Hypnosis is a state of human consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness and an enhanced capacity for response to suggestion.[1] Theories explaining what occurs during hypnosis fall into two groups. Altered state theories see hypnosis as an altered state of mind or trance, marked by a level of awareness different from the ordinary conscious state.[2][3] In contrast, Non-state theories see hypnosis as a form of imaginative role-enactment.[4][5][6]

During hypnosis, a person is said to have heightened focus and concentration. The person can concentrate intensely on a specific thought or memory, while blocking out sources of distraction.[7] Hypnotised subjects are said to show an increased response to suggestions.[8] Hypnosis is usually induced by a procedure known as a hypnotic induction involving a series of preliminary instructions and suggestions.[1] The use of hypnotism for therapeutic purposes is referred to as "hypnotherapy", while its use as a form of entertainment for an audience is known as "stage hypnosis".


Trance, or Altered States of Consciousness, denotes any state of awareness or consciousness other than normal waking consciousness. Trance states may occur involuntarily and unbidden.

The term trance may be associated with hypnosis, meditation, magic, flow, and prayer. The earlier generic term, “altered states of consciousness” is also applicable, though the term “trance” is preferred in consciousness studies discourse.

Youyou Tu Wins Nobel Prize for Traditional Chinese Medicine

Youyou Tu Nobel PrizeThe 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has gone to Youyou Tu, a researcher who spent her entire career researching traditional Chinese medicine.  Based at the Chinese Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing (AKA the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences) since 1965, Dr. Tu received the Lasker Award in 2011 for her discovery of Artemisinin as an alternative malaria cure to the standard chloroquine, which was rapidly losing efficacy in the 1960s due to increasing drug-resistance.  Research into the properties of traditional Chinese medicinals has been a controversial topic among Western medical scientists for many years, so this Nobel Prize is a dramatic indication of shifting attitudes towards previously dismissed Integrative Medicine. (See the ISHAR page on the topic HERE)

NEW ISHAR FEATURE: Integrative Medicine Journal Portal

 ISHAR is proud to roll out one of the largest and most comprehensive lists of peer-reviewed journals relating to complementary and alternative fields: the ISHAR Integrative Medicine Journal Portal!  This link compilation has over a hundred journals linked (though unlike ISHAR, many require subscriptions) and offers dozens of detailed summaries of those journals that make their sources fully or partially available to the public.  Our goal is not only to provide a massive collection of sources on our own, but to make it easier for visitors to find all the information that is available on a given subject.  If we do not have it, we will help you find who does!


NEW ISHAR FEATURE: Interactive Visual Mapping

One of the problems with any list of data is its nonholistic nature.  In this instance "holistic" is meant in the very literal sense of providing a complete picture of a subject's various parts in simultaneous relation to one another, a description of the whole in addition to the parts.  ISHAR is working to address this issue by creating a comprehensive visual map of Integrative Studies subjects, showing their holistic relationships with each other and with a scientific framework describing modalities, intentions and geo-cultural heritage.  This interactive navigation map is the first of its kind, and ISHAR is proud to provide a new paradigm for exploring Integrative Studies.

Read on to learn how to use the ISHAR Map:

If we don't have something...

...it's because you haven't told us about it yet!

ISHAR Launches with a Bang!

ISHAR Activity ReportDear ISHAR Supporters,

A huge thank you for spreading the word about ISHAR and our launch!  Our initial rollout was a great success, especially considering the website is not yet at full potential.

The ISHAR Library is Live!

Dear ISHAR Supporters,


We are thrilled to announce the official launch of the Integrative Studies Historical Archive & Repository!  It’s been a long, complex, rewarding journey, but we are proud to present the world’s largest single source for academic information on Integrative Studies, including acupuncturemeditationyogaqigong and everything in between.  We hope you’ll enjoy browsing through ISHAR and share your thoughts with us so that we can continually improve the site.

The flame has been lit…

Votive candlesWe always knew it would be a challenge launching an academic library of research on some of the most cutting edge and misunderstood topics in the world, and on top of everything, for free!   We were not disappointed, but ISHAR has persevered.  In the process we’ve been asked numerous questions:




Building ISHAR: A brief journey and continued learnings through inception, growth and fundraising

soil with green shootThus far, it has been an incredible journey.  ISHAR formed just six months ago from a handful of problem solving discussions within a small community. Beginning with little more than an idea, support burgeoned from Deepak Chopra and the Chopra Foundation and spread across the globe. ISHAR, the planted seed, has taken root.

Our tiny operations team was flooded with support, more than we could handle actually. We received honorable mentions and champion videos from many notable figures in the mind/body community. Doctors, yogis, therapists, musicians, medical researchers, biofuel engineers and more found necessity in ISHAR.


Subscribe to ISHAR Online RSS