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Nokia gaze tracking glasses prescription eyeglasses

The history of hypnosis is full of contradictions. 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. On the other hand, it’s only in the last few decades that we’ve come to realise that! Hypnosis itself hasn’t changed for millennia, but our understanding of it and our ability to control it has changed quite profoundly. The history of hypnosis, then, is really the history of this change in perception.

Mesmer was also the first to develop a consistent method for hypnosis, which was passed on to and developed by his followers. It was still a very ritualistic practice. 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. The popular image of the hypnotist as a charismatic and mystical figure can be firmly dated to this 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 future of hypnosis will be to fully realise the incredible potential of our natural hypnotic abilities.