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Origin of hypnosis

Origin of hypnosis
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The amazing thing about hypnosis is that a person who is hypnotised can actually be made to feel and think as the hypnotist wishes. For example, a...

The amazing thing about hypnosis is that a person who is hypnotised can actually be made to feel and think as the hypnotist wishes. For example, a hypnotised person can be made to shiver as if he feels cold, or perspire as if feels hot; his face can be made to turn white as with fright, or red as with embarrassment.

He can also be made to hate his favourite food, or enjoy one which he always disliked.

However, a person can rarely be hypnotised if he doesn’t wish to be; and he can’t be made to do something illegal or immoral, if he wouldn’t do such things normally.

The power of hypnosis has been known to certain people since earliest times, even among very primitive peoples. It was practiced by them as a medicine in the earliest days of civilization.

Scientific study of hypnosis started in eighteenth century. There was a doctor in Vienna, Franz A Mesmer, who began to use hypnosis on patients who were mentally disturbed. The word ‘mesmerism’, in fact, is derived from his name. But Dr Mesmer didn’t quite understand what hypnosis was.

He thought it was some kind of force, which he called ‘animal magnetism’. He believed this force flowed from the hypnotist to the subject. Because of this strange theory, Dr Mesmer and his ‘mesmerism’ was considered a fraud by many other doctors. Then, about hundred years later an English doctor, James Braid, studied this subject more scientifically. He coined the words ‘hypnotism’ and ‘hypnosis’ and from his time on it became a scientific subject.

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