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This conundrum – does hypnosis have a real, physical basis, or not? Important shifts were happening elsewhere, however. First of all, the centre of hypnotic gravity moved from Europe to America, where all the most significant breakthroughs of the 20th century took place.

Secondly, hypnosis became a popular phenomenon, something that was increasingly available to the layman, outside of the laboratory or clinic.

On the other hand, it’s only in the last few decades that we’ve come to realise that!

Hypnosis itself hasn’t changed for millennia, but our understanding of it and our ability to control it has changed quite profoundly.

At the same time, the nature of “ordinary” consciousness is better understood as a series of trance states that we go into and out of all the time.

The history of hypnosis, then, is like the search for something that was in plain view all along, and we can now see it for what it is – a universal phenomenon that’s an inextricable part of being human.

These practices tend to be for magical or religious purposes, such as divination or communicating with gods and spirits.

It’s important to remember, however, that what we see as occultism was the scientific establishment of its day, with exactly the same purpose as modern science – curing human ills and increasing knowledge.

offers a variety of native and mass-labelled reference standards for legacy environmental contaminants such as polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).