History- History

Feb 3rd, 2012
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Tufts University
Course: history
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Hypnosis as an anesthetic Hypnosis has been used to cure many ills, and over the years, has become a remedy for bad habits, such as smoking, drinking, and weight gain. But one use of hypnosis that is very popular is its use to replace anesthetics during surgery. The use of hypnosis as an anesthetic can be traced back to a French surgeon named Cloquet, to John Eliotson at the University College Hospital in London in the 1830’s, and to James Esdaile’s use of mesmeric techniques in India (Baker, 1990, p. 199). However, the pain killing that was reported in those instances was not clear-cut. In Hypnosis, Compliance, and Belief, Wagstaff (1981) states that the work of Eliotson and Esdaille may not have been so pain free. According to Wagstaff, the number of people who undergo surgery without pain under hypnosis is very small. This observation was shared by Baker (1990) as well.

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