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15 April 2020

Fun Facts about Hypnosis

  • Looney Tunes character Wile E Coyote tried and failed to hypnotise the Road Runner in the episode “Boulder Wham”
  • Sigmund Freud used hypnosis early in his career, before developing psychoanalysis
  • Being “mesmerised” relates to one of the earliest hypnotists, German physician Franz Anton Mesmer.  He described the existence of a natural energy transference occurring between all animated and inanimate objects which he called “animal magnetism”. He used magnets on people’s ailing parts while he induced a trance by fixing their gaze and passing his hands over their bodies. This created a state called mesmerism, ie people were mesmerised.
  • You don’t need to be relaxed or have your eyes closed to be hypnotised. Hypnosis can occur in any setting.
  • During hypnosis your focus and concentration are increased; you are completely awake during hypnosis and aware of all your surroundings, contrary to the idea of being “asleep” or “out of it”
  • Hypnosis was initially used for medical purposes, and physician James Esdaile introduced it as anaesthesia during surgery in the 1800s. Several clinicians used hypnosis without fully understanding its nature.
  • There are conflicting views about the terms hypnosis and hypnotism. Some sources state that James Braid studied the phenomenon and coined the terms hypnotism and hypnosis, after the Greek god of sleep, Hypnos. (Encyclopaedia Britannic, while other sources attribute the terms to Frenchman Etienne Felix d’Henin de Cuvillers approximately 30 years earlier. 

Malamar Pokemon

Several Pokemon characters can use hypnosis, but Malamar has the strongest hypnotic powers (and may be evil).

  • In 1847, after much conflict the Catholic Church conceded that hypnosis was not the work of the devil. The Church declared that the practice was allowed if it didn’t lead to “depravity”
  • You cannot hypnotise anyone against their will.
  • People go in and out of hypnosis several times a day, hypnotised by thoughts or ideas they are focusing on at the time. This state is often referred to as being “absent-minded”, or “off with the fairies/pixies”, or “not thinking”.