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Hypnosis and the Mainstream

by Lisa Avnet

Hypnosis and the Mainstream, Lisa Avnet in Pittsfield, MA

What is hypnosis?   When I ask this question, some people conjure up images of people with glazed eyes following a swinging pendulum like a zombie or clucking like a chicken at a stage show.   Hollywood and the entertainment industry have portrayed this ancient art in such a way as to make many people wary. 

However, hypnosis in various forms has been used as a healing method as long as people have been on the planet.   You may be surprised to hear that hypnosis has actually been recognized as a legitimate treatment by two of the most prominent agencies in the medical community - the AMA (American Medical Association) since 1958, and by the APA in 1960.

Here is a timeline:

Other Endorsements of Hypnosis by Medical and Psychological Associations:

1955 – The British Medical Association became the first professional organization to endorse the medical use of hypnosis.
1958 – The American Medical Association officially approves hypnosis as a therapeutic procedure. (Rescinded)
1958 – The Canadian Medical Association endorses hypnosis.
1958 – The Canadian Psychological Association endorses hypnosis.
1960 – The American Psychological Association endorses hypnosis.
1961 – American Psychiatric Association endorses hypnosis as a therapeutic procedure.

Here's a link to a nice article from the APA website for those of you interested in seeing how they view the work: