What is Hypnosis?


Have you ever been hypnotized?  I think you have.  We actually enter a hypnotic trance-like state at the very least 2-3 times a day.

Everyday Forms of Hypnosis  After reading 3 pages of a book , you suddenly realize you have no idea what you’ve just read.  Driving home after work,  you make your way home, but have no idea what roads you took and cannot recall the details of the drive.  While mowing your lawn you mind wanders and the noise of the mower REMINDS you that you are mowing the lawn.  When we watch movies our thoughts can have a tendency to drift off and we find ourselves lost to the plot or characters.

Hynotic Trance

5 Common Misconceptions About Hypnosis

1.)  Hypnosis is like sleep
This is the number one misconception about hypnosis because in both hypnosis for entertainment as well as hypnosis for therapeutic purposes, the subject (the person being hypnotized) often has their eyes closed, is profoundly relaxed, and at least in the case of hypnosis for therapy, they don’t move around much.

But that’s where the similarities to sleep end.  In fact, while hypnotized, subjects are exceptionally alert, attentive and focused.  A hypnotized subject is never unconscious, though they are often deeply and profoundly relaxed and comfortable.

2.)  While hypnotized, a person can be made to do anything.
This is not only a common fear, it’s an understandable one!  But the truth is, while hypnotized, you are not only fully alert and aware (see misconception #1, above), you are in full control as well!  It is impossible to be made to do anything that you don’t want to do while in a hypnotic state.  If a suggestion is ever given that you don’t agree with, you will simply not follow it.

3.)  While under hypnosis, a person will reveal deep personal secrets.
Related to misconception #2, this old belief is also untrue.  If you have secrets that you don’t want to share, you simply won’t share them.  Again, you’re awake and aware the entire time, so you remain in control.  The choice to share is entirely your own.

4.)  You don’t remember what happened while hypnotized.
While some people do experience amnesia of a hypnosis session, it has nothing to do with hypnosis itself.  The number one reason that people don’t remember what happened to them while under hypnosis is simply because they believe that they won’t remember what happened to them.  This belief creates the amnesia.

By itself, unless it’s specifically suggested, hypnosis does not create any form of amnesia or forgetfulness.  Because you are extremely alert, focused and aware during a hypnosis session, some people actually have extremely vivid memories of the process.  Still others enjoy the relaxed, dreamy quality of hypnosis, and therefore their memories can feel vague and dreamlike.  But there is nothing about the experience itself that will create amnesia.  What you remember is up to you.  You can choose to pay attention, or to let your mind wander.

5.)  Only gullible or stupid people can be hypnotized.
Quite the contrary!  Anyone can be hypnotized, but it does require an ability to focus, concentrate and follow direction, which means that it’s often the case that the more intelligent you are, the more likely you are to be successful with hypnosis.  The most difficult hypnotic subjects to work with are those that are under the influence of drugs or alcohol – precisely because they often can’t focus enough to engage in the process.

While the idea of an all-powerful, mysterious character being able to command people with merely his voice is a romantic one, it’s not terribly true-to-life.  It’s possible to use hypnosis on stage to present that illusion, but when it comes down to it, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.  When you choose to be hypnotized, you are entering into a cooperative relationship with a trained professional.  You are allowing them to guide your mind, but you remain in control the entire time.  There’s nothing scary, weird or bizarre about it, and in fact, it doesn’t “feel” like anything in particular.  Hypnosis is a safe, effective and entirely natural state.  The choice to visit a hypnotist to address concerns – such as to stop smoking, lose weight, improve study skills or for general relaxation and stress relief – is the choice to employ your own natural ability, with a bit of guidance from a professional, to create powerful change in your life.  There is nothing to fear, and everyone has something to gain from the process.

Words of Wisdom

  • “The mind is everything. What you think you become”. Buddha