The major recorded developments in hypnosis occurred in the 18th and 19th Centuries, although the technique may possibly be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. Friederich Anton Mesmer (1779) a Viennese physician was the first person to investigate the idea of therapy through an altered state of consciousness. In an attempt to treat nervous disorders he would induce a trance like state, which became known as mesmerism. Mesmer later became interested in magnestism and the use of magnets placed on various parts of the body. He believed it would correct the flow of magnetic fluid in the human body and alleviate symptoms. Although his findings on mesmerism were undisputed, the rest of Mesmer's work was put in doubt by a commission formed in 1784.

Subsequently, James Braid (1843), a Scottish physician wrote a book detailing neurypnosis and introduced the world to the word hypnosis for the first time. During his life time Braidism was synonymous with hypnosis although now the former term has all but slipped from use. Charcot (1825 - 1893) headed a school of hypnosis in Paris. He worked on the link between hysterical disorders and hypnotic states. He presented a paper detailing his work to the French academy of science in 1882. Whilst in 1845, James Esdaile a British army surgeon stationed in India recorded significantly reduced mortality rates in surgery where his 'mesmeric' techniques were employed. One of the most celebrated hypnotherapists of the modern era, Dave Elman began his career as a stage hypnotist. Nevertheless, his induction techniques are still taught in hypnotherapy schools today, and Elman has taught ethical clinical hypnosis, and as a result many medical professionals learnt how to use hypnosis effectively. 
A brief history of Hypnosis
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