The fact is, hypnosis is as old as humankind. Hieroglyphics found on tombs from as early as 3,000 B.C., suggest that the Egyptians were using hypnotism in "sleep temples" linked with healing, religion or both. The ancient Greeks, Mayas of South America, Hindu Fakirs, the Chinese religious teachers, Persian Magi and Celtic Druids also understood and practiced their own version of hypnotism.
Franz Anton Mesmer (1734 - 1815) Mesmers interest in "animal magnetism" (the use of magnets to help in the treatment of diseases)
developed into a system of treatment that he called mesmerism. Mesmers theatrical shows used music, wild lighting and scores
of highly suggestible volunteers grasping magnetized iron rods protruding from his legendary revolving "banquet," were reputed to
be over-the-top productions that would warm even the most flamboyant Hollywood producer's heart. It seems now that Mesmer was
actually treating psychosomatic illness, but an unsympathetic medical and scientific community caused him to be expelled first from
James Braid (1796 - 1860) Dr James Braid is regarded by many as the 'Father of Hypnosis' for he was the man who coined the term "hypnosis". Having wrongly concluded that the phenomena was a form of sleep, Dr Braid named the phenomena after Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep and master of dreams; but by 1847 he discovered that all the major phenomena of hypnotism such as catalepsy, aesthesia and amnesia, could be induced without sleep. Realizing his choice of the term hypnosis had been a mistake; he tried to rename it to monoideism but it was too late, the term "Hypnosis" and "Hypnotism" had already become widely adopted as part of all the major European languages..
Milton Erickson (1901 - 1980) developed many tips and techniques in hypnosis that were very different from what was commonly practiced. Erickson theorized that hypnotic trances are a common, everyday occurrence, for example, when waiting for buses and trains, driving a car, reading or listening, or even exercising, it is quite normal to become focused on the activity so intensely that a trance state is entered, and the persons attention becomes removed from any other stimuli. His style is known as Ericksonian Hypnosis, which has greatly influenced many modern schools of hypnosis.
Ormond McGill (1913 - 2005) the legendary Ormond McGill, The Dean of American Hypnotists, entered the field in 1927. He received international acclaim beginning in the 1940's for his excellent books including those integrating hypnotism with meditation and exploring creative hypnotic strategies. From 1947 to 1954, McGill performed hypnotism and magic under the stage name of Dr. Zomb. His "Sťance of Wonders" show featured horror-themed routines and costumed assistants typical of the midnight "Spook Shows" which were popular during that era. Eight decades in the field, he wrote over 25 books, including what is now known as 'The Bible' of stage hypnosis, The Encyclopedia of Genuine Stage Hypnotism. Christopher Hrebenak was fortunate enough to have met with and receive invaluable stage hypnosis training from Mr. McGill before his passing in October of 2005.
Famous historical personalities known to have used hypnosis and self-hypnosis include:
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Frederick Chopin (1810-1849)
Thomas Edison (1847-1931)
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Henry Ford (1863-1947)
Winston S. Churchill (1874-1965)
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Since the 1950s, professional associations for hypnotists have been formed in many countries, including
Hypnosis is recognized & medically approved
FACT: Hypnosis was first recognized as a viable therapeutic tool by the British Government through The Hypnotism Act, in 1952 and sanctioned by the British Medical Association (BMA) in 1955.
FACT: Then the American Medical Association (AMA) and the British Medical Association (BMA) sanctioned the official use of hypnosis by physicians in 1958.
FACT: Next, in 1958, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) approved hypnotherapy for use by professionally responsible individuals.
FACT: Hypnosis has been used successfully by millions to aid in smoking cessation, stress reduction as well dealing with phobias.
In 1994 a panel of experts was set up in
Nowadays the hypnosis stage show remains popular as both public and corporate entertainment.