Hypnosis Today: Hypnotism comes of age in the 20th century

Editor’s note: This is part two of a two-part series documenting the history of hypnotism.

By Robert G. Sieveking

CHT (Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist)

Thank you for your questions and comments in reference to your question, “How long has hypnotism been around?” Here is part two of the history of hypnotism, “Hypnosis comes of age in the Twentieth Century.”

1857-1926—Emile Coué studied and wrote about the rules of suggestion, and the rules of the mind. Coué’s principles are the basis for much of modern hypnotherapy.

1920s—Platanov and Pavlov, Russian doctors, advance the use of conditioning and hypnosis. (National program for obstetric uses of hypnosis) Ferdinand Lamaze visited Russia and brought these methods back to his native France. Lamaze developed and marketed the “childbirth without pain through the psychological method” program. The Lamaze childbirth method showed more reflexology and conditioning than true hypnotic method.

Hypnosis in World War I, World War II, and Korea—Hypnosis was used to treat neuroses. Hypnosis merged with psychiatric medicine to treat what we now recognize as “Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.”

1930s—Clark Leonard Hull (at Yale University) defined and verified hypnotic anesthesia, post-hypnotic amnesia, and stated that hypnosis “is not connected with sleep.” Hypnosis is a relaxed state of focused concentration.

1952—The Hypnotism Act of 1952 regulated the public demonstration of stage hypnotism for entertainment to protect the public.

1955—The British Medical Association (BMA) approved the use of hypnosis in the areas of psychoneuroses and hypnoanesthesia for pain management in surgery and childbirth. The BMA advised physicians and medical students to receive fundamental training in hypnosis.

1958—The American Medical Association (AMA) approved a report about the medical uses of hypnosis.

1930-present—Milton Erickson (1901-1980) developed and advanced many revolutionary techniques and methods for the successful application of hypnotherapy.

Dave Elman—Dave Elman (1900-1967) stands out as a pioneer in the medical use of hypnosis. Elman’s definitions of hypnosis are widely accepted by the majority of present day hypnotherapists. His techniques are used today, for their speed and efficacy. Elman coined the term, “Esdaile State,” after the operations described by Dr. James Esdaile. Dr. Esdaile performed 345 major surgeries in India in the 1830s using hypnosis as the only anesthesia. Dave Elman introduced “painless childbirth” to the medical community, and traveled the United States teaching and lecturing to doctors and hospital staff about hypnosis and its application for anesthesia and analgesia.

Ormond McGill—Ormond McGill (1913-2005), instructor, hypnotherapist and stage hypnotist, the “Dean of American Hypnotists,” authored many books about hypnosis. He also taught hypnotherapy at Hypnotherapy Training Institute. Ormond McGill was an active instructor at HTI when I attended their resident school in 2004.

I continue to be amazed at the results realized by the careful and specific application of hypnotherapy. I am trained in classical hypnotherapy, and find application in areas such as habit control, weight release, self- esteem issues, sports achievement, pain management, sleep disorders and almost any aspect of life. Hypnosis deals in the realm of the mind and mind-body connection. Imagination is more powerful than reason.

Robert Sieveking is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. He is the owner of Hypnotherapy Resolutions, 4249 E. State St., Rockford. Phone: 815-226-3800. See him on the Web at http://hypnotherapyresolutions.com/.

Please send your questions and comments to the editor of The Rock River Times, 128 N. Church St., Rockford, IL 61101.

From the March 1-7, 2006, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!