Hypnosis Through the Ages
The origins of hypnosis go back many millennia; indeed many ancient cultures and civilisations knew of hypnosis and used it as a therapeutic device. Documents from the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Indians, Chinese, Persians and Sumerians show extensive studies in hypnosis, altered states of consciousness and parasychology. Hypnosis was considered as a cure for many physical and emotional ailments and disorders.
Egyptians had very popular 'sleep temples' in which people were asked to lie down and listen to somebody chanting to help cure illness and problems as far back as 1550BC. Although there was some use of hypnosis by the Druids in Ancient Britain and Gaul, the development and introduction of hypnosis to the modern world is attributable to Islamic scientists of the Middle Ages.
Between the 9th and 14th centuries there was a great flowering of civilisation in the Mediterranean and Middle East which laid the foundations of modern science as we know it; medical and philosophical knowledge from Ancient Greece, Egypt and early Eastern civilisations was revitalised. During that revival a deep understanding of human psychology was achieved and therapeutic processes such as analysis, altered states of consciousness and hypnosis were used to alleviate emotional distress and sufferings; thus preceding psychotherapy and hypnotherapy as we know them today by quite a few centuries.
From the 15th and 16th centuries onwards physicians from many nations developed further and refined the concept of hypnosis and its uses.
In the 18th century the most influential figure in the development of hypnosis was Dr Frantz Anton Mesmer, an Austrian physician who used magnets and metal frames to perform “passes” over the patient to remove “blockages” (ie: the causes of diseases) in the magnetic forces in the body. Further on his disciples, Armand de Puysegur, discovered that the spoken word and direct commands induced trance easily and noticeably...