People come to hypnotists with all kinds of ideas from popular media and stage shows. Here are some of the popular myths about hypnotism and some factual responses to consider if you are interested in this potentially very powerful intervention.
By the way one of the reasons these myths abound is the true nature of hypnotic phenomena in which people under hypnosis can:
- have visual or auditory hallucinations,
- move their bodies without intending to,
- and feel less pain
- accelerate personal changes such as quitting smoking
But much of what many people believe about hypnosis is nonsense. Here are 8 example of the “myths” that surround my profession:
#1: Only the mentally weak-willed can be hypnotized
Nope. The opposite. The smarter you are and the stronger your self-control, the more easily you are hypnotized.
That’s because entering a hypnotic trance is all about concentrating, so people with mental health problems can find it difficult.
However finding it hard to enter a hypnotic state doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. People naturally vary in how susceptible they are to hypnosis. Studies have shown that around 30% of people are relatively resistant to being hypnotised. Although, with effort, the state can usually be achieved eventually.
#2: The hypnotized are helpless – you lose power under hypnosis – become a robot
Could’t be further from the truth – you are always in control under hypnosis. It’s difficult to get people to do things under hypnosis that they wouldn’t normally do. While hypnotized you are still in touch with you morals and normal standards of behavior.
You literally can’t be made to do anything against your will.
That said, though, it is possible to reduce people’s inhibitions under hypnosis and they will more readily accept suggestions.
Stage hypnotists use this heightened suggestibility, along with picking the types who, let’s say, don’t mind a little attention to put on a good show. That’s how they get people to quack like ducks and the rest.
But if you look carefully you will see some people on stage refuse to do certain things – a skilled stage hypnotist makes a joke of it and seamlessly glides onto the next volunteer.
#3: Hypnosis is sleep
People may look like asleep when they’re hypnotized because their eyes are closed and they seem peaceful. They may even snore because their vocal cords are loosened. But they’re not asleep. The brain waves of a person who is hypnotized are nothing like those of a person who is asleep.
In fact the hypnotic trance is a heightened state of concentration. A high level of alpha waves on an EEG show and other brain wave characteristics recently identified show that a hypnotized person is awake, alert and very responsive – simply in another mental state
#4: Hypnotism always works in a single session like magic
I never want to preclude one session miracles. They happen. But neither you or I should count on them.
The truth is that almost no one is “cured” in a single session.
My smoking cessation program, for example, is a three session PROGRAM.
#5: Hypnotists have a special power
Skill? Yes. Talent? I hope so. Experience? Definitely. A commitment to my client’s success? Absolutely. Those are my super powers if I dare claim them. But they are learned and earned not magical.
#6: Hypnosis can be used to retrieve long forgotten memories
Sorry. It far from as reliable as you would see on TV and there is always the possibility of false memory syndrome.
#7: You can’t lie under hypnosis
Once every couple of years someone brings someone to me to use hypnotism as a lie detector. I decline. There is not magical truth serum in hypnosis: on the contrary you may actually life more convincingly under hypnosis.
#8: Not everyone can be hypnotized
True and false.
Most everyone can but there are degrees of – if you will – hypnotizability. Two classes of people are generally unable to achieve a hypnotic state: paranoid schizophrenics and those with IQ below 70.
#9: I should not remember anything during hypnosis
Nope. You may remember part of what happens – maybe even all – remember that hypnosis is a state of consciousness. You are alert and when you are alert you recall what happens.
#10: Hypnotists must using shinny objects or swirling discs
Again nope – most of us just use – as we say – “the sound of our voice.”
CLICK BELOW FOR MY 6 MINUTE YOUTUBE VIDEO
THAT EXPLAINS ALL THIS AND MORE
When people come to me for sports, business, or other performance improvement coaching, I start by telling them that I am not going to teach them how to hold their club better, or give them nifty sales closing techniques, or address the skills of anything that they do. They are the experts and I regard them as such.
What I do tell them is that through hypnotism they will be able to recapture their spark, or their confidence, of their edge. I ask them how they want to be in their field and then implant that image deep into their mind. createor a star, or a consistent performer reaches a point where things just aren’t coming together mentally..where the focus is gone……this is where hypnotherapy and I can help.
Performance improvement is the most underutilized application of hypnosis there is.
As some of you know very well from personal experience I have helped many clients achieve their full potential once again. Sales people have increased their income dramatically, students have raised their grades, golfers have lowered their handicap and many other people have achieved their goals and then some.
Hypnosis works to improve performance for one simple reason. When you are “in the zone” you are performing at a subconscious level. Questioning is minimized. As the Nike commercial said, you just “do it.”
Hypnosis helps you get your mind out of your way. Not the part of the mind that knows how to succeed, but the part of the mind that doubts, fears, worries, remembers failures, focuses on what it doesn’t want
So, it might be useful to pause over the next several days and ask yourself how often you are in the zone whether in your favorite game or in the game of life.
If you don’t like the answers you get, it is time to use your self-hypnosis skills to re-focus.
As Henry Ford said, “Whether a person thinks he can or can’t, he is right.”
What do you think?
Don’t Let COVID-19 Coronavirus Keep You Up At Night
COVID-19 Coronavirus presents people in Rhode Island and Massachusetts with a dilemma. Both states have declared states of emergency: the public health risk is real. But we also have the challenge of managing our emotions – going about our lives – during the crises.
I created this 17-18 minute video to help my clients and others navigate the line between action and complacency while maintaining emotional balance. It is a “hypnotic meditation” video so will require your full attention where you will not be disturbed. Everything it suggests in terms of action is meant to be consistent with CDC guidelines as of March 10/11 2020. Please let me know in the comment section whether you find it useful.
Does just looking at the cabin picture above make you a little nervous? Or does thinking about your vacation flight have you anxious instead of excited? Or even worse are you considering cancelling your flight plans this year?
If so, this workshop is for you.
These principles apply to New Year’s Resolutions, but also to anytime you want to bring a new possibility into reality.
And please let me know if I can be of help.