Hypnosis from a Day Gone By

Hypnosis has been practiced for a thousand years now. According to author Patricia Fanthorpe, it dates back for millennia. It has been practiced by the Hindus in India and by ancient Chinese, Egyptian and African people. It has been believed to be used for magical and occult purposes back in the day. But the modern era of hypnotism concludes that those beliefs about hypnotism back in the days served the same purpose as it does right now: to treat illnesses.

Hypnotism was introduced in the Western part of the world around 1770, when Austrian physician Frank Mesmer started investigating hypnosis which was called “mesmerism” or “animal magnetism” back then. He developed a method of hypnosis, which involved him dressing up and playing ethereal music and then tying up his patients together with a rope so that the animal magnetism could pass. It led to his downfall, and he eventually retired to Switzerland and died in 1815.

Many other physicians and researchers soon followed Mesmer’s footsteps and became mesmerists and became quite successful. English surgeon John Elliotson reported that several painless surgical operations have been performed with the help of mesmerism. The therapeutic use of hypnosis was unanimously endorsed by the British Medical Association in 1892 and eventually in 1955, the association approved the use of hypnosis in psychoneuroses and pain management. After that, the use of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes has been approved by Pope Pius XII in 1956, and by the American Medical Association in 1958.

Over time, hypnosis was accepted by modern science as a way to help treat certain psychological disorders. It has progressed immensely from being something practiced by occultists and magicians to a practice widely used to treat a variety of issues such as addiction, self-confidence problems and even help women with childbirth. Sure, people still depict hypnotism as some magical thing people do to other people. Some performing groups even dress up with steampunk and vintage costumes and entertain people by performing hypnosis onstage. But regardless of what people used to think about hypnotism before and how it is viewed right now, I guess what’s important is that hypnotism aims to bring about a positive change and healing in people.