Most people have heard of Hypnotherapy. What most people do not realise is that throughout the day, Hypnotherapy is a natural occurring phenomenon. We all enter a trance-like state approximately every 90 minutes. This state can be described as a “day dream”, or some people refer to it as feeling “zoned out”.

A brief history of Hypnotherapy

Franz Aton Mesmer was born May 23, 1734 and was quite curious by nature. Between 1773 – 1774, he started to experiment with a treatment using magnets and after some time he became recognised as an outstanding healer. He also believed in a subtle fluid or force that emanated from his being: he named this force “animal magnetism “.

The Door of Curiosity

Puysegur offered magnetic treatments in 1785. A new form of magnetism was born, which he called “ the perfect crisis”. Then followed “magnetic sleep” and finally “artificial somnambulism.” Somnambulism is also known as sleepwalking. An observation noted by Puysegur was that patients were more knowledgeable when more ‘asleep’ than ‘awake’.

James Esdaile, a Scottish surgeon with the East India Company, conducted several major operations with good results using Mesmer’s technique, and applying Yogic breathing with stroking. Although his techniques were improvised, an official investigators were impressed by his results and he became the founder of The Calcutta Mesmeric Hospital. Esdaile performed several thousand operations whilst in India on mesmerised patients, with only sixteen deaths reported.

James Braid finally earned mesmerism scientific respectability. He spent eighteen years of his life researching what he called “nervous sleep” and in 1843 he changed the name to neurypnology. He later chose another more familiar name: Hypnotherapy.

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