History of Hypnosis

Hypnosis can be traced back as far as the sleep temples of ancient Egypt at around 3000 BC and it was in use in ancient Greece. It is generally accepted that modern hypnosis really started in the 1770’s when an Austrian called Franz Anton Mesmer developed a method he termed “animal magnetism”. Mesmer believed the humans contained a kind of magnetic fluid and if a person has enough of this fluid he would be healthy. He gave his name to the term “Mesmerism“ and todayhistory of hypnosis we talk about being mesmerised by something. In 1843 a Scottish surgeon by the name of James Braid first started to use the terms hypnotism and hypnosis and he is generally regarded as the father of Hypnotherapy. In the mid 1800’s another Scottish surgeon by the name of James Esdaile pioneered the use of hypnosis as a for surgical anaesthesia. He was serving as an assistant surgeon in India in 1831, he became very well known for his use of hypnosis during operations which he carried out without anaesthetic. He developed the use of eye fixation to prepare patients for surgery; he gave his name to the term the Esdaile state.

Sigmund Freud briefly used hypnotherapy and then subsequently abandoned it when he went on to develop psychoanalysis. There are documented cases of operations being carried in prisoner of war camps in the Second World War where hypnosis was the only anaesthetic available. Other important figures in the modern era where Charles Tebbets who with his use of stage hypnotism brought about a great deal of interest by the public and furthered the acceptance of the use of hypnosis for therapeutic methods.

In the 1950’s an American called Dave Elman brought even more acceptance of hypnotherapy when the Council on Medical health of the American Medical Association accepted the use of hypnotherapy in 1958. Dr Milton Erickson was a psychiatrist and a practising Hypnotherapist with a medical background and by virtue of being a medical doctor; he therefore had high level of credibility within the medical profession and furthered the acceptance of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy enormously. In the modern era hypnosis has continued to be used for surgery there are well document cases of operations being carried out without any chemical anaesthetic being used, dentists are know to use hypnosis so they can carry out dental without the need for a painful injection in the mouth. It has a real use during childbirth and this is commonly used in the Far East where hypnosis is much more readily accepted. The future of hypnosis looks bright it is gaining more and more acceptance throughout the world in general as people begin to realise that there are great benefits to be gained with its use.

“The courage to change and allow healing to take place will create the possibility of true happiness in your life”