The History of Hypnotherapy

You could trace the history of hypnotherapy back as far as the healing practices that endured in ancient Greece and Egypt, when most beliefs deemed a trance-like behavior as spiritual possession. The word hypnotherapy per se has its roots in the Greek word “Hypnos”. The father of modern day hypnotherapy is most certainly, Austrian Dr. Frank Mesmer, whom in 1779 triggered a trance-like state he named mesmerism, to treat nervous problems. Now we call this therapy ‘Hypnotherapy’.

A Turkish medical publication compiled in 1069, “Kutadgu Bilig,” talks of utilizing suggestion to keep off demons. Pietro D’Abano (1250-1316), an Italian medical teacher, astronomer and philosopher, was also known to practice the skill of suggestion. Even the Bible contains passages alluding to what several believe that is hypnosis.

Mesmer believed he could cure individuals without medical treatment using magnetic field forces. As a matter of point, the terms “animal magnetism” and “mesmerism” come from his practice. Many individuals don’t believe he practiced hypnosis at all. In fact, the French government, led by Marie Antoinette, stated Mesmer a fraud.

Another name connected with the historical past of hypnotherapy is James Braid (1795-1860), a Scottish surgeon credited with coining the term “hypnosis” in 1843. Braid used a bright object, such as a pocket sized watch, to put into a trance. James Esdaile (1808-1859), one other medical expert from Scotland, is known for employing hypnosis for anesthesia during surgical procedures. These individuals were among the earliest hypnotherapists to be taken seriously, legitimizing hypnosis as a practice. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) used hypnotherapy in his early practice. However, he eventually substituted hypnosis with free association and discussion therapies. Others followed Freud’s lead, and hypnotherapy began to fall out of favor.

In 1951, a young doctor named Albert Mason called upon to help a 16 year old boy who was suffering with an particularly bad case of ichthyosis. This is generally a hereditary condition in which the patient has a lot fewer sweat and sebaceous glands than usual, which causes the epidermis to become dried out and scaly. The boy’s entire body was virtually covered in a thick, odiferous, black coating of hard, dried skin which usually oozed with a bloody serum. He had endured this condition since birth and traditional medicine had been unable to help him.

On a couple of events he had been given skin graft treatments but each time the new epidermis flared up just like the rest of his body. It is thought that Dr Mason did not understand that hypnosis was not intended to be used to heal congenital diseases when he offered to help the boy. At a hospital in East Grinstead in Sussex, in front of a number of distrustful doctors, he hypnotised the youngster and provided him suggestions that his left arm would grow to be clear. Five days later the blackened skin became crumbly and dropped off to reveal underneath it, reddened but otherwise typical skin. Ten days later the boy’s arm was clear. Dr Mason started to use hypnosis on the other areas of the boy’s body, achieving outstanding results and the scenario was reported in the British Medical Journal for 1952. About three years later Dr Mason wrote a follow up article confirming that the results appeared to be permanent.

In 2002, the Department for Education and Skills designed National Occupational Standards for hypnotherapy[38] joined to National Vocational Qualification based on National Qualifications Framework under The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. And therefore hypnotherapy was accepted as a stand-alone therapy in UK. NCFE a national awarding body issues level four national vocational qualification diploma in hypnotherapy.

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