About the same time James Esdaile using a similar technique in Calcutta and started using the term Hypnosis to more adequately depict the technique and the response. He was successful in doing such procedures like leg amputations with the technique. Remember there was a lot more amputations going on back then because of infection. There was no pain control other than getting very drunk back then too.
So even then significant pain control with Hypnosis was a fact. But long before that Hypnosis was used in India by Yogis and in Greek temples as sleep therapy. In 1933 There was a new pioneering approach to how Hypnosis could be used. The research was done by Clark Hull and Milton Erickson.
Today Milton Erickson is viewed as the Einstein of Hypnosis and the term Ericksonian Hypnosis is widely known even to people who do not know Hypnosis. When He died in 1980 he had written 150 journals, worked with over 30,000 patients and authored or coauthored several books.
In 1951 the National Guild of Hypnotists NGH was founded and today is the hub for Hypnotist from around the world. This is the main forum now for exchanging ideas, developing new and improving methods. The NGH has over 6000 members now world wide. The NGH is based In New Hampshire and holds it annual convention in the summer. This is where the cutting edges is today. It is a very impressive sight to see thousands of Hypnotists from around the world all at the same place and all at the same time.
In 1956 The American Medical Association dedicated a journal to the medical use of Hypnosis. However outside of a few Universities, Hypnosis had not been seriously investigated. In 1957 Milton Erickson founded The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. (Note that many organizations over time have merged) In the early 1960's another name was beginning to emerge. That person was Dave Elman.
Dave Elman was looking at placing a person in a hypnotic state quickly. This was beneficial in that more time could be spent doing the therapy and less time getting the person in Hypnosis. Today you can see this method of rapid induction with almost every stage hypnotist show. When it may only take a snap of a finger or some other method.
Some of the things Dave writes about include helping a person who was in great pain for over a year. The source of the pain was a mystery until a time line was established that the pain started right after surgery. After some poking around in the persons memories using a method known as age regression it was found that during the surgery a comment was made by the people in the operating room “Look at that gall bladder, she will never be the same again!” although her conscious mind did not hear it, her subconscious did. Even that the surgeons were making a positive remark, her subconscious interpreted it as a negative. As a result she began to experience pain. After a few well selected hypnotic suggestions the pain ended and the woman was back to her life.
Beyond pain management Dave also did some work on impotence and laid some important groundwork for today's Hypnotherapy in that field.
In 1972 a new understanding about the human mind was being developed. The technique known as Neuro Linguistic Programming or NLP for short. Initially it was not developed for Hypnotherapist.... or perhaps it was. NLP has become a very powerful tool that is used today.
In 1984 The American Board of Hypnotherapy was founded. ABH. This body deals with Hypnotherapy where the NGH deals with all hypnotists including Stage Hypnotists. The ABH is in Hawaii.
Today Hypnosis is becoming more main stream. This is reflected in that some insurance companies are starting to pay for Hypnotherapy. Looking at the reason is simply the bottom line. Hypnotherapy works and in many cases it works a whole lot faster than conventional therapy. Recently medical Hypnosis has been becoming more of the norm and not the exception. Two of three Doctors will refer their patients if they feel it is appropriate for them.
The days of thinking that Hypnosis is just a bunch of parlor tricks or some form of mind control is fading to be just a memory. Only people who refuse to accept the wonderful benefits of Hypnosis will try to cast it in a dark and evil way. Ironically they are using a simple form of Hypnosis themselves try to suggest that it is wrong or in some way the work of the devil. There are some people who will go as far as to deliberately exclude it from people who could really benefit from Hypnotherapy based on some religious conviction. Only with then power of knowledge can you defeat ignorance some have.
Today you can find Hypnotherapists in all modalities. Some are very holistic and others shoulder to shoulder with your MD. It is important to know this and understand that if you are not comfortable with one Hypnotherapist you can seek out another. Also it is important to know that outside of the basics not all Hypnotherapists have the same training. So be sure to ask if you are looking for something special.
Hypnotherapy is used in so many applications today. Smoking and weight
loss is just the start. Working with pain
management, stress and anxiety, diabetes, sexual
dysfunction, child birth, phobias,
performance enhancement, eating disorders, OCD,
and the list goes on and on. Don't be afraid to pick
up the phone and ask. There
are just too many things to put on any web page. Plus new
therapy is being developed, and old therapy is constantly being
on. Also there are different approaches to some of the same
therapies. For example smoking cessation. Many do a one
program, and other do a multi session program. As the understanding
of Hypnosis continues undoubtedly the full potential of the human mind
will be unlocked.
Hypnotherapy work for some conditions where other treatments fail or
have very little effect. Why is Hypnotherapy so effective with IBS and Fibromyalgia
when conventional therapies only provide short term relief from
symptoms. Countless examples could be cited and questioned, and the
question will remain. Very simply we don't know everything about the
human brain and how it does what it does. We don't know what causes
illness in the body. If we did we could eliminate illness all together.
Modern medicine is continuing to look for the answers. They are looking
for how and why things happen. They are still writing all the technical
manuals and identifying all the specifications of the human body.
Finding all the answers to the human brain will not happen in my
lifetime and probably not in yours.
Now you may be asking yourself what is the relevance of this and how it relates to Hypnotherapy. Well lets look at it in another way. Many of us, if not all of us don't fully understand how many of the things we use work. We just know how to make them work. Do you really understand the workings of the computer you are using to read this? Yet you are able to use that computer to do many things, surf the Internet, read and send email, play games or even design things. Do you know how a DVD player works? Most of us understand it has to do with a laser but little more than that. However, we can select what we want to play and push the buttons to make it work. Do you know how some of the medications you take work, or do you just know that they do?
