Academic Reading

Just Relax IELTS Reading Academic with Answers

Just Relax IELTS Reading Academic with Answers

Reading Passage 2

Just relax …

A. Hypnosis is an intriguing and fascinating process. A trance-like mental state is induced in one person by another, who appears to have the power to command that person to obey instructions without question. Hypnotic experiences were described by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, whilst references to deep sleep and anaesthesia have been found in the Bible and in the Jewish Talmud. In the mid-1700s, Franz Mesmer, an Austrian physician, developed his theory of ‘animal magnestism’, which was the belief that the cause of disease was the ‘improper distribution of invisible magnetic fluids’.

Mesmer used water tubs and magnetic wands to direct these supposed fluids to his patients. In 1784, a French commission studied Mesmer’s claims, and concluded that these ‘cures’ were only imagined by the patients. However, people continued to believe in this process of ‘mesmerism’ and it was soon realised that successful results could be achieved, but without the need for magnets and water.

B. The term hypnotism was first used by James Braid, a British physician who studied suggestion and hypnosis in the mid-1800s. He demonstrated that hypnosis differed from sleep, that it was a physiological response and not the result of secret powers. During this same period, James Esdaile, a Scottish doctor working in India, used hypnotism instead of anaesthetic in over 200 major surgical operations, including leg amputations. Later that century, a French neurologist, Jean Charcot, successfully experimented with hypnosis in his clinic for nervous disorders.

C. Since then, scientists have shown that the state of hypnosis is a natural human behaviour, which can affect psychological, social and/or physical experiences. The effects of hypnotism depend on the ability, willingness and motivation of the person being hypnotised. Although hypnosis has been compared to dreaming and sleepwalking, it is not actually related to sleep. It involves a more active and intense mental concentration of the person being hypnotised. Hypnotised people can talk, write, and walk about and they are usually fully aware of what is being said and done.

D. There are various techniques used to induce hypnosis. The best-known is a series of simple suggestions repeated continuously in the same tone of voice. The subject is instructed to focus their attention on an object or fixed point, while being told to relax, breathe deeply, and allow the eyelids to grow heavy and close. As the person responds, their state of attention changes, and this altered state often leads to other changes. For example, the person may experience different levels of awareness, consciousness, imagination, memory and reasoning or become more responsive to suggestions.

Additional phenomena may be produced or eliminated such as blushing, sweating, paralysis, muscle tension or anaesthesia. Although these changes can occur with hypnosis, none of these experiences is unique to it. People who are very responsive to hypnosis are also more responsive to Suggestions when they are not hypnotised. This responsiveness increases during hypnotism. This explains why hypnosis takes only a few seconds for some, whilst other people cannot be easily hypnotized.

E. It is a common misunderstanding that hypnotists are able to force people to perform criminal or any other acts against their will. In fact, subjects can resist suggestions, and they retain their ability to distinguish right from wrong. This misunderstanding is often the result of public performances where subjects perform ridiculous or highly embarrassing actions at the command of the hypnotist. These people are usually instructed not to recall their behaviour after re-emerging from the hypnotic state, so it appears that they were powerless while hypnotised. The point to remember, however, is that these individuals chose to participate, and the success; of hypnotism depends on the willingness of a person to be hypnotised. ielts-reading

F. Interestingly, there are different levels of hypnosis achievable. Thus deep hypnosis can be induced to allow anaesthesia for surgery, childbirth or dentistry. This contrasts to a lighter state of hypnosis, which deeply relaxes the patient who will then follow simple directions. This latter state may be used to treat mental health problems, as it allows patients to feel calm while simultaneously thinking about distressing feelings or painful memories. Thus patients can learn new responses to situations or come up with solutions to problems.

This can help recovery from psychological conditions such as anxiety, depression or phobias. Sometimes, after traumatic incidents, memory of the events may be blocked. For example, some soldiers develop amnesia [loss of memory] as a result of their experiences during wartime. Through hypnosis these repressed memories can be retrieved and treated. A variation of this treatment involves age regression, when the hypnotist takes the patient back to a specific age. In this way patients may remember events and feelings from that time, which may be affecting their current well- being.

