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A Brief History of Hypnosis

Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy explained by Hypnotherapist Alan Gilchrist.

"You are feeling sleepy, very, very sleepy" is the catch-line that many people associate with the stage hypnotist, the watch swinging showman with hypnotic eyes that could pierce a stone.

The above statement is probably the most common perception that people have about hypnosis/hypnotherapy. It is undoubtedly a mythical one, and I have spent a lot of time over the last 35 years trying to dispel this myth.

Hypnosis has been associated with stage shows and the mysterious, and it is for that very reason I had this website designed to set the record straight.

As you browse through my hypnosis web site, I do hope you will be enlightened as to the incredible benefits which can be achieved by using my techniques of Fast Track Hypnosis.

Many people assume that they can be made to do something against their will while under Hypnosis.

If that were the case, you would find me, not in my office, but down at the bank manager, swinging a little watch at him and telling him to forget about my overdraft, and we would all be hypnotists doing precisely the same!"

Stage Hypnosis - The Myths.

Stage Hypnotists like to give the impression that they are controlling a person's mind. No one can be hypnotised against their will, or forced to do something objectionable.

Hypnosis, when used in therapy, helps to give people more control over their lives- not less!

Another myth is a person might be unable to ever come out of Hypnosis.

If that were the case, there would be millions of bodies lying in a trance all over the world, and we would all read about it!

Fast Track Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy can be used to improve a person's general functioning - mentally and physically. It can be used with significant effect to help correct a wide range of problems (See Problems web page).

Hypnosis itself is ONLY a state of relaxation with an altered state of awareness.

This means that people are not treated with Hypnosis but are treated IN Hypnosis.

The subconscious mind can then accept positive suggestions helping to alter past behavioural problems, such as phobias, stress, confidence, etc., as well as simple ones like stop smoking, weight control, etc.

The Origin of Hypnosis / Hypnotherapy
Franz Anton Mesmer (1734 – 1815)

Franz Anton Mesmer was a German doctor with interest in astronomy.

He believed in the existence of natural energy occurring between animated and inanimate objects and called this process called "animal magnetism" later referred to as mesmerism.

This attracted a wide following and continued to have some influence until the end of the 19th century.[

In 1843 the Scottish doctor James Braid proposed the term "hypnosis" for a technique derived from animal magnetism.

James Braid (1795-1860)

In the 18th century James Braid a Scottish surgeon, sometimes called the "Father of Hypnosis" coined the word HYPNOSIS after the Greek god HYPNOS, meaning sleep.

After having investigated "mesmerism", and subsequently trying to expose it as a fake, he soon discovered that Hypnosis was not a state of sleep. He realised that it was a state of focusing and heightened awareness and tried (unsuccessfully) to change the word from Hypnosis to Monoideism, but the word Hypnosis had already caught on.

Throughout his career, he continued to use Hypnosis for pain relief during surgery and also self-hypnosis to ease his arthritic pain. As Hypnosis began to receive severe recognition and could be explained more logically, it began to gain acceptance and not looked upon as being bizarre.

However, many people still find the word 'trance' scary, and consider that only weak-willed people can 'go under or be put out'.

(There are so many misconceptions and sensational stories about what Hypnosis is).
It is not the case; the more intelligent and creative a person is, the easier it is for them to enter Hypnosis.

It is common for people who go into Hypnosis to argue that they haven't been hypnotised at all, as they put it "I didn't go out".

A person entering the state of Hypnosis feels total relaxation, and upon leaving this natural state, they are wonderfully calm, extremely relaxed, and are never sceptical or nervous of Hypnosis again.