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.

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Those who believe that hypnosis can be used to perform miracles or control minds are, of course, simply sharing the consensus view that prevailed for centuries.

Recorded history is full of tantalising glimpses of rituals and practices that look very much like hypnosis from a modern perspective, from the “healing passes” of the Hindu Vedas to magical texts from ancient Egypt.

This conundrum – does hypnosis have a real, physical basis, or not? Important shifts were happening elsewhere, however. First of all, the centre of hypnotic gravity moved from Europe to America, where all the most significant breakthroughs of the 20th century took place.

Secondly, hypnosis became a popular phenomenon, something that was increasingly available to the layman, outside of the laboratory or clinic.

These practices tend to be for magical or religious purposes, such as divination or communicating with gods and spirits.

It’s important to remember, however, that what we see as occultism was the scientific establishment of its day, with exactly the same purpose as modern science – curing human ills and increasing knowledge., based on the name's pronunciation in the Mandarin dialect.The name means "Suppressing" or "Guarding the River" and refers to the imperial army garrisons placed in the city to protect Nanjing and the Grand Canal.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 future of hypnosis will be to fully realise the incredible potential of our natural hypnotic abilities.