Thanks to their persistence and efforts, by the end of the century hypnosis was accepted as a valid clinical technique, studied and applied in the great universities and hospitals of the day.This trend continued into the 20th Century, although in some ways, hypnosis became imprisoned by its own respectability, as it became mired in endless academic debate about “state” or “non-state”.
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At the same time, the nature of “ordinary” consciousness is better understood as a series of trance states that we go into and out of all the time.
The history of hypnosis, then, is like the search for something that was in plain view all along, and we can now see it for what it is – a universal phenomenon that’s an inextricable part of being human.
The history of hypnosis, then, is really the history of this change in perception.
In the 21st century, there are still those who see hypnosis as some form of occult power. On the one hand, a history of hypnosis is a bit like a history of breathing.Like breathing, hypnosis is an inherent and universal trait, shared and experienced by all human beings since the dawn of time.Mesmer was also the first to develop a consistent method for hypnosis, which was passed on to and developed by his followers. Mesmer himself, for instance, liked to perform mass inductions by having his patients linked together by a rope, along which his “animal magnetism” could pass.He was also fond of dressing up in a cloak and playing ethereal music on the glass harmonica whilst this was happening.These practices tend to be for magical or religious purposes, such as divination or communicating with gods and spirits.