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Brief History of Hypnosis

From the Egyptians who used 'sleep temples' in which therapeutic suggestions were made, back to the histories of ancient Greece and Rome some form of hypnosis has been practised. The clinical applications, however, have not been clarified until recently. Researchers and clinicians have now introduced theories that are both acceptable and supported by scientific evidence.

In 1843, a Scottish surgeon, James Braid, attempted to explain trance in scientific terms. Surgery was performed under what Braid called 'hypnosis' coined from the Greek word hypnos, meaning sleep.

In the early part of the 20th Century hypnosis was used almost exclusively by stage hypnotists, thereby projecting a hopelessly distorted view of this very powerful therapeutic tool. Hypnotherapy is completely different from stage hypnosis. Hypnotherapy is not something that someone 'does' to you. You remain in control. Unfortunately, stage hypnotists who capitalise on the entertainment value of hypnosis, have done very little to better people's perception of hypnosis.

In 1955 the British Medical Association endorsed the practice of hypnosis in Medical School education, since then it has become a valuable addition to conventional, medical and other psychotherapeutic, treatments.



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