Today, January 4th, is World Hypnotism Day! In honor of this wonderful occasion, I am going to share some wonderful news with you - hypnosis is real and it really does work for everyone! How do I know this? Well, besides being a certified hypnotist and having hypnotized dozens of people - skeptics and believers alike - I know from personal experience that everyone can be hypnotized and enjoy this deep, relaxing state of mind. It's also backed by science and even originated from physicians and surgeons searching for ways to treat people and also to discover new and deeper methods of relaxation. Would you like to learn more? I bet you do!
Hypnosis has actually existed for thousands of years, dating back to the ancient Egyptian times. The word "hypnotism" is actually a fairly recent term, coined by James Braid, a physician and surgeon in the mid-1800s. It was short for "neuro-hypnotism," which stands for 'nervous sleep' (sleep of the nerves - not anxious sleep!). Many of us are also familiar with the word "mesmerized," coined by Anton Mesmer, a Scottish physician who believed in 'a natural energetic transference between all animated and inanimate objects' (source).
Since then, hypnosis has taken off in both popularity and effectiveness, as techniques and theories continue to refine and perfect the craft. The two biggest names in the last 50 years are psychiatrist Milton Erickson, who was the influence for NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), and Dave Elman, who pioneered rapid and instant inductions that took individuals instantly into a very deep state of trance, thus allowing him and others to truly help people who needed both physical and psychological treatment. Elman, in fact, turned his mastery of hypnosis around and trained dentists, physicians and surgeons to use hypnosis as an alternative to anesthesia or other conventional treatment options. Famous psychologist Freud used hypnosis to treat himself and patients, and several celebrities like Matt Damon have used it to quit smoking or lose weight.
But let's not forget about the other side of hypnosis that has flooded mainstream media and culture, which has, in part, ruined the wondrous reputation and good name hypnosis once had: stage hypnotism. When you read the words "hypnosis," chances are your first thoughts are of an eerie looking guy with a wire mustache waving a gold pocket watch in front of your face, saying in monotone, "You're getting sleepy. Your eyes are getting heavy. Heavier and heavier." In the movie The Fourth Kind, the director and writer absolutely tarnished the perception of hypnosis by the population as "manipulative" and a scary, unknown experience. Let me reassure you, it could not be farther from the truth. You will learn in a little while why these stereotypes and typecasting images of hypnosis are totally wrong, and why I'm on a mission to hypnotize as many people as I can and to show you the truly awesome and positive power and effect of hypnosis.
The history of hypnosis is well-recorded and well-substantiated by both science and human experiences, yet many of us remain skeptical over its ability to actually work. What we do not understand, we normally feel fear. So, let me break it down for you, starting with debunking the three most common misconceptions regarding hypnosis.
Myth #1: You lose complete control when you're deep in hypnosis.
You will NEVER lose control when in hypnosis. Why? Because all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. The hypnotist merely acts as a guide who knows how to access those deeper levels of relaxation that all of us have been trained to neglect. You are aware of everything that's going on. If I asked you under hypnosis to cluck like a chicken or bark like a dog, and you don't feel like doing it, then you won't. Why, then do we see people doing those things in stage shows? Because they know they're on stage and part of a show, they are volunteers willing to act a little goofy in front of others for a show. That is only one segment of the world of hypnosis.
When we were babies, we consciously went in and out of hypnosis all the time, because of its pleasant, relaxing, euphoric feeling, like you don't have a care in the world. Over time, as we grow older, society and our fast-paced culture raises our collective anxiety and stress levels, and we quickly lose this ability to return to this relaxed state we once did instantly. How would you like to learn how to take yourself back into that deep, relaxed state whenever you like? Anxiety can be a thing of the past, bad habits can be undone, positive and confident attitudes can rise up, but only if you the hypnotist want it to work. You are responsible for your own motivation and participation, period.
Myth #2: You can get stuck in hypnosis.
This is absolute baloney. Have you ever been stuck in a daydream? No! Not unless it was so good, you didn't want it to stop or end, right? Exactly the same with hypnosis! We're all guilty of daydreaming, which is a light state of hypnosis. If I were to hypnotize you and walk away, you would simply fall into a light sleep and naturally emerge from your sleep shortly after. As I already mentioned, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, so you are in control of how deep and relaxed you wish to go. Some of us enjoy hypnosis so much and reach such a deep, relaxed state, we don't want to come up! Haven't you ever wondered if you could relax to reach that point of total bliss and without any care in the world? I know some people that did! We in the business call that the 'coma state' or Ellsdale state, where the subject is so relaxed that they do not wish to emerge from hypnosis. This is also the most workable state of hypnosis and where the most effective therapy can be done.
Myth #3: You tell personal secrets or personal information.
This is really important to point out to any skeptic out there: anything you don't want to tell me when you are awake, you won't tell me when you're in hypnosis. If I was to ask for your ATM pin or Social Security number, you would give me an emphatic no. Duh! Same goes for you when you are hypnotized; you will absolutely not share anything you wish to keep secret when you are under hypnosis. Simple as that.
So, what are you waiting for? Come find me and get hypnotized! Whether you have a minute or an hour, I promise you an unbelievable experience you'll wish you tried earlier. I may even teach you how to hypnotize yourself anytime you want to relax!