Dating hypnosis techniques

The Swiss physician Paracelsus (1493-1541) was the first to use magnets for healing, instead of the divine touch or a holy relic.

This method of healing was still around into the 18th century, when Maximillian Hell, a Jesuit priest and the Royal Astronomer in Vienna, became famous for healing by using magnetized steel plates on the body.

Faria proposed that it was not magnetism or the power of the hypnotist that was responsible for trance and healing, but a power generated from within the mind of the subject.

Faria’s approach was the basis for the clinical and theoretical work of the French school of hypnosis-centered psychotherapy known as the Nancy School, or the School of Suggestion.

This installment considers the history of hypnosis from ancient times to its eventual investigation by modern psychologists, physicians, and researchers.

Freud began practicing hypnosis in 1887, and hypnosis was crucial to his invention of psychoanalysis.

In 1834, the British surgeon John Elliotson, who introduced the stethoscope to England, reported numerous painless surgical operations using hypnosis.

James Esdaile, the Scottish surgeon, performed over 2,000 minor and 345 major operations using hypnosis in the 1840s and 1850s.

In ancient India, the Sanskrit book known as The Law of Manu described different levels of hypnosis: “Sleep-Waking,” “Dream-Sleep,” and “Ecstasy-Sleep.” Some of the earliest evidence of hypnosis for healing comes from the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus, dating to 1550 B. According this ancient medical papyrus, priest-physicians repeated positive suggestions while administering their treatments and had patients fix their gaze on metal discs to enter trance, a hypnosis technique known today as eye “fixation.”Magnetism, Fluidism, and Mesmerism For many centuries, especially during the Middle Ages, kings and princes were believed to have the power of healing through the “Royal Touch.” Their miraculous healings were attributed to divine powers.

Before hypnosis was well understood, the terms “magnetism” and “mesmerism” were used to describe these healing phenomena.

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