Tag Archives: Quit Smoking

The History of Hypnotherapy (part 1)

It is almost impossible to find the pinpoint the discovery of hypnosis as it seems to me that it has always been around. It is a little like sleeping or dreaming, in so much as it is something we all do and have done since the dawn of humanity. Hypnotherapy is just the use of therapies in conjunction with the hypnotic state, and this seems to have been around almost as long. Trance like states occur in many shamanistic, druidic, voodoo, yogic and religious practices. In 2600 BC the father of Chinese medicine, Wong Tai, wrote about techniques that involved incantations and the passing of hands and in 1500BC the Hindu Vedas mention hypnotic procedures. Modern understanding of hypnosis and hypnotherapy comes from a more scientific view which can be traced back to Franz Mesmer (1734-1815) who, despite having inaccurate theories, was one of the first to use a consistent approach to deliberately induce a trance and test it.

Mesmer was a physician who developed the theory of Animal Magnetism. It should be pointed out Animal comes from the Latin Animus or Breath and Mesmer believed that all living things had a magnetic fluid in them, hence Animal Magnetism. He believed that diseases were the result of blockages in the flow of this magnetic fluid and that he could store his own animal magnetism in baths of iron filings which could then be transferred to his patients with rods or ‘mesmeric passes’. Practitioners would refer to a hypnotised subject as being ‘back animal’ meaning that the person was back in a natural mental state where he/she recovers their most primitive part of the mind. He frequently said that his patients needed to achieve harmony, both with other individuals and with the universe at large. Mesmer was a showman and was responsible for the image of the hypnotist as a man with ‘magnetic’ eyes, a cape and a goatee. This imposing image and the fact the he conveyed that change was going to occur was probably more responsible for any effect he had than in what he actually did. It created and expectation and was both confusional and a form of direct suggestion.

In 1784 King Louis XVI commissioned an investigation into Mesmer’s theories. In one experiment test subjects were given several glasses of water, one of which was infused with the ‘magnetic fluid’. When subjects reacted, but to the wrong glass of water, it was judged that whatever benefit the treatment had produced was attributable to ‘imagination’. In the same year the Marquis de Puysegur (1751-1825), one of Mesmer’s most faithful disciples discovered a new state of consciousness he called ‘magnetic sleep’. An employee of his family, Victor Race (23), displayed a sleeping trance which Puysegur described as being similar to sleep walking. Due to this resemblance he described it as ‘artificial somnambulism’ but we would today call hypnosis – a term coined by James Braid in 1842. He is quoted as saying

“The entire doctrine of Animal Magnetism is contained in the two words: Believe and Want.

I believe that I have the power to set into action the vital principle of my fellow-men;

I want to make use of it; this is all my science and all my means.

Believe and want, Sirs, and you will do as much as I.”


If you’d like to benefit from a hypnotherapy session and are in the Coventry area, check out my website hypnotherapycoventry.org

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Filed under Development, Happy, Health, Mental Health, Psychology

Becoming Smoke Free

You might think that saying ‘becoming Smoke Free’ is a strange way of saying quitting smoking, but in my world, words are important.

I’m a hypnotist and this is a popular time of year for people to come and see me about getting out of addictive behaviours and bad patterns – the will power is starting to wear thin, the new years resolutions are looking impossible and they are looking for a boost to help them to the ‘New Them’ they promised themselves on the First of January.

So why ‘Smoke Free’ instead of ‘Quitting Smoking’ or ‘Stopping Smoking’.

Well, the answer lies in the way we communicate with our subconscious mind.

Firstly let me explain a little about your subconscious.

Some people are sceptical about it’s existence. If you are one of them, ask yourself when you last thought about your hormone levels, about how fast your heart should be beating, about your oxygen saturation in your blood. Your subconscious (literally part of consciousness that is not currently in focal awareness) is always going about these and many other tasks that you never give a seconds conscious thought to.

Next I want you to think about a time when you’ve tried to change a habit or a thought process – for example trying to eat healthily. Your conscious mind knows that it a good decision to eat better, avoid junk food, drink more water. Your subconscious may not be on the same page and it wants sugar, fat, salt and lots of it, so whilst you ‘know’ that you shouldn’t eat the cake, part of your mind is arguing with you that it would be ‘Oh so nice to just have a little treat’. That internal argument is where the hypnotist comes in. Our job is to get your subconscious on the same page, to think the same way as your rational conscious mind.

Now there are some tricks to communicating with your subconscious.

To start with it really helps if you are hypnotised.

Then it’s about using the right language. Your subconscious works best when it communicates with images, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations and emotions.

Try to make your mouth water – go on give it a go.

If you just think about your mouth watering, there is very little chance anything will happen.

However, imagine with all the clarity you can that you have in front of you a big juicy lemon, and you cut that lemon into wedges. Smell the zesty citrus aroma. Imagine picking up one of those wedges, feeling the waxy yellow skin on you finger tips, seeing a drop of juice form on the edge. Think about what it would taste like if you put that into your mouth and bit into it.

Is you mouth watering now?

So comes to mind when you think about the word FREE?

Hopefully lots of positive images.

How about when you think of the word STOP or QUIT?

Maybe they’re not so good.

Another thing about our subconscious mind is that it’s not very good at following negative instructions, ones like stop, quit or don’t. For example what do you think of when I tell you ‘Don’t think about Pink Elephants’?


So that’s why when people come to me I don’t get them to Quit Smoking – I help them become Smoke Free Forever!

Talk Therapies is based in Coventry, England.

If you would like to become Smoke Free and would like a one to one appointment feel free to call me on 07429 749936 or check out the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TalkTherapies

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Filed under Happy, Health, Stop Smoking