The History of Hypnosis
Hypnosis is a specific psychological state that resembles sleep or a dreamlike state. When a person is ‘hypnotised’ they are functioning at a level that is other than the ordinary conscious state, and while they are not asleep, their functioning is altered.
A characteristic of hypnosis that we can all recognise is an individual’s increased receptiveness to influence. A person under hypnosis will appear to listen to the suggestion of the hypnotics and respond in an uncritical and automatic function while at the same time ignoring much of the surrounding environment, other than that which they are made aware of by the hypnotist.
The effects of hypnosis can also go on to impact into subsequent waking activity. At Moving Minds Hypnotherapy, we are committed to working with our clients and producing results for weight loss, cessation of smoking and behavioural change, all with the power of hypnotherapy.
To give you a better idea of what you’re getting into when booking a hypnosis session with us, we first need to step back into the past and take a look at the history of hypnosis. By looking at some of the history associated with hypnosis, we can all gain a better understanding of this unique treatment technique and how it changes lives
History of Hypnosis
Hypnosis, as we know it today, differs widely from the hypnosis of the past. And while its scientific history began in the later part of the 18th Century with the German physician Franz Mesmer (who used hypnosis to treat patients in Paris and Vienna) it wasn’t until the 19th Century when the English physician James Braid coined the term hypnotism and hypnosis. These terms derived from the Greek God of sleep, Hypnos.
After Braid’s use of the term, his ongoing study piqued the interest of the scientific community. There were a number of physicians and scientists who began to use the techniques in a range of ways. Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault was one of the first people to emphasise the importance of suggestibility for successful hypnosis, while Hippolyte Bernheim co-founded the Nancy School with Liébeault and thus established the dominant force in hypnotherapeutic theory and practice for the last twenty years of the 19th Century.
Moving into the early 20th Century, Williams James brought hypnosis to America with his discussion of the theory in his Principals of Psychology, while Emile Coué commenced works on a new method of hypnotism focusing in the idea of conscious autosuggestion which looked to ego-strengthening and self-spoken mantras, among other things. Many modern-day influencers like Tony Robbins adopt the benefits of such mantras to this day, realising the potential of the unconscious mind to take suggestion from basic spoken cues.
Other notable physicians who took an interest in hypnosis have included Johannes Schultz and Sigmund Freud. Among these adopters, the use of hypnosis was also widespread during World War I, World War II and the Korean War in treating post-traumatic stress disorder.
Hypnosis in the 20th Century and Beyond
Other notable moments for hypnosis throughout history have included:
- British Medical Association approving the use of hypnosis in pain management during childbirth and surgery in 1955
- 1956 approval of hypnosis by Pope Pius XII for health care professional diagnosis and treatment
- American Medical Association approval on the medical use of hypnosis in 1958
Much of the modern research focusing on hypnosis looks to the characteristics of this treatment and the impact modified mental states can have on people.
Regardless of any research findings, one of the most important factors in successful hypnosis is that the person seeking to be hypnotised is willing and cooperative.
Hypnosis should always be administered by a trained and competent hypnotherapist. At Moving Minds Hypnotherapy, we are trained and experienced in working with people from all walks of life and are confident in our ability to deliver results.
Contact Us Today
If you would like to know more about our hypnotherapy services or if you would like to book in to receive hypnosis for something that you are struggling with, we are here to help.