By Melissa Dahl
Doctor Marie Elisabeth Faymonville performing hypnosis as an alternative to traditional anesthesiology.
Considering its origin story, it’s not so surprising that hypnosis and serious medical science have often seemed at odds. The man typically credited with creating hypnosis, albeit in a rather primitive form, is Franz Mesmer, a doctor in 18th-century Vienna. (Mesmer, mesmerize. Get it?)
Mesmer developed a general theory of disease he called “animal magnetism,” which held that every living thing carries within it an internal magnetic force, in liquid form. Illness arises when this fluid becomes blocked, and can be cured if it can be coaxed to flow again, or so Mesmer’s thinking went. To get that fluid flowing, as science journalist Jo Marchant describes in her recent book, Cure, Mesmer “simply waved his hands to direct it through his patients’ bodies” — the origin of those melodramatic hand motions that stage hypnotists use today.”
Finding a good hypnotherapist can seem like a difficult task as it isn't a profession that is promoted as well as it deserves to be in the media. Some clients who go don't admit to it and there are some deceptive hypnotists who promise instant results out there. While that may be a bit disconcerting, remember that hypnosis was approved by the America Medical Association in 1958 and prior to that people had been using clinical hypnotherapy for decades and there are many qualified hypnotherapist professionals that can help you.
Any kind of medical or therapeutic relationship requires you to vet the professional you're seeking help from. You wouldn't randomly stroll into the first doctor, psychologist, or dentist's office you see, right? Then you shouldn't for a hypnotherapist either. Not all professionals are made equal and even a great one may not have the background you need or be the best hypnotherapist for you.
How are you choosing to start your year? Are you hoping, it will be different from last year? Most people at least want this year to be better, they want to do something to improve their lives. Some join a gym or find a diet plan and that is a good start. What I am concerned with is the finish and most people never cross that line. It's not from lack of trying and I'll bet that you will agree with me on that. You are frustrated because you have tried and tried, in fact you even crossed that line a few times. Then you slowly fell back into your old routines and felt miserable for it. Do you know what the problem is?
About the Author
Behavior Change Coach and Author James Barfoot CHt holds certifications as a Master Practitioner of NLP and is a Clinical Hypnotherapist who is registered to practice in Washington State. He developed The Primal Toolbox a behavior change and coaching strategy based on a tribal models. James lives in Spokane WA.
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