Hypnotherapy, holistic and consultant for Neal's Yard Remedies

History of Hypnosis

Hypnotic or suggestive therapy is the oldest of all healing techniques. From the Sleep Temples of Egypt through the histories of ancient Greece & Rome there is evidence that some form of hypnosis has been used in healing.

In the 18th Century, when it was believed that illness was caused by the magnetic influence of astral bodies, Franz Anton Mesmer would induce people into a trance-like state by what he mistakenly believed to be animal magnetism. Although Mesmerism was soon discredited it continued to be used after Mesmer’s death as it often produced miracle cures.

When James Braid re-examined Mesmerism in the 19th Century he discovered that simple suggestion was just as effective for inducing trance-like states. He coined the phrase hypnosis and put the techniques used onto a scientific footing.

In the early part of the 20th Century hypnosis was used almost exclusively by stage hypnotists thereby projecting a distorted view of this very powerful therapeutic tool.

In the 1950s & 60s American therapist Milton H Erickson developed a modern form of hypnosis which helped him make health improving suggestions to patients in a trance state.

In 1955 the British Medical Association endorsed the practice of hypnosis in medical school education, since when it has become a valuable & effective addition to conventional medical treatment.

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