G. Physicians also have made use of the ability of a hypnotised person to remain in a given position for long periods of time. In one case, doctors had to graft skin onto a patient’s badly damaged foot. First, skin from the person’s abdomen was grafted onto his arm; then the graft was transferred to his foot.

With hypnosis, the patient held his arm tightly in position over his abdomen for three weeks, then over his foot for four weeks. Even though these positions were unusual, the patient at no time felt uncomfortable!

H. Hypnosis occasionally has been used with witnesses and victims of crime to enable people to remember important clues, such as a criminal’s physical appearance or other significant details that might help to solve a crime. However, as people can. both lie and make mistakes while hypnotised, the use of hypnotism in legal situations can cause serious problems. Also hypnosis cannot make a person divulge secret information if they don’t want to. This was confirmed by the Council on Scientific Affairs of the American Medical Association, which, in 1985 reported that memories refreshed through, hypnosis may include inaccurate information, false memories, and confabulation (fact and fantasy combined). ielts-reading.com

Questions 14-18
The passage has eight sections A-H.
Choose the most suitable heading for sections B-F from the list of headings below.
Write the appropriate numbers (i-x). There are more headings than sections, so you will not use all of them.

14. Section B
15. Section C
16. Section D
17. Section E
18. Section F

List of Headings

i. Use of hypnotism in criminal cases
ii. The normality of hypnotised subjects’ behavior
iii. Early medical experiments with hypnotism
iv. Early association of hypnosis with psychology
v. Dangers of hypnotism
vi. How to hypnotise
vii. Hypnosis and free will
viii. Difference between mesmerism and hypnotism
ix. Therapeutic uses of hypnosis
x. Origins of hypnosis ielts-reading

Questions 19-23
Complete the notes on the history of hypnosis using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage.

References to hypnotism can be found in both the Talmud and the (19) _________________. . Even when Mesmer’s (20) _________________. were not used, successful results occurred without them. Braid identified hypnosis as a natural (21) _________________. response, rather than magical or mystical. Early psychological studies showed the difference between sleep and hypnosis. Successful hypnosis requires the subject’s active (22) _________________. . Consequently subjects can speak or move around and are (23) _________________. of their surroundings.

Questions 24-28
Choose the correct letter A-D.

24. In order to induce hypnosis, the hypnotist will …

A. encourage the person to relax using a repetitively even tone of voice.
B. say a specific set of words in a special tone of voice.
C. say any words but in a particular tone of voice.
D. encourage the person to relax while focussing on a slowly moving object.

25. Hypnotised subjects can be instructed to …

A. do something they have previously said is against their wishes.
B. demonstrate physical strength they would normally not have.
C. reveal confidential information against their will.
D. do something that they would not normally be opposed to doing.

26. Past events are recalled under hypnosis …

A. to entertain the hypnotist.
B. to allow subjects to reassess them without distress.
C. to help the subjects improve their memories.
D. to make the subject feel younger.

27. After surgery, hypnosis may be used …

A. to make drugs unnecessary.
B. to keep the patient mobile.
C. to make the patient forget to move.
D. to minimise patient’s discomfort while immobile.

28. The American Medical Association reported that …

A. people lie when giving evidence under hypnosis.
B. people should be hypnotised before giving evidence.
C. evidence given, when hypnotised may be unreliable.
D. secret evidence can be obtained through hypnosis.


Just Relax IELTS Reading Answers

14. iii

15. ii

16. vi

17. vii

18. ix

19. BIBLE

20. MAGNETS AND WATER

21. PHYSIOLOGICAL/HUMAN

22. (MENTAL) CONCENTRATION

23. (FULLY) AWARE

24. A

25. D

26. B

27. D

28. C

Also Check: How should Reading be Taught IELTS Reading Academic

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