The history of hypnosis is much older than most people realize. It wasn’t always used to help people stop smoking. The expression “hypnosis” has been used since 1840, however forms of healing similar to hypnosis have been used as long ago as 2000 years, in China and Egypt. In ancient Greece they used “sleep temples” where people went into a trance and were cured of their ailments.
Around 1770 Anton Mesmer started using “mesmerism” to help people with problems. He believed that “animal magnetism” could be developed within a healer, and used to help others. His methods that included using magnetized metal rods to balance peoples “animal magnetism were popular at the time, however fell into disrepute quickly. Some of Mesmer’s approaches were kept alive by street performers afterward.
In the 1830’s, James Braid who was a Scottish surgeon, seen a street performer using some of Mesmer’s techniques and started experimenting with them in a more scientific way. He realized that the effects the street performer achieved were nothing to do with “animal magnetism”, rather suggestion. He was the first person the use the term “hypnosis”.
Since then the art of hypnosis has been studied and expanded on to the level it is at today. Nowadays hypnosis is used to help people with habits like stopping smoking all over the world every day.