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Recorded history is full of tantalising glimpses of rituals and practices that look very much like hypnosis from a modern perspective, from the “healing passes” of the Hindu Vedas to magical texts from ancient Egypt.
These practices tend to be for magical or religious purposes, such as divination or communicating with gods and spirits.
He was also fond of dressing up in a cloak and playing ethereal music on the glass harmonica whilst this was happening.
The popular image of the hypnotist as a charismatic and mystical figure can be firmly dated to this time.
On the one hand, a history of hypnosis is a bit like a history of breathing.This was largely due to the work of therapists such as Milton H. More importantly, perhaps, hypnosis became increasingly practical, and regarded as a useful tool for easing psychological distress and bringing about profound change in a variety of situations. Advances in neurological science and brain imaging, together with the work of British psychologists Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell who linked hypnosis to the Rapid Eye Movement (REM), have also helped to resolve the “state/non-state” debate, bringing hypnosis and hypnotic trance firmly into the realm of everyday experience.At the same time, the nature of “ordinary” consciousness is better understood as a series of trance states that we go into and out of all the time.In the 21st century, there are still those who see hypnosis as some form of occult power.Those who believe that hypnosis can be used to perform miracles or control minds are, of course, simply sharing the consensus view that prevailed for centuries.