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.
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On the one hand, a history of hypnosis is a bit like a history of breathing.
Recorded history is full of tantalising glimpses of rituals and practices that look very much like 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.
The history of 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.