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hypnosis
ebb and flow
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what the heck
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When Did Hypnosis Start?
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When Did Hypnosis Start?

We asked a question the other day and never answered it.

"Who invented Hypnosis?" We did come to the conclusion that it wasn't someone who leaped from his bath yelling; "I have it!" Perhaps a more apt question would be;

"When was Hypnosis discovered?" or When did hypnosis start?

But even that's nebulous, since we also discovered that Hypnosis is all part of our human make-up -- as natural as breathing. The sleep temples of Ancient Egypt are known to have used Hypnosis, as did the Druids during their rites. Actually, it doesn't take to much of a stretch of the imagination here.

Naturally, there'd have been a lot of drumming; repetitive rhythms and chants which couldn't be more conducive to Hypnosis. So it comes down to taking your pick of dates, because as soon as humans found they experienced a rather pleasant state of mind and body when someone banged a drum or one member of the tribe exhibited a nice, soothing voice and let forth with some form of chant, then Hypnosis was 'discovered.'

No-one knew what the heck to do with it, of course. That would come an awful long time later, indeed only when an Austrian physician named Franz Anton Mesmer came on the scene. He held a considerable interest in Astronomy and because of that, one of his theories was that a magnetic fluid was responsible for all living entities, including the movements of the planets.

This led him to study the ebb and flow of the tides and the fact that he discovered that plantetary alignments can actually influence certain ailments. This discovery was the start, albeit a slow start, of the 'magnetists' in the late 18th. century. The name 'Animal Magnetism' was adopted as the movement made its way through central Europe.

Apparently, Dr. Mesmer had a naturally entrancing and mesmeric demeanor, thereby introducing the word 'mesmerize' to the English language. Poor old Mesmer was shabbily treated by the Establishment of his day. Mark you, a lot were, weren't they? The funny part is that Mesmer had it right in many ways, but he didn't have a clue why!

This magnetism idea came about by Mesmer's rather startling procedure of having the patient stretch him or herself out on the bed, when he'd lay magnetic rods lengthwise upon them. The extraordinary part was that he effected many cures in this way -- and of course that was why the 'Establishment' disliked him. He was doing something new, and if you do something new that actually works, all those connected with your particular field of expertize are onto you like vultures! Poor old Mesmer fell off the twig, (sorry, died), in 1815.

The next man to push the door further open was a Scottish surgeon named James Baird. He rejected the idea of Mesmer's Animal Magnetism in favour of what he named 'Neuro-hypnotism.' or 'nervous sleep.' This was in 1842 and of course Baird was far closer to the truth than Mesmer, although it would be very wrong to discount the latter. The word 'Hypnosis' is named after the Greek God of sleep, Hypnos, since in those days, hypnosis was thought to be a state of sleep.

Many years would go by before the truth of the phenomenon would finally be brought to light.


Street Talk

  

It does seem that whenever someone comes up with a revolutionary idea, there are metaphorically 100 guns aimed at this idea, trigger fingers itching to shoot it down! You're absolutely right in all that you say. Thank you so much for your comments, which I greatly appreciate, Mike

Reply
  about 8 years ago

How many brilliant minds were vilified by 'the establishment'. Grieves me that it still happens today. Words like stuffy, stodgy, powerful and closed minded come to mind. It's tragic to live life this way but also tragic for the world at large who could benefit so much from these learnings. To put it into a modern context, imagine a world where natural therapies of various modalities and the medical establishment were able to work together in healing the chronic illnesses many in our society face.

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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