kZaMSEs8bhox1qeqgumRFj9Lymo Nothing Off Limits: Do You Believe in Hypnotism?


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Friday, March 6, 2009

Do You Believe in Hypnotism?

I can honestly say I've always been "open" to the idea but not really sure how it worked. I don't close my mind to things but never was quite sure if something like that could work on me. Medically speaking it's a lot different than it would be at say a comedy club. That's what I am speaking of here. A few years ago a group of my friends and myself went out to a comedy club and there was a hypnotist there. He just so happened to call my entire group on the stage. We were the guinea pigs for the night.

I was nervous because honestly it was hard to hear this guy up on stage. He starts telling us to close our eyes and relax and the whole deep sleep bit. I of course was just sitting there with my eyes closed straining to hear him, to make sure I did what he told me to do. In other words, it was having no affect on me. He claimed that you wouldn't "feel" hypnotized when you actually were. He also said if he tapped your shoulder that perhaps it won't work on you and to sit down. I was probably up on stage a total of maybe 10 minutes before I had to go sit. I was bummed it didn't work on me. My husband claims it did not work but he was up there the whole time doing things you would not imagine. He had a trigger word and had to do something each time the word was spoken. It was pretty hilarious.

I had one friend with me whom I thought could have really been hypnotized because she did things I really couldn't imagine her doing otherwise. Then towards the end of the show she was the only one left on stage. The hypnotist told her she was stiff as a board and then proceeded to flip her around and she was so she couldn't bend. He then put her feet on one chair, then just her upper half on another chair. He then asked a larger woman to come out of the audience and stand on her stomach. My friend didn't even bend. She held that woman's weight without so much as a grimace on her face. My hubby is still convinced the whole thing is a stupid hoax because he says he was not hypnotized but doing what I was doing...whatever the guy told us to do. However my friend did some pretty ummmmm risky things up there and her husband was LESS than pleased. She had no idea after the show why he was mad. He was mad about how the hypnotist flirted with her openly and asked her to do things. Regardless I will not go into that. I never was sure if maybe just a small percentage of people can by hypnotized or if my friend was a great actress! lol


Bill said...

I am not for sure if i believe or not. I see a lot of people that say they have had it done to them. I have heard if you have a strong will it is hard to have it done to you. Have a great weekend.

Casey Brown-Myers said...

I have always wanted to be Hypnotized but have never had the chance. I have seen acts like you describe and always wondered if they were real.

Anonymous said...

Just "dropping" in to say hi and thanks! Hehe... now you have made me think of my experience with being hypnotized... I'll have to write it up soon for The Eclectic Witch

Mike Reeves-McMillan said...

I'm a hypnotherapist and the communications officer for the NZ Association of Professional Hypnotherapists, so maybe I can shed some light.

Some parts of these stage acts don't require hypnosis (the stiff-as-a-board trick, for instance - which can be rather dangerous, by the way, and shouldn't really be performed). Others do, such as visual hallucinations. Stage hypnotists are careful to select the most responsive and best performers - just because you weren't able to "perform" doesn't mean you can't be hypnotized, just that you weren't hypnotized to the degree the stage performer was looking for. For therapy purposes, practically everyone can be hypnotized to a useful degree.

Having a "strong will" is probably relevant when faced with an old-fashioned authoritarian hypnotist who gives orders, but we don't really do that any more.

If you'd like to find out more, I have a page on common hypnosis myths on my website. There are also some free resources there, including a couple of recordings if you want to try it out. The Therapeutic Relaxation recording, for example, is purely recreational (and therapeutic, naturally).


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