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No one knows for certain where hypnosis originated from, however it is known that the ancient Egyptians used some form of hypnosis in their dream temples. Some paintings from Egypt depict a sleeping person with others around them making hypnotic passes over them

An ancient reference to hypnosis in Egyptian times exists in Column 16 of the CE Demotic Magical Papyrus, which was discovered in the 19th century in Thebes. This papyrus contains instructions for the preparation of a lamp to be used in a hypnotic ritual.

"you take a boy and sit him upon another new brick, his face being turned to the lamp and you close his eyes and recite these things which are written above down into the boy's head, seven times.  You make him open his eyes.  You say to him: 'Do you see the light?'  When he says to you, 'I see the light in the flame of the lamp', you cry at that moment, saying 'Heoue' nine times.  You ask him concerning everything that you wish.

Source:  Hidden Depths - The story of hypnosis by Robin Waterfield.








 An Egyptian Dream Temple

An Egyptian Dream Temple







Franz Anton Mesmer



An Austrian doctor, Franz Anton Mesmer, discovered that he could cure people of different diseases without medicine or surgery. Mesmer believed in a magnetic force which could regulate the flow of magnetic fluids, producing a cure. In many cases this was successful and his practice of healing became known as Mesmerism.

Mesmer treated both the rich and the poor, for the less well off, he "magnetized" a tree and hung ribbons from it to allow his followers to receive his magnetic therapy.


Mesmer also used to fill a large tub with water, containing bottles of iron filings. Protruding from this tub were iron rods which people held onto. Many patients had seizures or fell into deep sleep which could cure many ailments.

Mesmer became famous especially in Paris, Marie Antoinette asked the French government to offer him a life pension and enough money to set up a clinic. Mesmer did not allow the French government to supervise the clinic and in 1784 the king of France appointed a commission to investigate Mesmerism.

Despite so many reports of people being cured of ailments, the report concluded that animal magnetism and the magnetic field were figments of the imagination and Mesmer's practices and theories were debunked.









 Mesmer demonstrating "animal magnetism"








James Braid

James Braid


Mesmer's ideas and practices led James Braid to coin the term and develop the procedure known as HYPNOSIS (derived from the Greek word Hypnos, God of Sleep), Braid's work became prominent in 1842. Braid is popularly known as the "Father of Modern Hypnotism".

Braid discounted Mesmer's theory of magnetism causing hypnosis and attributed the "mesmeric trance" to more of a physiological process, being prolonged attention on a bright moving object or an object of fixation. He claimed that this method would cause fatigue in certain parts of the brain and caused a trance or "nervous sleep"

Braid originally called the procedure neuro-hypnosis, then believing sleep to be involved, changed this to hypnosis. Later, realizing that sleep was not involved he tried to rename the process monoideaism, but by then the term hypnosis had stuck!


He noticed that during a hypnotic state called catalepsy, the subjects limbs might be placed in any position and would remain there.

Braid concluded that there was no fluid or exterior agent, but that hypnotism was due to a physiological condition of the nerves. He believed that hypnotic sleep was brought about by fatigue of the eyelids or by influences wholly within the subject.

He used hypnotism to treat both psychological and physical conditions. Whilst Braid was practicing his work, James Esdiale performed a number of surgical operations in India using hypnotic suggestion for anesthesia.










 A demonstration of catalepsy


During the American civil war the first medical application of hypnosis was used by doctors in the field.

In 1892, the British Medical Association endorsed the use of Hypnosis for therapeutic use, rejecting Mesmer's theory of animal magnetism. Even though the BMA recognized the validity of hypnosis, medical schools and universities still largely avoided the subject.

Into Modern times

In 1952 the Hypnotism Act was introduced in the UK, this was to allow the government the ability to regulate public demonstrations for the use of hypnosis as stage entertainment. On April 23rd 1955, the BMA approved the use of hypnosis in the areas of pain management in childbirth and surgery.










Milton Erickson


Milton Erickson

Erickson devised many different ideas and techniques surrounding hypnosis. His style is often referred to as Ericksonian Hypnosis and still influences many modern schools of hypnosis.

Erickson believed that the unconscious mind was always listening. He believed that, regardless of the customer being in a trance or not, suggestions could be made which would have a hypnotic influence as long as these suggestions found some resonance at an unconscious level.

Erickson believed that trances were a common, everyday thing. He likened it to waiting for a bus or reading, listening, zoning out when exercising. When someone does this they often become immersed in that activity and go into a trance like state, removing or disassociating themselves from other stimuli. These trances are so common that we never regard them as hypnotic phenomena.




Ormond McGill

Ormond McGill was born in California in 1913. He has long been regarded as the "Dean of American hypnotists", he became interested in magic at a young age and took up hypnosis in 1927. He is the author of the "bible" of stage hypnosis - Encyclopedia of Genuine Stage Hypnotism. McGill continued to lecture right up until a few days before he died in 2005.

McGill was also an accomplished stage hypnotist, performing as Dr Zomb. He was also a skilled hypnotherapist and an avid student of Eastern mysticism.










Ormond McGill









Lost in thought

In today's modern world trances are evident whenever attention is fixated with a question, experience of something unusual or anything that holds a persons interest.

People tend to gaze off into the distance, they look to the left or right depending on which cerebral hemisphere they use the most. They get that faraway or blank look.

Sometimes eyes will close, their bodies tense and stiff (catalepsy), reflexes become suppressed (swallowing, respiration), other changes, loss of hunger, raising of heartbeat all manifest themselves physically. Once that person has searched their subconscious mind to try and re-stabilize their reality orientation then all normal functions resume.




During The Kev Bee Hypnotic Experience, volunteers are asked to join him on stage and within minutes they will become hypnotised, after which the performance begins!

With his knowledge of the art of hypnosis, Kev Bee will access his volunteers subconscious minds and make their imaginations come alive!

Hypnosis has always, and will always interest people and this show not only entertains but educates your guests. Kev Bee is happy to speak to people after the show about the abilities and benefits of hypnosis and discuss how it can help individuals.









The Kev Bee Hypnotic Experience Ltd 2010