What is Hypnosis?By
By Mike Bowers
What is hypnosis? Everyone has an impression of hypnosis. In many instances this impression is based on movies, television shows, comedy acts and what someone else has told them about hypnosis. To be honest and blunt, most of what the public knows about hypnosis is inaccurate at best and many times completely false.
Here is the truth about hypnosis.
Hypnosis is a natural occurring state of mind. Hypnosis is simply a state of focused attention. Anytime you put your complete attention on something you’ve entered a light state of hypnosis. Think back to a time when you became so absorbed in a movie or a video game that you completely forgot what was going on around you. That’s a focused state of attention and that is hypnosis. That’s it. There’s nothing mystical about hypnosis, nothing magical, it’s just you getting yourself into a focused state of attention. Unfortunately there are many misconceptions about something so simple and natural.
For instance, many people assume that the hypnotist does something to put the individual into hypnosis. False! The hypnotist has no power over the individual. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. The hypnotist knows the instructions that, if you follow them, allow you to hypnotize yourself. This is the only way that hypnosis works.
Sometimes you’ll hear someone described as “highly suggestive” and very easy to hypnotize. What does that mean? Simply that the person follows directions easily. That’s it. There is not truth to the rumor that some people cannot be hypnotized. Remember what was said in the prior paragraph, “all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.” If someone does not become hypnotized it is because they chose not to follow the instructions. That is the only reason a person does not become hypnotized. There is no other reason.
Because a person chooses whether to follow instructions or not brings up another fallacy of hypnosis; the mistaken idea that the hypnotist is in control of the hypnotized individual. Movies, TV shows and comedy acts love to create the impression that the person who is hypnotized is under the control of the hypnotist. The opposite is true. The person hypnotized is the only person in control. They can accept or reject any suggestion given to them. They can even terminate the state if they choose to. If you’ve ever been to a hypnotic comedy act you may have witnessed this.
Here’s how it happens.
Late in the show the skits have an unfortunate habit of becoming more sexually suggestive. As the comedic hypnotist is giving a suggestion you’ll see one or more of the people on stage flinch, jerk or move in some way. The comedian will go over to the person, whispers in their ear, the person gets up and is then escorted off of the stage. What just happened is that the individual rejected the suggestion with such authority that their mind pulled them completely out of hypnosis (that was the movement). The comedian knowing that this person has emerged from hypnosis escorts them off stage to preserve the act. What the patrons have just unknowingly witnessed is the ultimate in personal control while under hypnosis.
One final common misconception about hypnosis is that you “black out” during the experience. Wrong! While you are hypnotized you are aware of everything that is going on around you. At the end of the session you remember everything that was said.
That’s a quick overview that answers the question, “What is hypnosis?”
Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state of mind.
All hypnosis is self-hypnosis.
Anyone can be hypnotized if they choose to follow the instructions.
The person hypnotized is always in control.
When you are hypnotized you are aware of what is going on and remember everything at the end of the session.
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