When you think of the word hypnosis, probably the first thing that comes to mind is some man at a party trying to hypnotize guests into thinking that the onion in his hand is a juicy apple. If that’s what your mind conjures up, you aren’t alone in thinking that maybe it isn’t the solution to a serious problem that you might have, like weight loss or a phobia.
The word “Hypnosis” comes from the Greek word hypnos, meaning “sleep” and has been around for a long time. It’s a fact that every day, hypnosis helps people all around the world.
The history of hypnosis is interesting. The first type of hypnosis started with animals. In the 1600s, farmers calmed chickens hypnotically using different methods. In the 1800s people hypnotized birds, rabbits, frogs and others. B. Danilewsky experimented with animal hypnosis and studied its physiological workings in animals.
Austrian doctor, Franz Anton Mesmer (1733-1815), who is acknowledged as the “Father of Hypnosis” started the theory of “animal magnetism“. He believed that there was a quasi-magnet in the very air we breathe and that a “cosmic fluid” could be stored in inanimate objects, such as magnets and transferred to patients for curing their illness.
He cured a 29-year-old woman who suffered from a convulsive malady. During one of the woman’s attacks, Mesmer applied three magnets to the patient’s stomach and legs while she concentrated on the positive effects of the “cosmic fluid”. Her symptoms subsided when Mesmer gave her this treatment. Mesmer believed that because the “cosmic fluid” was directed through his patient’s body, her energy flow was restored and she regained her health in this way.
Mesmer had great success treating thousands of people with “animal magnetism” and the process became known as mesmerism.
Now, if you are thinking that a hypnotherapist can make you share your deep dark secrets, and there is no way you are going to let yourself feel comfortable enough to give into it, you are probably right. You will not ever really completely go out of your own comfort zone unless you have a good reason to. That is unless you want change badly enough and you trust your hypnotherapist. In hypnosis you aren’t actually losing consciousness, what is happening is that in hypnosis you are brought into a state of deep relaxation and an altered state of consciousness, which is called a trance. You’ll still be able to think for yourself, but you won’t have those inhibitions that might be holding you back if you were fully awake.
Another advantage of hypnosis is that you can learn how to master your own state of awareness. If you can do this, you can start to control your own bodily functions and psychological responses.
Hypnosis has been used to control phobias, change bad habits into healthy habits and modify behavior. If you think about it, that’s pretty amazing to be able to do all of that without using drugs. If you used hypnosis to change a bad habit that you have, it could make you richer, improve your self-esteem or even change the dynamics of your relationship with a child or a loved one. It’s incredible what hypnosis can do for you.
Once you learn more about yourself and how to bring yourself into a state of deep relaxation, the sky is the limit. You’ll be able to change your attitude – including the way you think about yourself, which will reap rewards for the rest of your life.
©Christina Florence – June 2010