Hypnosis is a form of therapy in which the therapist makes various suggestions to a patient that has been prepared with a procedure to relax and focus their minds. Though there has been plenty of controversy regarding whether the effects of hypnosis are legitimate, purely placebo based, or even exist; the majority of doctors now accept it as a useful tool suited for numerous conditions.


The problem with trying to be precise in the writing of the history of hypnosis is that it is like trying to write the history of using tools: since it was discovered at the same time period in multiple areas around the world, one can't trace it back to a definite source. That said, this article will overview the various origins.

Western Origins

In the 18th Century, the first consistent way of achieving the hypnotic state in the west was discovered by a man called Franz Mesmer, though it seems it happened thoroughly by chance, considering he still held on to most of the occult practices and beliefs regarding hypnosis. Because of this he was eventually shut down and hypnotism became a rather dangerous profession because of all of the misguided ideas about it.

Revision by Braid

James Braid, a strong disbeliever in Mesmer's beliefs of "animal magnetism," wrote a book called
Practical Essay on the Curative Agency of Neuro-Hypnotism, which coined the current term hypnotism. The term is based on the Greek word "hypno" or sleep, so when he realized the practice of hypnotism in fact has very little to do with sleep, he tried to change the name, but it was too late, the name stuck.


Though it may seem like it should be a long complicated or in-depth process, hypnosis can be induced by anyone. All it takes is a patient mind, a willing subject, (could be yourself but we'll go into that later) and a quiet comfortable space.

Hypnosis Upon Another

To hypnotize someone, have them sit down or lay down in the aforementioned comfortable space. Before you go through the actual process, explain to them all of the implications of hypnosis, such as the fact that you can't suggest them to do something that they don't want.