Suggestion has motivated man since the beginning of time. The "sleep temples" of the ancient Egyptians are depicted in stone dated as early as 1000 BC. These temples were places where priests put worshipers to "sleep" and suggested they be cured. These were the first formal procedures of hypnotic induction that we know today. These techniques were introduced to the Greeks in the fourth century BC and into Rome a hundred years later. For many centuries, the practice flourished, until the middle ages when it was forced underground out of ignorance and fear.
Dr. James Esdaile (1818-1859) was the first to experiment with hypnotic anesthesia while serving with the British East India Compnay in Calcutta, India. He performed more than 300 operations with his new found Hypno-anesthesia with such success that it lowered the surgical mortality rate to less than five percent. Upon returning to England, he thought his methods would work just as well as they had in India; however, they did not. The Church at that time taught that suffering was a noble part of the human condition, that to endure pain was to establish integrity. The British Medical Society maintained that Esadile was interfering with nature. God created pain; therefore, it was essential for the purification of the soul and building character.
It was stated later in the 1800's that God must not have wanted man to suffer, as ether was discovered and made popular as an anesthetic.
In the early 1900's, a French pharmacist named Emile Coue` discovered the power of auto-suggestion and called it "waking suggestion". Coue` also discovered that: All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. He also discovered the Laws of Suggestion. The laws and system he developed are just as sound today as they were in the early 1900's.
For the next fifty years, hypnosis had a slow development. It was used in both World War I and World War II for pain control when chemical anesthetics were not available for treatmeant of shell shock. Hypnosis stayed alive through it's study by tough-minded, knowledgeable individuals who knew it's value. Finally in 1958, The American Medical Association approved the therapeutic use of hypnosis. Since that time, clinical development has been a steady forward progression and hypnosis has gained acceptance and respectability.
The following quote is an excerpt from "An Introduction to Hypnotism" from the book PRACTICAL LESSONS IN HYPNOTISM, written by William W. Cook, M.D., published in 1901.
Hypnotism is the most practical science of the age. It enters in everyday life, and confers advantages that could not be acquired through any other medium. Its practice is no longer a mere pastime for amusement and sensation, as professional men of the highest standing now recognize the power and seek to profit from its benefits; and scientists regard it as natural power, for ages kept dormant, but currently destined to perform an active part in the welfare and development of future generations.