Story of Hypnosis.

In the mid 1700's, a doctor named Franz Mesmer, amid a number of healing experiments, ended up performing holistic healing on his patients whereby he would waive his hands just above the body in an attempt to psychically realign invisible energies. Other doctors found no evidence in what he "did" as being effective but in what he "said" as being very effective.

He told them to close their eyes, breathe deeply (which relaxes the muscles with each exhale), clear their mind of all distracting thoughts and to focus only on the sound of his voice. His patients often said they were MESMERIZED by the soothing sound of his voice, a word they named after the good doctor, explaining the word to mean a daydreaming, sleepy like feeling.

Once Dr Mesmer's clients were relaxed, he would then "persuade" them to take the necessary steps that could eliminate the mental or physical pain that ailed them. Together, along with their trust in the doctor and their belief that they would leave his office cured, this brought about many cures.

Around 75 years later, in the mid 1800's, another doctor, James Braid, used Doctor Mesmer's techniques on himself in order to relax, then picture various illnesses in his body healing, all without the need for another person to talk him through it. (This eventually became known as self-hypnosis).

He noticed that the more he completely let go of the stresses of the day and completely relaxed, that he too would become very sleepy. Just like taking a long warm bath and allowing the stresses to leave your body, a sleepy feeling always follows. Having a knowledge of Greek, he renamed the word Mesmerized to Hypnotized, and later Hypnosis, because the word "Hypnos" is the Greek word for sleep, named after Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep.

He tried to make it clear to the public that hypnosis was simply relaxing both mind and body to the point of feeling sleepy. And that once they felt sleepy, their minds became very relaxed, very clear, and open to persuasive influences, but only if they were leaning in that direction in the first place. And that was where hypnosis ends and the power of persuasion, often in the form of a suggestion, begins. 

Not long after, in 1894 a book was published called Trilby and in 1915 the movie Trilby was produced, both depicting a Svengali taking over a woman's mind causing her to shed her inhibitions and become a famous singer and when he died she could no longer sing. The movie called this ability to control her mind as in being hypnotized. 

And once again, hypnosis is the feeling you get once you relax just before you fall asleep. The movie should have appropriately called the Svengali's technique BRAIN WASHING which I explained earlier was used in combination with mind altering drugs during war times.

Regardless of what it should have been named, that misconception still exists today. Thanks to the movie industry and the thousands of movies that followed, there will always be people who feel the word hypnosis is mind control, against their religion and is used only on the weak minded. 

Today, if you were to ask anyone where they got the idea that hypnosis was mind control, every single person will tell you it was because of what they saw in the movies. 

So once again, Hypnosis, the art of becoming sleepy, and the power of persuasion, the ability to get people to do something, are two separate things and should not be considered as one.

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