The development of concepts, beliefs and practices related to hypnosis and hypnotherapy have been documented since prehistoric to modern times. According to Patricia Fanthorpe, hypnotherapy by dave elman pdf free download “dates back for millennia. Persian psychologist and physician, was the earliest to make a distinction between sleep and hypnosis. Hypnotism evolved out of a sometimes skeptical reaction to the much earlier work of magnetists and Mesmerists.
Swiss, was the first physician to use magnets in his work. Catholic priest of the time, believed that disease was caused by evil spirits and could be exorcised by incantations and prayer. One of Father Hell’s students was a young medical doctor from Vienna named Franz Anton Mesmer. Mesmer chose his term to clearly distinguish his variant of magnetic force from those referred to at the time as mineral magnetism, cosmic magnetism and planetary magnetism.
Mesmer developed his own theory and was himself inspired by the writings of the English physician Richard Mead, the father of our understanding of transmissible diseases. After moving to Paris and becoming popular with the French aristocracy for his magnetic cures, the medical community challenged him. Although Mesmerism remained popular and “magnetic therapies” are still advertised as a form of “alternative medicine” even today, Mesmer himself retired to Switzerland in obscurity, where he died in 1815. Many of the original mesmerists were signatories to the first declarations that proclaimed the French revolution in 1789. Far from surprising, this could perhaps be expected, in that mesmerism opened up the prospect that the social order was in some sense suggested and could be overturned.
Magnetism was neglected or forgotten during the Revolution and the Empire. An Indo-Portuguese priest, Abbé Faria, revived public attention to animal magnetism. In the early 19th century, Abbé Faria introduced oriental hypnosis to Paris. Unlike Mesmer, Faria claimed that hypnosis ‘generated from within the mind’ by the power of expectancy and cooperation of the patient. A student of Mesmer, Marquis de Puységur, first described and coined the term for “somnambulism.
Followers of Puységur called themselves “Experimentalists” and believed in the Paracelsus-Mesmer fluidism theory. Récamier, in 1821, prior to the development of hypnotism, was the first physician known to have used something resembling hypnoanesthesia and operated on patients under mesmeric coma. In the 1840s and 1850s, Carl Reichenbach began experiments to find any scientific validity to “mesmeric” energy, which he called Odic force after the Norse god Odin. Although his conclusions were quickly rejected in the scientific community, they did undermine Mesmer’s claims of mind control. 345 major operations performed using mesmeric sleep as the sole anesthetic in British India. The development of chemical anesthetics soon saw the replacement of hypnotism in this role. English surgeon, in 1834 reported numerous painless surgical operations that had been performed using mesmerism.
Braid ascribed the “mesmeric trance” to a physiological process resulting from prolonged attention to a bright moving object or similar object of fixation. He postulated that “protracted ocular fixation” fatigued certain parts of the brain and caused a trance—a “nervous sleep” or “neuro-hypnosis. After Braid’s death in 1860, interest in hypnotism temporarily waned, and gradually shifted from Britain to France, where research began to grow, reaching its peak around the 1880s with the work of Hippolyte Bernheim and Jean-Martin Charcot. Braid first discusses hypnotism’s historical precursors in a series of articles entitled Magic, Mesmerism, Hypnotism, etc. Last May , a gentleman residing in Edinburgh, personally unknown to me, who had long resided in India, favoured me with a letter expressing his approbation of the views which I had published on the nature and causes of hypnotic and mesmeric phenomena. Although he disputed the religious interpretation given to these phenomena throughout this article and elsewhere in his writings, Braid seized upon these accounts of Oriental meditation as proof that the effects of hypnotism could be produced in solitude, without the presence of a magnetiser, and therefore saw this as evidence that the real precursor of hypnotism was the ancient practices of meditation rather than in the more recent theory and practice of Mesmerism. Objections had been raised by some theologians stating that, if not applied properly, hypnosis could deprive a person of their faculty of reason.
Saint Thomas Aquinas specifically rebutted this, stating that “The loss of reason is not a sin in itself but only by reason of the act by which one is deprived of the use of reason. Hypnosis was used by field doctors in the American Civil War and was one of the first extensive medical application of hypnosis. The process of post-hypnotic suggestion was first described in this period. From the 1880s the examination of hypnosis passed from surgical doctors to mental health professionals.