What if I told you that at some point or other in your life, you have all been hypnotized?
It’s highly likely that at this point you’re shaking your head, unable to recall a specific instance where you fell prey to the mind control and whims of an evil villain sporting a goatee and swinging a pendulum. And while modern television and fiction can be blamed for this outdated view on hypnotism, the truth is actually quite far removed and dates back a few thousand years.
Although the term “hypnosis” was only coined in the 1840s, there are historical records of hypnosis being used as a medical tool nearly 2500 years ago in China and in Egypt. In fact, the remains of the sleep healing temple of Asklepios which still exists, point towards the use of hypnosis as a medical tool in ancient Greece. It is said that the Greek physician Asklepios created this sleep healing temple to cure people of various ailments.
He would do so by first putting his patients through a several day long ritual of preparation where they were bought into a state of relaxation using purifying waters, baths and fasting. Once the patients entered a state of peaceful calm, Asklepios would whisper suggestions to them designed to rid them of their ailments. He would say things like “I’m going to take your headaches away” or “You will be able to sleep peacefully from now.” The effectiveness of his treatments is believable because his patients carved testimonials of their cures into the rock walls of his temple.
These kinds of treatments using hypnosis continued in various forms throughout the centuries, but remained shrouded in mysticism because of the limitations science had in understanding it at the time. The man responsible for spurning science into delving deeper into the mechanics of hypnosis is the Austrian physician Franz Anton Mesmer.
Mesmer first became interested in the medical uses of hypnotism after seeing a priest who claimed to use magnets to balance bodily fluids in patients to cure them of various ailments. He set out to uncover the mysteries and workings of hypnotism and started experimented with various practices himself.
Mesmer eventually discovered that the healing powers of this practice had nothing to do with magnets. For example, in one of his experiments he was able to stop the bleeding from one of his patient’s cut wounds using a magnet, but later discovered that he could achieve the same effect using a wooden stick.
This was the beginning of modern science’s understanding of hypnosis and its potential as a powerful medical tool. Yet at this particular juncture, it was still regarded with a significant amount of mistrust. And this wasn’t helped by Mesmer either who started growing more and more eccentric as his popularity grew and started making his healing sessions more ritual like. He would start wearing capes decorated with stars and moons and would tie his patients together with a rope to “let his healing powers pass through them easily.”
However British and French physicians investigating Mesmer’s work realized that the reason his methods were so effective was because he was able to put his patients into a deeply relaxed state where they were more open to suggestion. And their subconscious minds and bodies would eventually respond to these suggestions relieving whatever ailments that they suffered from.
This brings me back to my point of how all of you have been hypnotized at some point or other in your lives. You see the deep state of relaxation coupled with the state of heightened and focused attention is actually a common everyday phenomenon.
You would have experienced this when reading a book or watching a movie. Have you ever noticed how at a time you were so engrossed in a book or a movie that you were oblivious to everything that was going on around you, and felt shaken awake once you were distracted? Chances are high that you have, and if so, you have actually experienced the effects of hypnotism.
The American Medical Association certified hypnosis as a legitimate method of treatment and the National Institutes of Health recognized hypnosis’ effectiveness in 1996. But its track record as a proven medical tool dates even as far back as the early nineteenth century.
The Scottish physician James Esdaile who worked in India is said to have performed over three hundred and forty major operations, including amputations and the removal of large tumors, using only hypnosis as an anesthetic. Today, thousands of dentists, surgeons, physicians and psychologists have been thoroughly trained in the use of hypnosis to assist as a medical tool in their specialty areas.
And hypnosis isn’t limited to just curing you of your physical ailments. Hypnosis and hypnotherapy has been proven as an incredibly effective tool when it comes to treating various anxiety and stress related disorders and also building confidence and self-worth.
In the world of seduction hypnosis is already being used as a powerful method to help men move past their crippling approach anxiety and social unease. There are also thousands of programs out there that use hypnosis to help men build confidence and elevate their sense of self-worth, enabling them to meet and interact with women of high quality and eventually build much richer social lives.