About Hypnotherapy:

'Hypnos' is the Greek word for sleep and is the name of the Greek God of Sleep, although the actual state of hypnosis is very different from that of sleep.

About hypnotherapy

Clinical hypnotherapy is the treatment of an illness or problem by the use of hypnosis. It is effective because it forms a communication with the unconscious mind which is the part of the mind where memories are stored and information is processed.
It is also said to be a place where a persons thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviours originate. It is estimated that approximately 85% of people of all age groups will readily respond to clinical hypnotherapy.

History of hypnosis

Hypnotic or suggestive therapy is the oldest of all healing techniques.

Over 4,000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians used healing sanctuaries called 'Sleep Temples' to heal the sick. Religious rituals were used to put people into a trance-like sleep whilst priests gave suggestions, sometimes evoking healing dreams, to affect a cure (of course calling on the help of the gods). Today we recognise a lot of what went on in the Temples as suggestion therapy. Since the Sleep Temples of both Egypt and Greece, some form of hypnosis has always been an intimate part of all cultures. From the Middle Ages, through to the 21st Century, a belief in miraculous healing through touch and prayer has persisted.

The phrase Hypnosis

It has been well documented that in the 18th Century, it was believed that illness was caused by blockages in the flow of magnetic forces in the body, and the correct balance for health could be achieved by placing magnets on the body. Franz Anton Mesmer (1734 - 1815) first used magnets, but discovered they were unnecessary and erroneously concluded that he was the magnet and his 'Animal Magnetism' flowed from his fingers as he performed 'mesmeric passes' over his patients. Mesmer himself was very much a showman, conveying by his manner that something was going to happen to the patient. In itself this form of indirect suggestion was very powerful. Although Mesmerism was soon discredited, it continued to be used even after the death of Mesmer as it often produced 'miracle' cures. These cures were indeed genuine, but no one had considered the part played by suggestion and the recipient's imagination.

When James Braid (1795 - 1860) re-examined Mesmerism in the 19th Century he discovered that simple suggestion was just as effective as Mesmerism or any other method used to induce trance-like states. It was he: who coined the phrase Hypnosis and for a time hypnosis became a scientific technique with scientific respectability.

Benefits of hypnotism

Meanwhile, a British surgeon in India, James Esdaile (1808 - 59), recognised the enormous benefits of hypnotism for pain relief and performed hundreds of major operations using hypnotism as his only anaesthetic. When he returned to England he tried to convince the medical establishment of his findings, but they were unimpressed and remained biased in favour of the new chemical anaesthetics, which they could control.

Treatment of no intrinsic value the power of which lies in suggestion

Frenchman, Emile Coue (1857 - 1926), understood the importance of the subject's participation in hypnosis, and was a forerunner of today's practitioners who state. 'There is no such thing as hypnosis, only self-hypnosis.' Coue believed that he did not heat people himself but merely facilitated their own self-healing. In a sense Coue anticipated the placebo effect - treatment of no intrinsic value the power of which lies in suggestion: patients are told that they are being given a drug or treatment that will cure them. Recent research on placebos is quite startling. In some cases statistics indicate that placebos can work better that many of modern medicine's most popular drugs or treatments. It seems that while drugs are not always necessary for recovery from illness, belief in recovery is!