Hypnosis Myths Revealed 

By  Kary

5 Hypnosis Myths Revealed - What the Hypnotists DON'T want you to know!

Sometimes, when I'm feeling saucy, I tell people I'm a Hypnotist.

It’s not a lie really, because I actually am Hypnotherapist,  I do hypnotize people every day. But the title of “Hypnotist” somehow suggests that I possess some kind of Magical Power: which I may (or may not) use for nefarious purposes. And that idea always makes for some interesting conversations!

This is why I only call myself a Hypnotist when I’m feeling particularly mischievous. 

Like when I’m crossing international borders, and the customs guards ask me to hypnotize them right then and there... but that's another story for another day.

Stage Hypnotist vs. Hypnotherapist

Stage Hypnotist: a person who uses Hypnosis for entertainment purposes. You know who I mean, the bark-like-a-dog cluck-like-a-chicken guys…

Hypnotherapist: a specially-trained person who uses hypnosis to help others achieve positive change in their life. Often used for challenges such as Quitting Smoking, Weight Loss, Phobia removal etc. etc.

Okay... On to the secrets!

Myth #1: Stage Hypnotists are hypnotizing you before you even get to the show!

It’s all about the suggestion that we are these all-powerful, pocket-watch swinging, mind-controllers. Almost every poster designed to advertise a Hypnosis Show has a hypnotist (often dressed in black) with a penetrating gaze, like he’s looking directly into your soul. He may or may not be holding his hands as if he is casting a spell on you. If not, he’ll at least have a pendulum or a pocket-watch (kinda like my picture above). Without even saying a single word, he's already given you the suggestion that he has super-powers! 

They want you primed before you even arrive. This makes their job SOO much easier! The victims willing participants will start deciding, the minute they see the poster, whether or not they’ll be hypnotized.

Myth #2: Hypnotists will turn you into a zombie / puppet!

As much as I REALLY wish I had magical powers, the reality is that hypnosis isn’t mind-control. Nobody can be made to do anything they don't want to do. Even the volunteers on stage can, at any given moment, refuse to do anything that goes against their core values. But, as I always tell my Hypnotherapy clients; the folks on stage, they’re in such a deep trance that their inhibitions are much lower. They’re far less concerned about consequences, or what other people will think. Plus, they knew what they were signing up for when they volunteered, they knew they would be doing silly stuff.

Basically, if they’ll do it when they’re drunk, they’ll do it in Hypnosis. With the added bonus that they believe that whatever is being suggested to them is true & logical. So if the hypnotist says that their belly-button has been stolen by someone in the audience, they WILL go looking for it. Even more fun when they demand someone to give it back. (Yes, I’ve done that with the kids at a High School Grad party).

Myth #3: You can get STUCK in Hypnosis!

Nope!! You can’t get stuck in hypnosis. Hypnotic trance is a naturally occurring state, it is the state that is between awake and sleep. Every night as you are falling asleep, you briefly pass through the hypnotic trance state, and when you awaken in the morning you pass through it again before waking fully. When you’re in a boring lecture and start to zone-out or daydream, that’s also trance. 

The Film and Television Industry tends to portray hypnosis in a different light, as mind control. Rarely do these movies show what is true. For example, in the recent movie Get Out, the main character is unknowingly tricked into hypnosis and gets “sunk” into oblivion and is unable to get out. He then starts to panic unable to emerge. This simply doesn’t happen in real life. We can’t force anyone into trance - and even if someone unwittingly went into trance - at any given moment, they could open their eyes, get up and leave. It is NOT, nor ever has been, mind-control.

Myth #4: Only weak-minded people can be hypnotized!

This one is so far from the truth. Most people can be hypnotized, provided they are willing.

But there is a caveat to this - not everyone will allow themselves to be hypnotized to the depth required for Stage Hypnosis. Luckily for Hypnotherapists, when it comes to therapy purposes, DEEP trance isn’t necessarily required which means that the majority of clients are able to enter at least a light state of Hypnosis which can be used for long term results.

As long as you are willing, can follow directions and have average (or higher) intelligence then YES, you too can be hypnotized!

Myth #5: Hypnosis is a truth serum!

Ahh yes, is hypnosis a viable lie detector? Not at all, your secrets are still safe! You can rest easy knowing that a hypnotist can’t “steal” your passwords or bank account information. Another reason that it’s not really being used as often in legal settings, everything that is recalled in hypnosis isn’t guaranteed to be truth.

Will I remember what was said or done?

Often times, when someone is in DEEP trance, they are so close to the dream-like state of sleep that they frequently don’t remember doing anything. If they were on stage, part of the show, and you ask them if they remember anything. They may or may not recall, if they don’t and you tell them what they did, often it will then start to come back to them. Kind of like when you start to remember something you dreamt the night before.

When someone is in a lighter state of hypnosis (such as in a therapy session), they will usually remember everything that happened.

Is that stuff really real? Does it actually work?

Pretty much the first question I get asked when people find out I am a Hypnotherapist. And the answer, Heck Yeah it works!

Let’s break it down into the two areas though:

When someone is in a lighter state of hypnosis (such as in a therapy session), they will usually remember everything that happened.

Hypnotherapy: Absolutely it works. The majority of clients find they receive excellent results by using the power of their own mind to improve their lives in various areas ( Weight Loss, Smoking Cessation, Stress Management, I.B.S Relief, phobia removal and the list goes on and on and on). 

Of course, you will want to make sure that you find a well-trained and experienced therapist for your specific challenges.

Stage Hypnosis: As a general rule, if the hypnotist is skilled, and has volunteers, he would never NEED to have fakes on the stage. If they had NO volunteers (or their volunteers don’t enter into a deep enough trance) then I suppose they COULD employ the use of a fake, but their reputation would be at risk. The participants on stage have a combination of being in hypnosis (and feeling compelled to follow instruction) as well as willing compliance.

Key Take-Aways

  • You have to want to be hypnotized and can’t be forced to do anything. No hypnotist has power over you!
  • Hypnosis is a safe, natural state & you can’t get stuck in trance… EVER!
  • Almost everyone can use Hypnotherapy to improve their lives.
  • It’s not a truth serum & you’ll probably remember everything that was said or done.
  • I hope that this post has helped to dispel some of the many myths that are out there. I know that hypnosis has had a bad rap over the years and I am trying to help people understand that it's a safe and natural technique that can help almost everyone in one way or another.

    If you've got any questions whatsoever, please get in touch with us!