A Brief History of Hypnosis

| Total Words: 946

Evidence of hypnotic-like phenomena appears in many ancient cultures. The writer of Genesis seems familiar with the anaesthetic power of hypnosis when he reports that God put Adam “into a deep sleep” to take his rib to form Eve. Other ancient records suggest hypnosis was used by the oracle at Delphi and in rites in ancient Egypt (Hughes and Rothovius, 1996). The modern history of hypnosis begins in the late 1700s, when a French physician, Anton Mesmer, revived an interest in hypnosis.

1734-1815 Franz Anton Mesmer was born in Vienna. Mesmer is considered the father of hypnosis. He is remembered for the term mesmerism which described a process of inducing trance through a series of passes he made with his hands and/or magnets over people. He worked with a persons animal magnetism (psychic and electromagnetic energies). The medical community eventually discredited him despite his considerable success treating a variety of ailments. His successes offended the medical establishment of the time, who arranged for an official French government investigating committee. This committee included Benjamin Franklin, then the American ambassador to France, and Joseph...

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