The word hypnotism came into use in the mid to late 1800’s. Originally James Braid, who is considered the father of hypnotism, came up with the term in 1841, but it didn’t take on in the medical community until the 1880’s, long after Braid’s death.

Braid spent many years studying meditation and Oriental methods of healing and wellness. Through his study of Yoga and meditation he developed the process of hypnosis. Braid did not follow, nor believe in, the religious or spiritual connections to these practices. He was only concerned with the medical and scientific results he was able to obtain for working with these methods.

In his studies Braid was able to trace the use of ‘healing sleep’ back as far as Ancient Egypt. In Egypt and other ancient countries people suffering from illness were often sent to sleep temples where practitioner would work healing medicine and magic while the patient was in a deep sleep. References to hypnotic like inductions have been found in many ancient texts and this was just the beginning for Braid.

Prior to Braid coining the term hypnosis the practice was referred to as mesmerism. This was connected to the work done by Franz Anton Mesmer, a physician from Austria in the late 1770’s. On top of Mesmer’s work with trance like states he was also a leading authority on the use of magnets and magnetism to heal patients. But all of Braid’s work went against mesmerism, which he felt to be pseudo-science.

By using a practice called protracted ocular fixation, Braid was able to get his patients into a deep trancelike state where he was able to give them verbal cues for their healing process. Through the protracted ocular fixation patients would experience a neural fatigue that would allow certain parts of the brain to overload, in turn allowing more subconscious parts of the brain to be alert.

Later Jean-Martin Charcot picked up where Braid left off and was able to develop the practice to help his patients deal with hysteria. Through his studies he was able to report amazing findings in memory and sensory acuity. Charcot’s pupil, Pierre Janet, was able to take the work even one step further, by showing how lost memories could be recovered under hypnosis.

The field continued to grow and expand upon the original idea posed by Braid until the 1900’s when Milton Erickson brought the field of hypnotism into the mainstream Western culture. It is currently recognized as medical treatment in most of the Western world. Although still considered an alternative treatment many use hypnosis to help overcome addition, deal with pain, and heal from illness.

To learn more about the history of hypnosis and hypnosis is general, visit

Author's Bio: 

Since the mid 1980′s, Steve G. Jones has dedicated his life to hypnosis and helping people lead better and more incredible lives. The breadth of his knowledge is wide and for over 20 years, he’s helped clients with almost any condition you can name: weight loss, anxiety, smoking cessation, exam taking, phobias, anger management, pain control, business and sales confidence, and many others.

So if you’ve ever dreamed about taking control of your life, living your dreams, and channeling your energy and focus towards fulfillment, abundance, confidence, and happiness, Steve is ready to help you.

Studying at the University of Florida in the 1980s, Steve completed his degree with a focus on cognitive psychology and understanding how people learn. However his experiences have since expanded greatly and Steve is now a board certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and counseling, a master’s degree in education, and is now completing his doctorate in education at Georgia Southern University.

Steve’s practice has taken him into business settings, medical and psychological circumstances, and a variety of other difficult situations where he has helped individuals and groups overcome their limitations, fears, pains, and problems.

He has also worked extensively with Hollywood actors, writers, directors, and producers, helping them achieve their very best in a highly competitive market.

Currently, Steve is a member of the National Guild of Hypnotists, American Board of Hypnotherapy, president of the American Alliance of Hypnotists, on the board of directors of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Lung Association, and director of the California state registered Steve G. Jones School of Hypnotherapy.