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Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy and Hypnoanalysis 


History of Hypnosis: 

Hypnosis has been used for thousands of years. This ancient art form has been used in the treatment of various problems - although it has been referred to by many names.


1770’s – Father Gassner and Franz Mesner


The history of modern hypnosis has roots in Switzerland in 1770, with a Catholic priest named Father Gassner. Father Gassner was the first to use a quiet sleep like state of hypnosis.


Franz Anton Mesmer, a German, became curious about the work of Father Gassner and observed his curious practice. Mesmer performed many cures using the technique that became associated with his name ‘Mesmerized.’ Messmer was the first to make a connection between treatment of the mind and improved physical health.


1800’s Use in Medicine


In the 1800’s Jean-Martin Charcot, an eminent French neurologist, rescued hypnosis from the medical community’s prejudice against Mesmer.


In the 1840’s an English doctor, named James Braid, was the first to begin scientific studies of Mesmer’s work. He recognized the trance-like state and named the process hypnotism, from the Greek word for sleep.


In 1885 Sigmund Freud studied with Charcot. Freud used hypnosis with his mentor Josef Breuer. Breuer discovered that if he hypnotized patients, he was able to find out what they were thinking about on a deep subconscious level. Freud and Breuer realized that when traumatic memories were brought to light the symptoms disappeared. Breuer used hypnosis to access these memories to great effect in a process called Hypnoanalysis.


Modern history- 1900’s

In 1958 the American Medical Association officially approved hypnosis for use in medicine and dentistry at their 107th annual meeting.


In 1974 the American Academy of Medical Hypnoanalysis was founded. All of the founders had been trained by William Bryant, MD. Bryant, a brilliant man, further developed the techniques of Breuer, making Hypnoanalysis a modern, highly effective technique.



Many myths abound regarding hypnosis because of its portrayal in movies, television and by stage hypnotists. Medical Hypnosis is radically different from those portrayals.


Hypnosis is a very natural state. In hypnosis, one’s attention is focused in one area while closing out other stimulation. It is similar to day dreaming or being so completely engrossed in a book or TV program that you may ignore someone speaking in the same room.



Therapeutic hypnosis is a pleasant feeling of relaxation. Hypnosis is simply a state in which the mind is focused and concentrated on one specific thing. Because it is such a normal experience – individuals often deny being in hypnosis. Medical science has proven that there are many health benefits gained from this state of relaxation.




  • Will I lose control while in hypnosis?

No. No one can be hypnotized against their will or without consent. You enter hypnosis willingly and with full awareness. The hypnotherapist is like an instructor or coach, to guide you. Individuals decide what they will or won’t do when in hypnosis.



  • Can the hypnotherapist control my mind?


NO. It is unethical for any therapist to attempt to control someone else. In hypnosis, individuals decide if they want to accept a suggestion and will not accept any idea or suggestion that is against the religious, moral or ethical values or principles.


  • It’s not safe . . . or is it?


Hypnosis is a safe therapeutic tool. On extremely rare occasions someone may experience a headache, however, more times than not - people experience a state of relaxation beyond their imagination – and many people experience pain and stress relief.


Like any other therapeutic tool, it should be used only by a trained professional. Anyone seeking help through hypnosis should inquire about the person’s credentials and training. Make sure that he or she has a master’s or doctorate degree and is a qualified counselor and taken additional training in clinical, professional hypnosis.


  • Can I be hypnotized?


People go in and out of hypnosis regularly – most of the time we call it daydreaming. If one is willing to cooperate, a moderate to deep state of hypnosis can be achieved.


  •     What is hypnosis used for and how long does it take to get results?


Hypnosis, including self-hypnosis can be used to reduce stress and relax. This therapy is positive mentally and physically. Additionally, being in a relaxed state can have the effect of partial or total pain relief.


Hypnotherapy is direct suggestions given while in hypnosis. It can be used to improve performance and change simple habits, phobias, weight issues and smoking cessation.


Hypnoanalysis is analysis or psychotherapy done while in a state of hypnosis. It may be used to relieve anxiety, panic, depression, relationship issues, guilt, poor self-esteem and sexual problems. Hypnoanalysis is not a medical treatment and physical illness and pain should be assessed by a medical doctor.




Self-Hypnosis is focusing your mind on some positive statement. In conjunction with a therapist, a specifically designed statement is provided to help you meet your goal while relaxing your body. It is very similar to meditation.


With a qualified hypnotherapist, you can structure positive suggestions that will work. Your suggestions will be positive and present tense.




Hypnotherapy is an effective approach for simple habits such as: bed wetting, stress management, smoking cessation, weight loss, improved sports performance and pain management/relief.


What is Hypnoanalysis?


Hypnoanalysis is the most advanced form of therapeutic hypnosis – it is also called Medical Hypnosis. It is a structured approach to resolving the cause of the problem, rather than just treating the symptoms. In the relaxed hypnotic state, the subconscious mind is more accessible.


After the cause has been resolved, hypnotherapy (direct suggestion) is used to reinforce new, positive understandings, feelings and behaviors to enable the client to meet their goal in a fraction of the time. The term Hypnoanalysis refers to the process of analyzing the cause of the problem. The term ‘Medical Hypnosis’ is used because it refers to the structured process of diagnosing the cause of the problem and using diagnostic tools to treat the client.


Hypnoanalysis works specifically through the effect of hypnosis on the mind and body. When a person is in a state of hypnosis, the conscious mind goes into the background. When the emotional cause of the problem is healed, the problems with the feelings, thoughts, and body are usually relieved.


This form of therapy spends much less time talking about the symptoms affecting a person on a daily basis. Therapy time and energy are then able to be put into finding and removing the underlying cause of the problem.


Why is it called ‘Medical Hypnosis’?


Medical Hypnosis was developed by Dr. William J. Bryan. It is based on a medical model of taking a history, doing diagnostic tests, making a diagnosis and providing treatment. “Prescriptions” from this form of therapy are suggestions made while in hypnosis - and are designed to treat the client’s problem that creates new ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. This therapy emphasizes the Latin root meaning of medicine which is ‘to heal.’ Many doctors use this powerfully effective tool. This therapy does not use medication or other invasive medical procedures. Many other professionals use this tool: physicians, psychologists, clinical social workers and even clergy.


Why Hypnosis Works (it really does)?


Today, brain researches are able to peer into what is going on when people are in hypnosis. They are discovering brain structures that relate to what we call the conscious and subconscious mind. Often people will make a decision to change – like go on a diet. Then, they fall of the wagon, have a slip up, and give up. The problem comes because the motivation for bad habits and the automatic triggers for negative feelings are not lodged in the conscious decision making part of the brain.