hypnosis and hypnotherapy in nottingham">hypnosis and Hypnotherapy - Including some interesting articles about the Gotham Tales"> hypnosis and hypnotherapy in nottingham">hypnosis, hypnotherapy, history, gotham, mesmer, braid, nottingham, spiders, smoking cessation, stop smoking, smoking, panic attacks, weight loss, stress, relief, stress relief, notts., nottinghamshire"> From Magic Power to Everyday Trance The history of hypnosis and hypnotherapy in nottingham">hypnosis is full of contradictions. On the one hand, a history of hypnosis and hypnotherapy in nottingham">hypnosis is a bit like a history of breathing. Like breathing, hypnosis and hypnotherapy in nottingham">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 and hypnotherapy in nottingham">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 and hypnotherapy in nottingham">hypnosis, then, is really the history of this change in perception. In the 21st century, there are still those who see hypnosis and hypnotherapy in nottingham">hypnosis as some form of occult power. Those who believe that hypnosis and hypnotherapy in nottingham">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 and hypnotherapy in nottingham">hypnosis from a modern perspective, from the “healing passes” of the Hindu Vedas to magical texts from ancient Egypt. 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. From a Western point of view, the decisive moment in the history of hypnosis and hypnotherapy in nottingham">hypnosis occurred in the 18th Century (coinciding with the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason). The work of Franz Mesmer, amongst others, can be seen as both the last flourish of “occult” hypnosis and hypnotherapy in nottingham">hypnosis and the first flourish of the “scientific” viewpoint. Mesmer was the first to propose a rational basis for the effects of hypnosis and hypnotherapy in nottingham">hypnosis. Although we now know that his notion of “animal magnetism”, transferred from healer to patient through a mysterious etheric fluid, is hopelessly wrong, it was firmly based on scientific ideas current at the time, in particular Isaac Newton’s theories of gravitation. Mesmer was also the first to develop a consistent method for hypnosis and hypnotherapy in nottingham">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. Inevitably, these magical trappings led to Mesmer’s downfall, and for a long time, hypnotism was a dangerous interest to have for anybody looking for a mainstream career. Nevertheless, the stubborn fact remained that hypnosis and hypnotherapy in nottingham">hypnosis worked, and the 19th Century is characterised by individuals seeking to understand and apply its effects. Surgeons and physicians like John Elliotson and James Esdaille pioneered its use in the medical field, risking their reputation to do so, whilst researchers like James Braid began to peel away the obscuring layers of mesmerism, revealing the physical and biological truths at the heart of the phenomenon. Thanks to their persistence and efforts, by the end of the century hypnosis and hypnotherapy in nottingham">hypnosis was accepted as a valid clinical technique, studied and applied in the great universities and hospitals of the day. This trend continued into the 20th Century, although in some ways, hypnosis and hypnotherapy in nottingham">hypnosis became imprisoned by its own respectability, as it became mired in endless academic debate about “state” or “non-state”. This conundrum – does hypnosis and hypnotherapy in nottingham">hypnosis have a real, physical basis, or not? – ultimately proved to be rather sterile. 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 and hypnotherapy in nottingham">hypnosis became a popular phenomenon, something that was increasingly available to the layman, outside of the laboratory or clinic. At the same time, the style of hypnosis and hypnotherapy in nottingham">hypnosis changed, from a direct instruction issued by an authoritarian figure (a legacy of the charismatic mesmerist) to a more indirect and permissive style of trance induction, based on subtly persuasive language patterns. This was largely due to the work of therapists such as Milton H. Erickson. More importantly, perhaps, hypnosis and hypnotherapy in nottingham">hypnosis became increasingly practical, and regarded as a useful tool for easing psychological distress and bringing about profound change in a variety of situations. This theme has continued up to the present day. Advances in neurological science and brain imaging, together with the work of British psychologists Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell who linked hypnosis and hypnotherapy in nottingham">hypnosis to the Rapid Eye Movement (REM), have also helped to resolve the “state/non-state” debate, bringing hypnosis and hypnotherapy in nottingham">hypnosis and hypnotic trance firmly into the realm of everyday experience. At the same time, the nature of “ordinary” consciousness is better understood as a series of trance states that we go into and out of all the time. The history of hypnosis and hypnotherapy in nottingham">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 and