History of Hypnosis (Briefly Explained)

History of Hypnosis (Briefly Explained)

Evidence of hypnotic-type phenomena appears in many ancient cultures. The Genesis writer seems to be familiar with the anesthetic power of hypnosis when he reports that God put Adam “in a deep sleep” to take his rib to form Eve. Other ancient documents suggest that hypnosis was used by the Delphic oracle and in the rites of ancient Egypt (Hughes and Rothovius, 1996). The modern history of hypnosis begins in the late 18th century, when a French physician, Anton Mesmer, revived his interest in hypnosis.

The Father of Hypnosis.


1734-1815 Franz Anton Mesmer was born in Vienna. Mesmer is considered the father of hypnosis. He is remembered for the term mesmerism that describes a process of inducing trance through a series of passes he made with his hands and / or magnets on people. He worked with the animal magnetism of a person (psychic and electromagnetic energies). The medical community eventually discredited him despite his considerable success in treating various ailments. Its successes offended the medical establishment of the time, which organized an official investigation committee of the French government. This committee included Benjamin Franklin, then the United States Ambassador to France, and Joseph Guillotine, a French physician who introduced a safe device to physically separate the mind from the rest of the body.

Named after Hypnos, the Greek God of Sleep

1795-1860 James Braid, an English physician, originally opposed mesmerism (as it had become known) which later became interested. He said the remedies were not due to animal magnetism, but to suggestions. He developed the eye fixation technique (also known as braiding) to induce relaxation and called it hypnosis (after Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep) because he believed the phenomenon was a form of sleep. . Later, realizing his mistake, he tried to change the name to monoeidism (that is, the influence of a single idea), however the original name stuck. 1825-1893 Jean Marie Charcot, a French neurologist, disagreed with the Nancy school of hypnosis and argued that hypnosis was simply a manifestation of hysteria. There was a bitter rivalry between Charcot and Nancy’s group (Liebault and Bernheim). He revived Mesmer’s theory of animal magnetism and identified the three stages of trance; lethargy, catalepsy and sleepwalking.

Healing Benefits of Hypnosis.

1845-1947 Pierre Janet was a French neurologist and psychologist who initially opposed the use of hypnosis until he discovered its relaxing effects and promotes healing. Janet was one of the few people who remained interested in hypnosis during psychoanalytic anger.

1849-1936 Ivan Petrovich Pavlov – Russian psychologist who was actually more focused on the study of the digestive process. He is best known for his development of the concept of conditioned reflex (or stimulus response theory). In his classic experiment, he trained hungry dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell, previously associated with the sight of food. He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1904 for his work on digestive secretions. Although it has nothing to do with hypnosis, his stimulus response theory is a cornerstone of binding and anchoring behaviors, especially in NLP.

Laws Of Suggestion.

1857-1926 Emile Coue, physician who formulated the laws of suggestion. He is also known for encouraging his patients to say 20 to 30 times a night before falling asleep; “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” He also found that providing positive suggestions when prescribing medications has proven to be a more effective remedy than prescribing medications alone.

Eventually he abandoned the concept of hypnosis in favor of the simple suggestion, the feeling of hypnosis and the hypnotic state impaired the effectiveness of the suggestion.

Coue’s Laws of Suggestion

“When the focus is on one idea over and over again, it spontaneously tends to come true”

The law of focused attention.

“The more we try to do something, the less chance we have of being successful”

The law of reverse action.

“A stronger emotion tends to replace a weaker emotion”

The law of the dominant effect.

Sigmund Freud and Hypnosis

1856-1939 Sigmund Freud traveled to Nancy and studied with Liebault and Bernheim, then further studies with Charcot. However, Freud did not incorporate hypnosis into his therapeutic work because he felt that he was unable to hypnotize patients in sufficient depth, that healings were temporary, and that hypnosis stripped patients of their defenses. Freud was considered a poor hypnotist due to his fatherly ways. However, their clients often entered

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