Knowledge is power, that’s why I’m presenting here a short history of hypnosis in order to boost the heart based power. The more you delve into this subject, the more are you able to unlock your own potential using power suggestion.
Access uninvested potentials of your heart!
One of the first written instructions for trance induction can be found in an Egyptian papyrus, a demotic-magic paper of the first century AD, probably going back to much older sources. Here you’ll find a description how to create a state of trance as well as instructions for self-hypnosis. On this papyrus there’s a detailed explanation of the so called hypnotic fixation methods, suggestion formulas and supporting odorants. The demotic-magic papyrus is partially preserved at the University of Leiden, the second part at the British Museum of London.
Apparently hypnosis is as old as humanity itself. Following the Cuneiforms of the countries around Euphrates and Tigris which are passed down to us, we can deduce that the oldest civilized people on earth, the Sumerians, were acquainted with hypnosis the same way as we are already in the 4th millennium B.C. As well the oldest Sanskrit documents in India, the so called Manus Statute, describe similar procedures inducing hypnosis. It’s talked about in terms of waking sleep, dreaming sleep and blissfulness sleep. Even today many yoga techniques build upon various methods of self-hypnosis.
The Ebers Papyrus from Egypt
On a 3000 years old papyrus, the so called Ebers Papyrus, the hypnotic methods are described quite extensively. Here as well the described procedures are similar to ours. Egyptian priests applied hypnosis for medical treatment. They induced hypnosis by way of a blazing metallic disc holding in front of the patient’s eyes or by way of having to look them into oil lamps in order to fatigue their eyes. Both are fixation techniques. They also applied the hand lay-up combined with concerning suggestions. As a therapeutic measurement it was common to use the 9 days “magnetic-hypnotic” sleep in the Temple of Serapis and the Temples of Isis along the river Nile in the 5th century B.C.
The special tradition of Temple Sleep was cultivated in Ancient Greece, in temples dedicated to Asclepios. Just like in Egypt, the actual healing occured during sleep. Even in early Christianity healing through sleep is reported, with the exception that the main acting force is found in the Saints. After the 6th century A.D. more and more the monks took over the role of the Temple Priests in that they performed miracles through prayers, which always had a suggestive power, through holy water, relics of martyrs and laying-up hands. Soon after, even Popes and Kings participated as masters of these healing rituals. As it is said in the New Testament (Mt 16,18): “They will place their hands on sick people.”
Traces from the Middle Ages to the Modern Era
First descent of self hypnosis can be found in the 11th century A.D. among the Hesychasts, members of an order living on Mount Athos in Greece. They practice the so called Omphaloskepsis or naval gazing whereby they concentrate with the inner eye on the naval which is considered to be a crucial chacra. Similar techniques are mentioned in the Dead Sea Scrolls of the Essenes.
Another historical witness is Theophrastus Bombastus, better known as Paracelsus (1493 – 1541). According to his teachings, the crucial part in every healing is the “inner doctor”. Austrian monks for example healed the sick in that they had to look them into a shining crystal ball. This eye fixation caused the patients to fall into a deep sleep during which the monks gave them suggestions. Most of the time, they were successful. Only after the Inquisition and witch-hunt this art was suppressed because it was qualified as the devil’s invocation.
In 1646 the Jesuit priest Athanasius Kirchner described in his book “Experimentum Mirabile” the hypnosis of a cock. This is the first scientific treatise of an animal hypnosis. Another Jesuit priest, Prof. Maximilian Hell already treated patients with “magnetic cures” in 1720. The success rate was 60 – 70 %.
Franz Anton Mesmer – first pioneer of hypnosis
Without any doubt, the modern era of Magnetism started with Franz Anton Mesmer (1734 – 1815). He is said to be the precursor of modern Hypnotherapy while being successful in France before the Revolution. He proposed the theory that all illnesses are caused by an imbalance of an organism’s animalistic magnetism he “discovered”. Today we know that Mesmer owes his success mainly to Hypnosis and suggestive influence, but also to the placebo effect.
