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Welcome to my first blog post. I thought it might be useful to give you a quick run through on the use of hypnotherapy through the ages.
If you tell your family and friends that you are thinking of having hypnotherapy for whatever reason, you will get a variety of comments ranging from frightening and funny. To find the reason for this we must look at the history of hypnosis.
Relics from ancient Egypt depict something similar to hypnosis. The Australian Aborigines, North American Indians and Hindu Cults have all used a hypnotic state for thousands of years. .Our modern journey starts with Franz Anton Mesmer a charismatic character born in 1734. He originally studied Theology but went on to train in medicine. His first attempts at healing involved the use of strong magnets to move a supposed magnetic fluid around the body. This developed into group healing sessions and Mesmer moved from using magnets to using his hands.
After his death in 1815 a number of his disciples kept his work going. In 1849 an English doctor called James Braid coined the term hypnosis (from the Greek, hypnos for sleep) he noticed that his patients’ eyes often became fixed during hypnosis. He also discovered that the cures were due to suggestion not magnetism
Dr James Esdaile used hypnotic anaesthesia to conduct of 400 operations in India but was ridiculed by the medical profession. During this time a Dr John Elliotson was also demonstrating the use of hypnosis in Britain but he to was hounded by the medical profession.
Sigmund Freud studied hypnosis and came to believe that humans have a powerful hidden mental process and this led to an understanding of the presence of the subconscious mind.
The father of modern hypnosis Milton Erikson was born in 1901 and his pioneering work has helped to bring us to where we are today. Into this mix of colourful characters we must add the way hypnosis is depicted in all forms of entertainment. It is therefore, little wonder that anyone you speak to will ask if you are going to end up clucking like a chicken.
Research in recent years has led to Hypnosis becoming more acceptable as a therapy to address a variety of issues. These include weight loss, stop smoking and the treatment of phobias and anxiety. A number of clinical studies have also shown that hypnosis can help reduce pain in childbirth with beneficial effects for both mother and baby.
Today, most therapy sessions take place with the client seated in a comfortable chair. The image of the patient lying on a black couch with the therapist swinging a pocket watch is confined to the movies.
One big change in recent years is the advent of internet conferencing. Today the client can be at home having treatment from a therapist based anywhere in the world. Clients can keep in touch with the therapist they trust even if either moves away.
A client of mine recently suffered a severe panic attack about flying home from New York and was able to receive treatment from me via Skype to enable him to make the journey home comfortably. With the coming of the internet and easy access to laptops and tablets hypnotherapy is more available than ever before.