Contrary to what is portrayed commonly in the entertainment industry, hypnosis is not a tool for kidnapping or mind control. It is not practiced by snakes or evildoers. It is not facilitated by inanimate objects (or psychedelic eyeballs) with uniquely mesmerizing powers. It is not sleep.
To find out what hypnosis IS, please read the January 19, 2021 blog.
Suggestion and Control
Because the hypnotic state helps make people more suggestible, it is tempting to think suggestions allow the hypnotist to be in control. However, this is not the case. When people do hypnosis, they are aware of what is going on and can stop at any time. They can resist any suggestion that they choose.
One of the beauties of hypnosis is that people sometimes can use abilities they did not realize they had. Therefore, if it is suggested that they do something unusual, and it is within their capabilities, they may be more apt to do so in a hypnotic state. For example, on several occasions I have asked my patients with dyslexia if part of them does not have dyslexia. When they have said they have such a part, I suggest that this part teach the patient how to overcome their dyslexia. On three occasions patients then reported that their dyslexia improved a great deal, and their grades subsequently improved. This is an example of the power of the patient’s mind, rather than my causing them to overcome their reading problem.
The only mind control involved in hypnosis is that through its use people can learn to have improved control over their own minds.
“You are getting sleepy,” is a common refrain in movies and stage performances that depict hypnosis. However, when people appear to fall asleep while doing hypnosis on stage, they remain awake and responsive to the performer’s suggestions. Because people who are gifted in hypnosis often forget what happens while they are within a hypnotic state, they may not recall what happened while they were “sleeping.” However, this does not mean that hypnosis means that they have fallen asleep.
On the other hand, hypnosis can help people become very relaxed, and if they are tired, they will become sleepy as a result of their relaxed state. Sometimes, I teach patients how to use hypnosis to fall asleep as a treatment for insomnia. (I will describe this in greater detail in a future blog.) Once again, in this scenario, it should be emphasized that the patient chooses to use hypnosis to fall asleep. The hypnotist has no power over the patient.
People can enter a hypnotic state by narrowing their field of focus. This can be achieved by staring at an object or pattern. However, the object or pattern has no power to cause the hypnosis to occur. The power is found in the act of focusing.
Objects can also be used as ways to hypnotically communicate with the subconscious. A familiar object for this purpose is the Ouija board, in which people are “mysteriously” guided to move a planchette to give answers to posed questions. However, the solution to the mystery is that the planchette is guided by the subconscious of the participants.
A computer keyboard can also be used as a way of allowing the subconscious to express itself more easily than through a Ouija board because it can quickly type full sentences, rather than point to one letter at a time.
Take Home Message
A state of hypnosis can allow people to achieve many amazing phenomena, but all of these are within their control. Consider using hypnosis to explore some of your hidden abilities by consulting a professional expert in hypnosis.
About Center Point Medicine
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