It is a very widespread common misconception that hypnotism involves a state resembling unconsciousness or sleep.
This can be largely attributed to the fact that the word “hypnotism” derives from hypnos, the Greek word for sleep.
However, few people realise that the word “hypnotism” is actually an abbreviation for the longer term “neuro-hypnotism”, meaning sleep of the nervous system, as opposed to normal sleep.
It was coined around 1841 by James Braid, the Scottish surgeon whom many authorities consider to be the founder of hypnotherapy.
Braid simply meant that hypnotic subjects would typically become physically relaxed and engrossed in a single idea to the exclusion of any distractions. Indeed, according to its founder, hypnotism was better characterised as a state of conscious concentration rather than unconsciousness.