Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Hyponsis Essays - Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy, Suggestibility
Hyponsis Abstract This paper focuses on the history and science of hypnosis. The introduction discusses the origins of hypnosis that date back to pre-historic times and the first people to employ hypnotic-like methods to alter or change human behavior using the power of suggestion. A background and study of Franz Anton Mesmer, the man who most people associate with the beginning of hypnosis, is elaborated on throughout this paper. I will also discuss what hypnosis is, how it is used to explain human experiences, and how research does or does not support the theory of hypnosis. I will also give examples of how hypnosis is applied, why its used, and how it has been viewed in the past and present times. The History and Science of Hypnosis Introduction A brief history of the concept of hypnosis The science of hypnosis, remote from being a practice of modern times, is one that has been studied and pondered over since pre-historic times. The employment of hypnotic-like methods to alter human behavior using the power of suggestion and repetitious incentives to rouse the mind or the spirits were used by numerous ancient civilizations (Baker, 1990, p. 51). These methods were usually associated with a confidence in magic and the occult, and the belief that these procedures were beyond human understanding. According to Baker (1990), priest-physicians of ancient Egypt induced sleep-like states in other people. This practice was also prominent in the sleep temples of classical Greece. In this case, worshippers attempted to conjure Hypnos, the god of sleep, who it was believed brought them prophetic dreams. Another example of the use of hypnotic-like methods dates back to 2600 BC in China, where Wang Tai, the father of Chinese Medicine, wrote of a medical procedure that involved using incantations and mysterious passes of the hands over the patient that leaves no doubt about its hypnotic nature (Baker, 1990, p. 51). According to Baker (1990), the use of hypnotic-like techniques and procedures were mentioned in the Hindu Vera, written about 1500 BC, and the Ebers papyrus, which is known to be over 3,000 years old, narrates an expressive method extremely similar to the techniques modern hypnotherapists practice today. Although the practice of hypnosis appears to have begun during these pre-historic times, and there are many more accounts similar to the latter, the fact is that these people of different lands, thousands of years ago, may have known about the strange powers of hypnosis; that it appeared to be magic and it helped cure the sick, but these ancient people knew little about what hypnosis really was (Kennedy, 1979, p. 22) Attempts to provide scientific explanations for the existence and the cure of diseases began in Europe during the 16th century. Up until this time, the causes and cures for diseases were attributed to supernatural or metaphysical causes. Paracelsus (1493-1541), a physician and alchemist, who was born in Switzerland, was among the first theorists to offer such a scientific explanation. He suggested the idea that magnets and the heavenly bodies-the sun, moon, and stars-possessed healing effects that could be used on the human body (Baker, 1990, p. 53). From this time forward, a number of similar notions motivated the study of physicians, astronomers, physicists, and healers of the sick. Gul Maxwell, a Scottish physician, proposed the idea that a universal and vital force adversely influenced and affected humans, in 1679. The efforts and studies of Maxwell impacted Richard Mead, an 18th century English physician, and led him to begin studies dealing with the universality of life. Around 1771, Maximillian Hell, who was a Viennese Jesuit, became known for cures that he attained by applying a steel plate to the bodies of people who were sick or diseased. In 1774, Hell met a Viennese physician, Franz Anton Mesmer, and demonstrated to him the healing powers of his magnetized steel poles (Baker, 1990, p. 53). Given all of this information, it is a mystery tome that the history of hypnosis is often associated with Mesmer, and that it is he who is often considered when the beginning of hypnosis is reflected. However, Mesmer did contribute to the further developments and understanding of hypnosis. In the late 1700s, Mesmer began using a new kind of medical treatment in Vienna, Austria.