Purpose: Define Hypnosis and its development from ancient history rituals to present day practices in the medical field. Audience: American adults and college students
Hypnosis, An Altered State of Consciousness
In the beginning of time, there was a woman named Eve who lived in the Garden of Eden, a bountiful garden with many animals that roamed freely and fruit that grew plentifully. One day, Eve encountered a beautiful, mesmerizing fruit. This fruit was unlike any other, and its beauty captivated Eve. She wanted to eat it, but she knew it was forbidden by her master, God. This forbidden fruit forced Eve into a trance of desire. Eve became hypnotized by the forbidden fruit, so she took it from the tree and ate it! When God discovered that the fruit was eaten, he banned both Eve and her partner, Adam, from the Garden of Eden. Since the beginning of time, hypnosis was present in the human race. Mayo Clinic’s, “Hypnosis Definition”, which is supported by the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), specifies that hypnosis is a, “trance like state in which you have heightened focus, concentration, and inner absorption” (1). It can also be concluded, from a religious aspect, that the foundation of hypnosis originated when Eve took the forbidden fruit from the tree of life. She was hypnotized by the forbidden fruit, and forced to change her behavior by performing an evil act of disobeying God. Today, most Americans have a distorted, negative view of hypnosis, and many believe that it is like a magic show, where a person loses control of their body and performs abnormal behavior. Others believe that hypnosis is a dark art where people use some act of voodoo to traumatize and manipulate others. Although these views are overdramatized, theatrical, and quite terrifying, ancient history does show that the Egyptians, Greeks, and Hebrews used acts of hypnosis to please religious gods. Even today’s medical field uses hypnosis to make the lives of chronic pain patients more bearable. Society has a negative view on hypnosis as being mind-altering and useless. However, hypnosis is progressive and useful for American adults and college students who wish to escape the daily anxieties of work and school. Actual hypnotic practices on oneself and others can be life changing. The development of hypnosis progressed over time through ancient civilizations and today’s medical field. Although American society perceives hypnosis as a useless, theatrical magic show, hypnosis has many additional uses in ancient healing practices and present day medical field therapies. The foundations of hypnosis can be traced to ancient rituals of the Egyptians, Greeks, and Hebrews. According to David Reeves’s “The Roots of Hypnosis”, the ancient Egyptians used hypnosis over 4,000 years ago for religious gatherings and healings within their “Sleep or Dream Temples” (1). These temples were healing sanctuaries where a sick person was put into a hypnotic trance, and additional priests and priestesses would observe the person’s behavior during this sleep-like state (2). The priests would then interpret the person’s dreams and propose needed guidance and healing. The earliest father of hypnosis was a worshipped Egyptian priest named Imhotep. Imhotep used the sleep temples as a psychological tool for the mentally ill. By putting individuals into a hypnotic state, many viewed Priest Imhotep as a god who could cast out evil spirits from the body and mind. Also, in ancient Greece, Greeks worshipped the healing god, Asclepios, within their Dream Temples. In these temples, priests would use chanting to put a person under hypnosis for up to three days. During this three-day trance, the priest’s chanting would relieve the mentally or physically suffering patient. Unlike the Egyptians and Greeks, the Hebrews used a different type of hypnosis called meditation. Under hypnotic meditation, an individual would perform chanting and breathing exercises; they...
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