Time is a valuable thing watch it fly by as the pendulum swings.... pendulum, this makes me think of Hypnosis. All of us have heard of it, but what is it really? Hypnosis is a scientifically verified and effective technique that can promote accelerated human change. With Hypnosis, we can create desired changes in behavior and encourage mental and physical well-being. Learn how to guide yourself and others to lose weight, quit smoking and be free of physical pain. These programs are especially suited for health care professionals, practicing therapists, and all individuals seeking to make a positive change in their lives. (Hypnosis, 2005-2010) Now that you know the definition of hypnosis, let’s find out some more!
With everything comes a history. You may be asking how hypnosis began. History of hypnosis starts from the early ages of civilization. In ancient times, people used it for healing purposes, especially in religious ceremonies. The first type of hypnosis started with animal hypnosis. In 1600-s, farmers calmed chickens hypnotically using different methods. In 1800-s people hypnotized birds, rabbits, frogs and others. B. Danilewsky experimented with animal hypnosis and studied its physiological workings in animals. However the name to remember is Franz Anton Mesmer, an Austrian doctor better known as “the father of hypnosis”. (History of Hypnosis, 2008) Mesmer was successful in treating many people with animal magnetism. He was just the first stepping stone on the way to what we know as hypnosis. There were many for to follow. One pupil of his was Marquis de Puysegur which practiced in the 17-1800’s. He also used animal magnetism; he experimented on a young peasant during the process he noticed that the patient could still communicate with him and respond to his suggestions. Puysegur thought that the will of the person and the operator’s actions were important factors in the success or failure of the magnetism and he believed that a “cosmic fluid” was not magnetic, but electric. Which provided great information for those who followed him.
Another to follow was a Scottish surgeon James Braid gave mesmerism a scientific explanation. He found that some experimental subjects could go into a trance if they simply fixated their eyes on a bright object. He believed that mesmerism is a “nervous sleep” and coined the word hypnosis, derived from the Greek word Hypnos which means sleep. Many of us know of Freud whom was very interested in hypnosis. He observed patients enter a hypnotic state and began to recognize the existence of the unconscious. While helping with some things Feud rejected this method for the use of unlocking repressed memories. He favored his own techniques. With this and the rise of psychoanalysis in the first half of the 20th century hypnosis declined in popularity.
The modern study of hypnosis is usually considered to have begun in the 1930s with Clark Leonard Hull at Yale University. His work Hypnosis and Suggestibility was a rigorous study of the phenomenon, using statistical and experimental analysis. Hull’s studies demonstrated that hypnosis had no connection with sleep (“hypnosis is not sleep, … it has no special relationship to sleep, and the whole concept of sleep when applied to hypnosis obscures the situation“).
Then in 1950s medicine started to use hypnosis for therapy. In 1955 British Medical Association recognized hypnosis therapy and in 1958 the American Medical Association approved a report on the medical use of hypnosis. Two years after the AMA approval, the American Psychological association endorsed hypnosis as a branch of psychology. (History of Hypnosis, 2008) That is some basic background of where hypnosis came through and what it went through to be what it is today. You may be unaware of what hypnosis is used for. Hypnosis is intended to help you gain more control over undesired behaviors or emotions or to help you cope better with a wide range of…