1. Hypnosis can help people to manage pain. The ability to tap into the subconscious part of our minds whilst using different techniques to focus on the pain can actually help to transform the experience of the pain itself.
2. Hypnosis can distort the effects of time. Hypnosis can be used to lengthen or shorten time, depending on the desired outcome. Very often, the length of time one stays in hypnosis appears a lot shorter than it actually is, 30 minutes say, feeling more like 10.
3. We all allow ourselves to undergo self-hypnosis many times every single day. If anyone has ever asked you a question and you’ve replied - “Oh sorry, what did you say? I was in a world of my own then!” – then you had been briefly under your own spell of self-hypnosis, being physically present but miles away in your own little world of daydreaming.
4. The word hypnosis stems from the Greek god of sleep, Hypnos.
His Roman counterpart was Somnus, from where we derive the word insomnia.
5. Hypnosis has been used as a surgical anaesthetic as far back as the mid nineteenth century. James Esdaile was a surgeon with a reputation and was the first (in modern times) to have been documented as having used hypnosis as an anaesthetic.
6. Hypnosis was used in the treatment of soldiers in the American Civil War (1861-1865) where limb amputations were carried out in the field with no other forms of anaesthetic available at the time.
7. Hypnosis was being endorsed by the British Medical Association as far back as 1892 following the first International Congress on hypnosis held in Paris in 1889.
8. Hypnosis was used in the treatment of battle trauma (which we would now call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD) in both World Wars and the Korean War. Schultz, a German surgeon, instigated a technique which he called autogenic training to treat such trauma.
9. People often regard hypnobirthing (the use of hypnosis to facilitate a calmer, more comfortable experience) as a very modern technique. However, with The British Hypnotism Act being passed in 1952 the use of hypnosis as an anaesthetic during childbirth was allowed by the British Medical Association in 1955.
10. It is estimated that the use of hypnosis goes back more than 6000 years with ancient texts and cave drawings documenting the effects of the hypnotic trance through the ages. Various archeological records refer to the ancient Hindus and Sikhs of India, and ancient Greeks and Egyptians, as having temples to which they devoted the purpose of sleep and healing, and where the people attending would be given healing suggestions while in a state of ‘induced sleep’.
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