Western scientists first became involved in hypnosis around 1770, when Franz Mesmer (1734–1815), a physician from Austria, started investigating an effect he called "animal magnetism" or "mesmerism" (the latter name still remaining popular today).
Clinical hypnosis is an altered state of awareness, perception or consciousness that is used, by licensed and trained doctors or masters prepared individuals, for treating a psychological or physical problem. It is a highly relaxed state. Hypnosis is a state of inner absorption, concentration and focused attention.
Hypnosis is thought to work by altering our state of consciousness in such a way that the analytical left-hand side of the brain is turned off, while the non-analytical right-hand side is made more alert. The conscious control of the mind is inhibited, and the subconscious mind awoken.
Ancient Ethics in Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy The Hyppocratic Oath is an oath traditionally taken by doctors, and believed to have been written in the 4th century BC by Hippocrates, widely regarded as the father of Western medicine. This is a traditional translation of the oath, I swear by Apollo the Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods, and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant: To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art –if they desire to learn it– without fee and covenant; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken the oath according to medical law, but to no one else. I will apply dietic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice. I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art. I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work. Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves. What I may see or hear in the course of treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep myself holding such things shameful to be spoken about. If I fulfill this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot. The oath has frequently been modified and modernized throughout recent centuries.

The Greeks and Romans had a strong history in hypnotherapy. They used The Aesculapian Sleep Temples, where patients would be put in a trance-like sleep for healing. ... In more modern times, Austrian physician Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) was regarded as the father of hypnotherapy.

The history of hypnotherapy dates back as far as recorded history. It has been practiced all over the world.
Healers,sharmen, witchdoctors,wise women,tribal doctors,Hindu fakirs, Indian yogi and Persian magi have all practiced forms of hypnotherapy, although it was known under many different names. It has been recognized through time that there is a strong mind-body connection, and that health and heeling, removal of negative feelings and phobias, general well being and performance enhancement can be attributed to hypnotherapy throughout the ages.

The Egyptians were utilizing the healing method of `incubation`, or `temple sleep` as early as 3,000 B.C. The priests considered the `sleep` to have special healing powers and that the person in the sleep was in an enlightened state. The Temples of Imhotep were popular for `sleep therapy` and `shrine sleep` which is still found in some areas of Africa and the Middle East.
Similarly, the Hebrews utilized breathing exercises, chanting and meditation to produce an `ecstasy like state` which they called Kavanah. Their practices were similar to what we now know as `self hypnosis`.
The term `hypnosis` is derived from the Greek word `hypnos`, meaning `sleep`.

The Greeks and Romans had a strong history in hypnotherapy. They used The Aesculapian Sleep Temples, where patients would be put in a trance-like sleep for healing. The priests would prepare their `patients` and interpret their dreams. This practice was called Asclepian dream healing. The Greeks and Romans believed in the bond of physical and emotional health was necessary for well being.

Chinese medicine recognises over 5000 years of hypnotic relationship between healers and patients.
The history of hypnotherapy indicates that spiritual leaders, priests, healers and philosophers were the practitoners of early hypnosis. Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Ghengis Khan, Richard the Lionheart and Napoleon all practiced forms of hypnosis.

In more modern times, Austrian physician Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) was regarded as the father of hypnotherapy. However many dispute the fact that he even practiced hypnotherapy with his subjects, but introduced his theory of animal magnetism, including the passing of hands over parts of the subjects body, which would effect a cure. His subjects believed he was transferring a magnetic force or invisible fluid into them that would travel around their bodies and dispell illness. He wrote papers concerning magnetic influences on the movements of the sun, moon and planets and on human health. The word `mesmerized` is derived from Mesmer`s name. Mesmer acheived documented cases of curing blindness,paralysis and headaches. Some people believe his subjects practiced their own style of self hypnosis while Mesmer practiced magnetism. However the medical community at the time were not convinced. He was accused of fraud and his techniques were called unscientific. Whether he practiced hypnotherapy directly or his subjects underwent a form of self hypnosis, he is included in the history of hypnosis by many scolars.

Around this general time, Scottish surgeon James Braid (1795-1860) was practicing in England. He became aware of many of his patients experiencing a trance like state when they kept their eyes focused on the one spot for a period of time. He introduced the words `hypnosis` and `hypnotism` to the medical fraternity. He stated that hypnotism was a scientific and psycho-physiological discipline. James Braid and another Scottish surgeon named James Esdaile (1808-1859) validated the use of hypnosis prior to surgery. They recognised the benefits for patients and were among the first doctors to have hypnosis accepted by their medical peers.

During the mid 1900s Milton H. Erickson (1901-1980) was a well known psychiatrist who used hypnotherapy in his practice. In 1958, both the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association recognized hypnotherapy as a valid medical procedure. Since 1995, the National Institute of Health has recommended hypnotherapy as a treatment for chronic pain.

There are many more hypnotherapy practitioners who have pioneered the acceptance of hypnosis in both the medical field and also the general community. If you are interested in more information concerning the history of hypnotherapy, the internet is a wonderful source for more details.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief outline of hypnotherapy.
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