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Hypnosis is the altered state of consciousness brought on by a hypnotist using various techniques (staring at an object, verbal commands, etc.). The English physician James Braid, in his Neurhypnology (1843), popularized, or may even have coined, the word "hypnotism." "Hypnosis" appears to have come into use later.

Braid sought to replace unscientific ideas and practices with a scientific conception of a "peculiar state of the nervous system induced by a fixed and abstracted attention of the mental and visual eye." He also hoped to..