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Top 5 Facts about Hypnosis

VO: Chris Masson
Script written by Sean Harris If that little WatchMojo bumper doesn't induce a hypnotic state, I don't know what does! Welcome to WatchMojo's Top 5 Facts! In this instalment we're counting down the five most fascinating things that you probably didn't know about hypnosis! Special thanks to our user christo for submitting the idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 5 Facts About Hypnosis


If that little WatchMojo bumper doesn’t induce a hypnotic state, I don’t know what does! Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts! In this instalment we're counting down the five most fascinating things that you probably didn't know about hypnosis!

#5: Hypnosis is Ancient History

The term ‘hypnotism’ was first adopted in the early 1840s by Scottish surgeon James Braid, but the actual practice had been around for centuries and millennia before that. During the Vedic culture of ancient India, the sick were often placed under the power of suggestion and into ‘temple sleep’ in a bid to be cured. A similar belief was seemingly held by the Ancient Greeks, who carried out sleeping rituals in their temples to cure illness. Medicinal hypnosis was also around in Ancient Egypt, according to documents discovered in a tomb that date back to 1500BC, thought to be the work Imhotep, a one-time doctor to the Pharaohs.

#4: You Can Hypnotise Yourself

And you don’t need to swing a pendulum in front of your own face either. Self-hypnosis usually involves autosuggestion, a technique developed in the early twentieth century by French psychologist Émile Coué. It’s built on the principle that anything ‘exclusively occupying the mind turns into reality’. Theoretically, one should be able to believe that they cannot open an unlocked door, if they overcome their own willpower, which tells them to deny that fact. One of the key requirements for self-hypnosis – and indeed any form of hypnosis – is that the person being hypnotised must want it to happen. If you resist, it just won’t work.

#3: You Can Hypnotise Pain Away

Historically, hypnosis has been relied upon to provide a form of direct pain relief – with hypnoanesthesia being relatively widely practiced in the 1800s. Nowadays, practitioners report the ability to hypnotise away moderate pain from, say, a skin ailment, minor burn, or insect bite. However, a more extreme example is the practice of hypnobirthing. Working on the premise that labour-related pain is linked to preconditioned fear of the experience, its adherents report that hypnotherapy has helped lessen the pain. Scientific reviews from as far back as the 1950s, and from this century, have concluded that there is enough convincing evidence of the technique’s efficacy in pain relief, including during childbirth.

#2: Hypnosis Is No Sin

In 1847, the Roman Catholic Church decided to address the misconception that hypnosis was linked to the Devil, issuing a decree explaining the practice was ‘not morally forbidden provided it does not tend toward an illicit end or toward anything depraved’. The Christian stance does vary depending upon denomination, but most major churches accept hypnosis to at least some degree – although not all those that accept it would encourage it. Since the idea behind hypnosis is to put the patient into a state where they are susceptible to the hypnotist’s therapeutic suggestions, some religious types are afraid that it will also make one susceptible to Satan’s wicked suggestions!

#1: You’ve Probably Already Been Hypnotised Today

No matter how sceptical anybody is, everybody averages at least two bouts of hypnosis every single day. They come about when you’re engrossed in a good book, binge watching WatchMojo, or just casually staring at an old-timey spinning hypnosis wheel. It’s that sensation you get when time has passed, but you can’t really remember how. Ever been for a walk or gone for a drive, got to your destination with no dramas, but had little recollection of the journey itself? You may have experienced a self-induced state of hypnosis. One telltale sign to watch out for: believing you’re a chicken.

So, have these facts left you feeling dazed? Until next time, try to keep a hold of your subconscious, before somebody else does! For more mesmerizing Top 10s and pain-inducing Top 5s, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com!











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