Part of being human is our endless curiosity to see what makes things tick. We want to have some logical answers to hang our hats on. As our technology grows the human brain is slowly giving up it's secrets. Then when the researchers discover a new secret someone invents a drug to influence what they just discovered. That is probably the reason much of the research is being funded by drug companies. However even if Hypnotherapists don't completely understand how the brain works, they know how to push the buttons to make it work. Much of the doubt some people have about the effectiveness of Hypnotherapy is based on the need to know how it works. Some of it we do know, and some of it we don't. But when it comes down to it is really necessary to know? That is something to think about the next time you are using something you don't fully understand. The human brain is the ultimate expert on how to do things with the body. All Hypnotherapists do is simply ask that expert human brain to do what it's so good at. How it does what it does it is not necessary to know as long as the end results are desired. Even if we did know, would it really make any difference?
There are medications that work well like antibiotics, however it was nature who provided the template for that. The first Antibiotics came from mold and were discovered by accident and not by design. The chemicals that are the most unnatural cause the most harm. You can search the Internet to find side effect that list liver damage to and even permanent brain damage if over used. Even the stories about Prozac we hear about in the news on a regular basis are side effects. We hear about Prozac mostly in the crime section. This is simply our body saying we did not get it right yet.
We have even tried to increase the potency of what nature has provided. That in itself is unnatural and just more tinkering on our part. The latest venture is genetically modified foods. Hypnosis however only uses what is in our bodies already. There are no negative side effects because nothing is being added. Any chemical that alters how you feel only mimics what hypnosis does naturally.
As each of us has our own genetic code found in our DNA, we each react differently to chemicals we put in ourselves. That is why some people die from a bee sting and others little or nothing happens. That is why it is so difficult with western medicine. Finding the blend that the biggest piece of the population can tolerate is part of the puzzle.
Ultimately it is your choice as
what you want to use. You must weight the pros and cons with each. In
any case your choice should be based on fact and not myth or
misinformation. Personally I feel that western medicine is more driven
by profit and not so much by the desire to heal or help. I feel this
way because so many medications have been removed because of rush to
market without complete disclosure and testing for excessive side
effects. That includes the ultimate negative side effect of death. I
also feel the holistic approach can benefit from some of the western
medicines. Sometime in the future we as humans will find the perfect
blend of the two. But before we can do that we must be able to put
aside the negatives like greed.
So I would push your insurance company to do what is right for you, and not for their bottom line so much. Encourage them to pay for Hypnotherapy. Each state has differing laws about Hypnotherapy. Unfortunately because so many people don't understand it they sometimes let laws go up that actually hurt people.
I would be for a standard across the country that requires a certain level of competence before being allowed to practice. Even right now today in the twenty first century there are some religious groups that still think Hypnosis is some sort of mind control or the work of the devil. It is very unfortunate that some people are so blinded by that suggestion. In a way it tends to make me think that they are under some kind of mind control already.
A common myth is that you can be controlled by Hypnosis and they cite Stage Hypnotists as examples. Well the first thing you need to know about this is that after the Stage Hypnotist get up on stage and introduces themselves is the ask for volunteers to come up on stage and be part of the show. So the people that go up already know what may happen and they accept it as being fun and entertaining. Others go up to see if they can resist being Hypnotized. In both cases they volunteered. So simply remember and understand that a volunteer is a person who wants to do something. If that was the case that you can be compelled to do things against your will, I would be Bill Gates best friend right about now. But the blind ignorance of some can be harmful to you so don't be afraid to set them straight.
Virtually every religion with the exception of a few accepts Hypnosis. As for the others, well you can come to your own conclusion. When I occasionally encounter a person like that I ask them who gave them the suggestion that Hypnosis is the work of the devil. Then after I will ask them about this suggestion and the basis of it. By about this time it starts to fall apart for them and they start quoting some passage from some text. Apparently the people who wrote this passage have long sense departed and are not around to debate it with you. Plus when the passage was written the world was probably still flat too. I am sure whoever wrote it would probably put up a good argument about that too. So about this time I point out that they have chosen to believe that suggestion and not scientific proof.
Now please don't get me wrong about this. Back then the ability to apply science to test this probably did not exist and could not be disputed. Also putting a challenge back then may have got you thrown in jail or worse.
I have always enjoyed a good logical debate. I have often found them to be enlightening providing your mind is open to listen to who you are debating. I hold no ill will on anyone's religious belief, I am just upset that sometimes people over step the line when it comes to someone else.
I have helped hundreds of people with everything from sexual problems to learning how to deal with stress and just about everything in between. The people that I have helped will freely tell anyone that Hypnosis is very effective. Even after dealing with an issue that had dogged them for years if not decades their problems were solved in just a few sessions. In some cases just a few minutes.
Hypnosis can go past the barriers that some
people throw up as a result of their problem. Even
the major television networks have been doing stories of the
positive results of Hypnosis. Most recently CBS and NBC. There have
been several others too like in Discovery and TLC. Every
now and then you may hear a story that sheds a negative light
on Hypnosis. When you hear a story like that ask yourself who wrote it
before you buy into it.
Chances are it was written
by someone does not know the truth about Hypnosis, or perhaps
have some religious motivation and
are trying to influence people by
Hypnosis has even found its way into advertizing. Many top corporations have used hypnosis to promote their products or services. As any business man knows there are 3 type of people when it comes to finding customers. The wills, the won'ts, and the undecided. Advertizing hypnosis works on the undecided by letting them view the product or service in a more positive light. This is not to be confused with subliminal programming.
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This page updated 10-24-2007