hypnotherapy in nottingham">hypnosis will be to fully realise the incredible potential of our natural hypnotic abilities. Many stories of the Gothamites are preserved orally, which are not found in the printed collection. The following may be given as examples. One day some of the men of Gotham were walking by the river-side; and came to a place where the contrary currents caused the water to boil as in a whirlpool. "See how the water boils !" says one. "If we had plenty of oatmeal," says another, "we might make enough hasty-porridge to serve all the village for a month." It was accordingly resolved that part of them should go to the village and fetch their oatmeal. The oatmeal was soon brought, and thrown into the water, but there soon arose a question how they were to know when the porridge was ready. This difficulty was overcome by the offer of one of the company to jump in, and it was agreed that if he found it was ready for use, he should signify the same to his companions. The man jumped in, and found the water deeper than he expected; thrice he rose to the surface, but said nothing. The others, impatient at his remaining so long silent, and seeing him smack his lips, took this for an avowal that the porridge was good, and they all leaped in after him, and were drowned. Other stories of a similar kind may still be collected. On one occasion, the villagers are stated to have found a hedgehog in the fields, and the schoolmaster (for the schoolmaster seems even to have reached the village of Gotham) not knowing what / p.6 / animal it was, declared it to be one of those which Adam had never named. On another occasion, a villager happening to be abroad at a late hour on a moon-shiny night, saw the reflection of the moon in the horse-pond, and, believing the moon was made of green cheese, he raised all his neighbours to help him to draw it out. According to another story, the Gothamites are said to have had but one knife amongst them, which was stuck in a tree in the middle of the village for their common use: many amusing incidents arose out of the disputes for the use of this knife. "Tell me no more of Gotham Fools, Or of their eels in little pools, Which they were told were drowning; Nor of their carts drawn up on high When King John's men were standing by, To keep a wood from browning. "Nor of their cheese shov'd down the hill, Nor of their cuckoo sitting still, While it they hedged round; Such tales of them have long been told, By prating boobies young and old; In drunken circles crown'd. "The fools are those who thither go, To see the cuckoo-bush I trow, The wood, the barn, the pools; For such are seen both here and there, And passed by without a sneer, By all but errant fools." Self-hypnosis Self-hypnosis has been used to treat a wide variety of clinical problems. Succesful outcomes involving self-hypnosis with adults or children have been reported for the treatment of anxiety (including test anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, simple phobia and panic disorder), chronic pain (including psychogenic dysphonia, post-traumatic contractures of the hand, abdominal pain and tension headaches) and habit disorders (including smoking, over-eating, alcoholism and drug addiction) as well as in the management of mourning, hypertension, cancer, tinnitus, enuresis, insomnia and depression. The findings from empirical studies and case reports indicate merit in the clinical use of self-hypnosis, and point to some features of self-hypnosis that appear important in positive treatment outcomes. (Lucy O’Neill & Kevin McConkey, ‘Treating anxiety with self-hypnosis and relaxation’, Contemporary hypnosis, 1999, vol. 16(2):68) In a research study involving over 100 patients suffering from stress-related conditions it was found that 75% felt their symptoms were improving after 12 weeks of self-hypnosis practice, within one year 72% of the group reported complete remission of their symptoms as a result of the self-hypnosis. (Maher-Loughnan, G.P. 1980, “hypnosis: Clinical application of hypnosis in medicine’, British Journal of Hospital Medicine, 23: 447-55) Over a six year period, 173 successive patients suffering from asthma were treated using self-hypnosis, 82% were either much improved or experienced total remission of symptoms. (Maher-Loughnan, G.P. 1970, ‘hypnosis and autohypnosis for the treatment of asthma’, International Journal of Clinical & Experimental hypnosis. 18: 1 -14) A study of 20 individuals compared the use of self-hypnosis and relaxation therapy in managing anxiety over 28 days. Both groups were shown to have achieved significant reduction in psychological and physical symptoms of anxiety. However, the self-hypnosis group exhibited greater confidence in the positive effects of the treatment, higher expectation of success, and greater degrees of cognitive and physical improvement. (Lucy O’Neill, Amanda Barnier, & Kevin McConkey, ‘Treating Anxiety with self-hypnosis and relaxation’, Contemporary hypnosis, 1999, vol. 16 (2): 68) ‘Various case studies have reported the succesful use of self-hypnosis in treating post-traumatic stress disorder, public speaking, simple phobia and panic disorder. Overall, previous speculations and empirical findings suggest that increases in a sense of self-reliance, self-control and self-efficacy may be central to the alleviation of anxiety through self-hypnosis.’ (Lucy O’Neill, Amanda Barnier, & Kevin McConkey, ‘Treating Anxiety with self-hypnosis and relaxation’, Contemporary hypnosis, 1999, vol. 16 (2): 68) Insomnia A recent ‘Clinical Review’ of hypnosis and relaxation therapies published in the BMJ looked at the existing research on hypnosis and concluded that hypnosis was proven to be effective for treating insomnia. (Vickers & Zollman, ‘hypnosis and relaxation therapies,’ BMJ 1999;319: 1346-1349) Asthma Over a six year period, 173 successive patients suffering from asthma were treated using self-hypnosis, 82% were either much improved or experienced total remission of symptoms. (Maher-Loughnan, G.P. 1970, ‘hypnosis and autohypnosis for the treatment of asthma’, International Journal of Clinical & Experimental hypnosis. 18: 1 -14) A recent ‘Clinical Review’ of hypnosis and relaxation therapies published in the BMJ looked at the existing research on hypnosis and concluded: ‘Randomised trials have shown hypnosis to be of value in treating asthma [...]‘ (Vickers & Zollman, ‘hypnosis and relaxation therapies,’ BMJ 1999;319: 1346-1349) Pain Following an extensive review of the existing literature on hypnotherapy, a special committee commissioned by the British Medical Association formally concludede that: ‘In addition to the treatment of psychiatric disabilities, there is a place for hypnotism in the production of anaesthesia or analgesia for surgical and dental operations, and in suitable subjects it is an effective method of relieving pain in childbirth without altering the normal course of labour.’ (BMA, ‘Medical use of hypnotism’, BMJ, 1955, vol. I, 190-193) A recent ‘Clinical Review’ of hypnosis and relaxation therapies published in the BMJ looked at the existing research on hypnosis and concluded: ‘Randomised controlled trials support the use of various relaxation techniques for treating both acute and chronic pain,’ (Vickers & Zollman, ‘hypnosis and relaxation therapies,’ BMJ 1999;319: 1346-1349) Anxiety/Phobia Following an extensive review of the existing literature on hypnotherapy, the British Medical Association concluded that hypnotherapy was not only effective but may be ‘the treatment of choice’ in dealing with anxiety (‘psychoneurosis’) and stress-related (‘psycho-somatic’) disorders: ‘The Subcommittee is satisfied after consideration of the available evidence that hypnotism is of value and may be the treatment of choice in some cases of so-called psycho-somatic disorder and psychoneurosis. It may also be of value for revealing unrecognised motives and conflicts in such conditions. As a treatment, in the opinion of the Subcommittee it has proved its ability to remove symptoms and to alter morbid habits of thought and behaviour. […]‘ (BMA, ‘Medical use of hypnotism’, BMJ, 1955, vol. I, 190-193) A recent ‘Clinical Review’ of hypnosis and relaxation therapies published in the BMJ looked at the existing research on hypnosis and concluded: ‘There is good evidence from randomised controlled trials that both hypnosis and relaxation techniques can reduce anxiety [...]‘, the same report also concluded that hypnosis was proven to be effective in treating panic attacks and phobia. (Vickers & Zollman, ‘hypnosis and relaxation therapies,’ BMJ 1999;319: 1346-1349) A study of 20 individuals compared the use of self-hypnosis and relaxation therapy in managing anxiety over 28 days. Both groups were shown to have achieved significant reduction in psychological and physical symptoms of anxiety. However, the self-hypnosis group exhibited greater confidence in the positive effects of the treatment, higher expectation of success, and greater degrees of cognitive and physical improvement. (Lucy O’Neill, Amanda Barnier, & Kevin McConkey, ‘Treating Anxiety with self-hypnosis and relaxation’, Contemporary hypnosis, 1999, vol. 16 (2): 68) Sexual Issues In a study of 189 people with psychological issues relating to sex, it was proven that self-hypnosis combined with cognitive therapy was more effective than cognitive therapy alone. When self-hypnosis was taught, the number of sessions required was less, relaspse was less likely, and clients expressed more satisfaction with the overall outcome. (Carrese & Araoz, ‘Self-hypnosis in sexual functioning.’ Australian Journal of Clinical Hypnotherapy & hypnosis, 1998: Sep., vol 19(2):41-48) IBS A recent ‘Clinical Review’ of hypnosis and relaxation therapies published in the BMJ looked at the existing research on hypnosis and concluded: ‘Randomised trials have shown hypnosis to be of value in treating [...] irritable bowel syndrome.’ (Vickers & Zollman, ‘hypnosis and relaxation therapies,’ BMJ 1999;319: 1346-1349) An experimental study of 12 patients with IBS showed that treatment resulted in significant improvement in symptoms and reduction in related anxiety. (Galovski, T.E., and E.B. Blanchard, ‘The treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with hypnotherapy.’ Applied Psychophysiology & Feedback, 1998: Dec., vo. 23(4):219-232)