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The Birth of "Hypnosis"

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When was the word "hypnotism" first used?

The Birth of "Hypnosis"

The terms "hypnosis" and "hypnotism" were not coined until 1843 by James Braid (1795-1860), a Scottish surgeon working in Manchester. He discovered that some experimental subjects could go into a trance if they simply fixated their eyes on a bright object, like a silver watch. Believing that a neurophysiological connection was involved, he turned to hypnosis as a tool. He found hypnosis to be very useful in disorders where no organic origin to the problem could be identified (e.g. headaches, skin problems etc.). Further, he showed that a single stimulus (e.g. a word or an object) was enough to re-hypnotize his subjects.



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