research suggests that CAM use continues to be highest among those with chronic diseases (eg, cancer).[2,3] Mind-body interventions such as clinical hypnosis are also becoming popular for their ease of integration into an overall cancer survivorship treatment plan with relatively low risks.
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