The History of Hypnosis
The earliest evidence of the use of Hypnosis can be traced to the Shamans. They were often referred to as “healers” or even “witch doctors”. In preparation for their healing session, the shaman would avoid the use of alcohol and chemical substances 24 hours before the healing session.
They would often isolate themselves in a forest or cave away from distractions. The shaman would visualize an opening in the earth and journey downward into that opening.
In the 1700’s an Austrian doctor, Franz Mesmer, recognized this ancient healing ritual and developed it into a theory of animal magnetism. Mesmer believed that a cosmic fluid could be stored in inanimate objects, such as magnets and then transferred to patients to cure them of illness.
In the mid 1800’s , the hypnotic was used to relive pain. Soon other theories began to emerge. Jean Charcot, a neurologist who taught in Paris, explained hypnosis a state of hysteria, and called it an abnormal activity. In France, Auguste Leibeault and Hippolyte Bernheim, were the first to regard hypnosis as a normal phenomenon. They reasoned that expectation is a most important factor in the induction of hypnosis and that the hypnotist works on the patient by mental influences.