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James Braid The Father of Modern Hypnosis

James Braid was born on the 19th of June in the year 1795 at Ryelaw House, in the parish of Portmoak, Kinross, in the country of Scotland.

Although Braid was a skilled surgeon and practising physician he is considered the father of modern hypnosis having taken the subject away from the esoteric leaning of Mesmerism and planting it firmly in the realm of science.

Braid specialised in eye and muscular movement and had a strong interest in the nervous system of the body. This interest was to lead him to experiment with hypnosis and its uses.

In fact the term "hypnosis" is believed to have arisen in the 1800s because, in lectures and writings, Braid used the abbreviation "Hypnotism" for "Neuro-Hypnotism" which was a term used to refer to "nervous sleep". This nervous sleep was meant to indicate the sleep of the nervous system because hypnosis seemed to put people into a relaxed sleep-like state and had nothing to do with anxiety!

Although Braid never thought of hypnotism as a medical tool he did see the great benefit and potential uses of hypnosis as an aid in the healing process. He remained a devout physician.

However, he is often referred to as the "Father of Modern Hypnotism" and as being the very first hypnotherapist!

It is largely due to Braid's work and investigations, as well as his outspoken approach that hypnosis rose to prevalence and became a genuine scientific and medical tool fast outpacing the then popular mesmerism.

Braid took great exception to mesmerism which he believed to be unscientific and without any real foundation even though it was extremely popular at the time. This may have seemed strange as patients of mesmerism often enjoyed "miraculous" cures.

However, his beliefs were well founded when a board of inquiry commissioned by the French King, Luis XVI, which included the famous dignitary Benjamin Franklin (then the American Ambassador to France), concluded that mesmerism was no more than the result of auto-suggestion.

It is for this reason that modern hypnosis is often linked to mesmerism and the findings of the French Commission lead to many scientific experiments, and thus advancements, in the field of auto-suggestion which is now, of course, known as hypnosis.

Braid was a brilliant surgeon and skilled hypnotist whose work was of such a high calibre and subject to such stringent scientific models that it furthered the cause of hypnotherapy and made it possible for mainstream scientist to investigate its workings. Braid was also the forerunner of such modern innovations as cognitive behavioural therapy.

He died on the 25th of March 1860 and left behind a huge body of scientific findings that make it possible for us to enjoy the benefits of hypnosis as it is today. Even the most powerful weight loss hypnotherapy programs, or sleep hypnosis cds owe their existence to James Braid.

Because of Braid and other scientific investigators we now have a viable tool for mental conditioning that is accepted by medical bodies across the world.

The modern day hypnotherapy cd owes a lot to James Braid.




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