The purpose of this assignment is to explore the question of what is Hypnosis? To better understand hypnosis in our world today it is useful to explore the history of hypnosis and how this has influenced the modern theory and practice. Describing the various psychological and physical aspects of hypnosis. Finally, looking at the role of relaxation in hypnotherapy, before concluding.
The history of hypnosis
Ancient history accounts the use of hypnosis dating back as far as 5000 years ago. Healing centres where built and used, in the ancient city of Saqqara in Egypt, by Egyptian priests who would practice a tradition called “Temple Sleep” on ailing individuals in search of healing, the individual would sleep in a darkened chamber awaiting revelation of a cure for their illnesses. This practice led to Greece where special “sleep temples” where built, ailing people would travel to these temples to undergo a form of hypnosis and healing.
Hypnosis as we know it today had its origins in the unique medical practices of Dr Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815), a German physician whose system of therapeutics, known as mesmerism, was the forerunner of the modern practice of hypnotism. Mesmer, recognised this ancient healing phenomenon and incorporated it into a theory of animal magnetism. Mesmer, believed that a “magnetic fluid” could be stored in inanimate objects, such as magnets and transferred to patients to cure them of illness.
In the early 1770’s, Mesmer was influenced by the Astronomer Royal to the imperial Austrian court, Father Maximilian Hell, who was experimenting with healing properties of magnets.
Mesmer, had a hysterical patient named, Francisca Oesterlin, a friend and companion of Mesmer wife. Francisca, suffered, in Mesmer’s