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How long has hypnosis been around?

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The history of hypnosis goes at least back as far as the sleep temples in ancient Egypt. And, Hippocrates, the 4th century B.C. “father of medicine” used techniques that can be described as hypnotic. In the 18th century, the Austrian medical doctor, Franz Anton Mesmer, who affected hundreds of mental and medical cures through the use of his “animal magnetism” was accused by Benjamin Franklin of achieving his successes merely through the use of the power of suggestion. Although Mesmer and Mesmerism was in disrepute, his contribution lived on in the works of others such as James Esdaile, the British surgeon who completed over 300 radical surgeries using mesmerism as his only form of anesthetic. The word hypnosis was coined in the 1890’s by another British doctor by the name of James Braid, who likened the dazed state that his subjects attained as a modified sleep state. He used the Greek word “hypnosis” to describe this state. Since Braid, notables such as Hippolyte Bernheim, Sigmund ... more
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