At the beginning he worked with magnetic metals and developed by and by an ever more complex theory with 27 principles. According to him a beneficial magnetic fluidum can be transmitted from one person to another. After establishing “Rapport” (contact between the medium and the hypnotizer) the therapist induces a “healing crisis” (a kind of convulsive crisis) applying “magnetic strokes”. Very carefully he prepared the setting wearing a coat of purple silk and having some music played. Mesmer was friends with W. A. Mozart.
His most famous patient was Marie Antoinette together with other members of the French royal court. In 1784 the French Academy of Science disqualified Mesmer’s “magnetic-fluidum-theory” as unscientific. The healing success he had was attributed to the power of imagination. From that on his techniques were penalized. In other countries like Bayern (today’s Germany) and Russia his theory was pursued and researched further.
Precursors of clinical hypnosis
The main impulse for modern theory of suggestion came from a Portuguese, Abbé Faria (1755 – 1819), who settled in Paris in 1813. He studied the hypnotic phenomena in India and came to the conclusion that the hypnotist doesn’t need a fluidum in order to induce a hypnotic sleep. In 1819 he publishes a book about hypnosis where he designates the hypnotist as “Concentrateur”. His method basically consisted of a simple procedure, in that he approached the patient, looked him straight in the eyes (see eye fixation) and told him: “Dormez!” (sleep!). Already 50 % fell into a hypnotic sleep.
Another important pioneer was the Scottish physician James Braid (1795 – 1890) who had a medical practice in Manchester. He introduced the concept of hypnosis and elaborated on it. Prof. Hypolyte Bernheim (1843 – 1919) introduced hypnosis as a valid treatment in his clinic in Nancy (France) and thereby set the start for the “School of Nancy”.
One of its most famous disciple is Dr. Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939), the founder of Psychoanalysis from Vienna. In 1887 he decided wo work with hypnosis. But soon after, in 1889, he terminated this approach after an incident. One of his patients flung her arms around his neck. He was sober enough not to attribute it to him personally. He was rather afraid of the emotional and mystical dimension of hypnosis and thus established the new and more rational discipline called Psychoanalysis.
Hypnosis = Self Hypnosis
Emil Coué (1857 – 1926) developed the theory of auto suggestion. He realized that in essence hypnosis always is self hypnosis. The hypnotist creates only the notion of hypnosis in his client which he then realizes. He concluded that everybody can hypnotize himself and he explained to his patients that every sickness can be healed by self suggestion. Among other things her recommended his patients to say to themselves the following phrase 20 times a day: “In every aspect of my life I feel better day after day.”
His most important principle is unchallenged until today: The basic incentive for actions is not will but imagination.
The Autogenic Training, which I introduced in an earlier post, was developed on this basis by Dr. I. H. Schultz. This self hypnosis technique is mostly used for stress relief, support of rehabilitation or for better results in sport. Combined with biofeedback methods it’s very effective.
Milton H. Erickson – the father of Clinical Hypnosis
Now we come to the grandmaster of hypnosis Dr. Milton H. Erickson (1901 – 1980), an American psychiatrist and psychologist. With his own words he nails the secret of hypnosis on its head: “Hypnosis is a therapeutic method which requires more than any other method power of observation and empathy. That’s why the possibility to learn this method is limited. A good hypnotist has to be an artist rather than a theorist.”
Early on in his life he began to experiment with hypnosis at the University of Wisconsin, and by the time he reached his PhD he was already an experienced practitioner. Because of several handicaps like polio and color blindness he was forced to perceive tiny little signals in the non-vebal communication. So quite often Erickson sensed the problem of a patient before he even began talking about it. Today many of his discoveries are being taught in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming).
Today, hypnosis is more actual than ever before and it is far from being deciphered. Looking at the art of Shaolin monks for example shows, that there is much more to discover. Concluding I have to summarize that it comes all down to the question of consciousness and thus to the basic fabric of our reality. As I have shown many times, the heart is the interface between the inner and outer reality, imagination and realization, thought and action.
I will publish much more on this subject. That’s why I’m interested in your experience and thoughts. In the meantime, have a look at my handpicked self help guides. And please feel free to enter the dialogue down below.