When it comes to hypnosis, there are many misconceptions in the general population concerning what it is and how it works. These misconceptions have largely been created and perpetuated by popular culture in the form of books and movies. When I was a young boy, before studying hypnosis, I believed hypnosis was depicted accurately on the silver screen. I thought that the hypnotist could render a person unconscious and then completely take control of their mind, access their most darkest secrets, and force them to take actions against their own will. I recall images of seeing a hypnotist, eyes transfixed on his subject, hands thrust toward them, hands weaving to and fro in front of their face as he chants, “You are getting very, very sleepy.” This battle of the minds seemed a bit scary to me. Is this what happens when a person simply wants to stop smoking? Is this an accurate portrayal of hypnosis?
Thankfully, no. Nothing could be further from the truth. Movies are for entertaining us. They are filled with unrealistic stories, impossible action scenes, and Jedi mind tricks. The events are larger than life. And that’s why we love movies. The thought that a hypnotist could have so much power over another person is fascinating and makes for an interesting movie. But you can relax, because in the real world, it doesn’t work that way.
So what is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is simple. We experience it nearly every day of our life. Hypnosis is being in a state of mind in which you are open to suggestions. That’s it. No mind control. No telepathy.
If you have ever found yourself daydreaming, you were in hypnosis. If you have ever been so enthralled by a movie, focusing all your attention on it, and a person asked you a question which you heard, but had to ask them to repeat it, you were in hypnosis. When your mind is in a state of intense mental focus on an activity, you are in hypnosis. Your mind is learning, reviewing, sensing, feeling, taking in all the information at a subconscious level that allows you to become adept in the subject at hand. Being open to suggestions, you can either choose to accept them if they are in line with your principles and beliefs, or you can reject them. You are always in control
But, you may say, I’ve been to a comedy hypnosis show and the volunteers were controlled by the hypnotist! One guy shot an imaginary gun like he was James Bond, a girl danced and sang as if she were Beyonce, and someone clucked like a chicken! Comedy hypnosis is great entertainment and a lot of fun to watch. But did you notice how the subjects were chosen? At the last show I seen here in Fresno, the hypnotist gave a pre-talk about what hypnosis is, what it isn’t, and then she said: “Now anyone who wants to be hypnotized for this show, get up and come grab a chair on the stage!!” The volunteers frantically rushed to the stage. There were actually more people willing to be hypnotized than there were chairs on the stage! These volunteers clearly had personalities which allow them to enjoy being the center of attention and in the spotlight for all to see. Most of them were naturally excellent hypnosis subjects because they strongly desire to follow the instructions of the hypnotist. Many of them have even seen these shows before and know what happens. They want to be funny, make people laugh, and put on a show. The only things missing for a great show are the all-important guidance and suggestions from the hypnotist. When everyone involved has the same desire and goal these shows can play out very well for the audience, volunteers, and of course, the hypnotist!
In the therapeutic setting, hypnosis is quite different from the comedy arena, but the core concepts of hypnosis never change. It is just you, your hypnotherapist, and your mutual desire to change your mind for the better. If you can read and understand what is written here, then you can enter into and benefit from hypnosis. You WANT to change, so you WILL be open to the suggestions that are provided. For example, if you WANT to stop smoking, your subconscious mind will take in the hypnotist’s suggestions which are congruent with being a non-smoker. You will then consciously act on those suggestions and stop smoking. It’s that simple. Now, if you wanted to be hypnotized to grow a foot taller at the age of 35 years old, that would be another story. Could I help you believe that you feel a foot taller? Absolutely! Could I help you to actually become 7 feet, 8 inches tall with hypnosis? I wish!
Remember this: If you WANT to change, you CAN change. Whether you want to stop smoking, lose weight, forgive someone, release anger, improve your confidence, or just about any other issue that you wish to change, it can be addressed through hypnosis. The recipe is always the same:
If you are
1) Motivated AND,
2) Open to change
Then you will
1) Allow the desired suggestions to enter your subconscious mind
2) Make the changes in your daily life
Hypnosis isn’t magic. It’s better than magic. It’s real and it works. Concrete changes are possible through the power of hypnosis.
As a skilled hypnotherapist, I have the tools to help you change, grow, and succeed. If you’re ready for change, send me an email or call and together we’ll see if hypnosis is right for your situation.
Have a wonderful day!