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July 18, 1953

Hypnosis in Modern Medicine.

JAMA. 1953;152(12):1181. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.03690120097030

Since the first child was rhythmically crooned to and rocked by its mother and since the first patient was calmed and soothed by the first medicine man, suggestion and hypnosis have retained their essential place among the healing arts. The variegated heritage of such therapeutic practices has never quite lost its magical attraction. Proof of this are the four main derivatives of Mesmer's "animal magnetism" today: the cults of the "magnetic belt" and devices still sold by the millions to the gullible; Christian Science as derived from Mesmer through his disciples Phineas Quimby and Mary Baker Eddy; psychoanalysis via the hypnotists Charcot and Bernheim and their student Sigmund Freud; and the current vogue of hypnosis itself. The wishful yearnings underlying such regressively esoteric approaches to therapy have given rise, since Mesmer's death, to thousands of books on hypnosis; this volume is the latest.

According to its editor, the distinguishing characteristic

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