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A Brief Histroy Of Hypnosis

Feb 15, 2008
Hypnosis is defined as "a trancelike state that resembles sleep but is induced by a person whose suggestions are readily accepted by the subject." Every kind of hypnotism involves the element of suggestibility, and this concept of controlling the behavior of another is one of those things that gives hypnosis its allure and its colorful history.

Early History Of Hypnosis

Hypnosis can be traced back to prehistoric Indian and Egyptian societies. Who treated their sick by taking the patient to a sleep temple, where hypnotic incantations were used to put the patient in a sleep-like state. Between 1400 and 1700, many early hypnotic healers used suggestibility and the power of magnets to heal individuals afflicted by a variety of ailments.

Modern Medicine Pays Attention

Hypnosis or as it in was called "mesmerism" at the time, was first investigated by Western scientists in about 1770. Austrian physician Dr. Franz Mesmer conducted experiments that showed patients' blood clotted as quickly when a magnet passed over the wound as when the patient was told that a magnet was passing over the wound but the mesmerist actually passed a stick over the wound. Of course, Mesmer's theory relied on the assumption that passing a magnet over a wound causes the blood to clot.

The Indo-Portuguese priest Abbe Faria, in the early 19th century, introduced a form of hypnosis that he said "generated from within the mind" by the intense expectations and suggestibility of the patient. In 1821, Recamier used hypnosis as a form of anesthesia and operated on patients under a "mesmeric coma."

The term hypnosis was coined by the eminent Scottish neurosurgeon Dr. James Braid in 1842, who also helped to develop the hypnotic procedure as we know it today. It was Dr. Braid who introduced the idea of a spinning watch into hypnosis culture, believing that watching a bright moving object over a prolonged period creates a physiological, trance-like response.

Modern Hypnosis

It was Russian medicine that developed the field of obstetric hypnosis, culminating in the Lamaze method of childbirth, where hypnotic suggestion is used to manage pain during childbirth. Lamaze claimed his method was more reflex-driven than hypnotic, but it remains popular with expectant parents today.

After the end of World War II, psychology merged with hypnosis, and this blend was used to treat patients for post traumatic stress disorders. Another blended treatment involved Pavlov's classical conditioning, in which Pavlov had induced pigeons into an altered psychological state. Besides easing pain in childbirth, hypnosis today is used to help patients lose weight, stop smoking, treat drug addiction, and change other destructive behavior that is subject to suggestibility during hypnosis.
About the Author
Robert has numerous qualifications in Alternative Medicine. For more information on Hypnosis Therapy visit Natural Healthcare
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