"Yet I can't decide whether his record from outer space was smart or foolish. It was certainly dangerous."
But it happened because Baumgartner had hypnotherapy to overcome his anxiety and claustrophobia. Both bothered him because he felt trapped in the hand-sewn million-dollar suit of the kind astronauts depend on while exploring space.
The daredevil was helped to overcome the phobias by an unnamed hypnotherapist in Austria. He or she deserves credit for helping Baumgartner conquer his fears.
Used to falling freely and feeling air on his skin while skydiving he was uncomfortable with the suit touching him and severely restricting his movements. The smell of rubber amplified his anxiety.
Hypnosis enabled Baumgartner to deal with realistic fears such as the possibility that the suit would fail and fluids would ooze out of all his orifices.
More importantly, hypnotherapy enabled him to let go of anxiety about his restricted movement and the smell of rubber -- concerns which to Dr Knight pale in comparison with the actual dangers Baumgartner faced leaping into space to become the first skydiver to go faster than the speed of sound.
Here on Earth hypnosis relieves people of phobias such as fear of spiders, public speaking or agoraphobia that are perhaps less dramatic but no less important to them than Baumgartner's exploits are to him.
Just like this American client: