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What Are Some Misconceptions About Hypnosis?

Spiral staircase with people walking the stairs the words "misconceptions of hypnosis" are in a big red box laid over the pho

Contrary to what is portrayed commonly in the entertainment industry, hypnosis is not a tool for kidnapping or mind controlIt is not practiced by snakes or evildoersIt is not facilitated by inanimate objects (or psychedelic eyeballs) with uniquely mesmerizing powersIt 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 controlHowever, this is not the caseWhen people do hypnosis, they are aware of what is going on and can stop at any timeThey 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 hadTherefore, 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 stateFor example, on several occasions I have asked my patients with dyslexia if part of them does not have dyslexiaWhen they have said they have such a part, I suggest that this part teach the patient how to overcome their dyslexiaOn three occasions patients then reported that their dyslexia improved a great deal, and their grades subsequently improvedThis 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 hypnosisHowever, when people appear to fall asleep while doing hypnosis on stage, they remain awake and responsive to the performer’s suggestionsBecause 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 asleepThe hypnotist has no power over the patient. 



People can enter a hypnotic state by narrowing their field of focusThis can be achieved by staring at an object or patternHowever, the object or pattern has no power to cause the hypnosis to occurThe power is found in the act of focusing. 

Objects can also be used as ways to hypnotically communicate with the subconsciousA familiar object for this purpose is the Ouija board, in which people are “mysteriously” guided to move a planchette to give answers to posed questionsHowever, 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 controlConsider using hypnosis to explore some of your hidden abilities by consulting a professional expert in hypnosis. 


About Center Point Medicine  

You can learn more about Center Point Medicine, hypnosis, and other great topics by following us on social media or heading over to our website. New blogs are added weekly. A list of all current blogs can be found HERE. 

For medical professionals looking to open their own Center Point Medicine office providing pediatric counseling and hypnosis services to your local community, please follow this LINK to learn more about our franchising opportunities.  


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Profile Photo or Ran D. Anbar, MD, FAAP Ran D. Anbar, MD Ran D. Anbar, MD, FAAP, is board certified in both pediatric pulmonology and general pediatrics, offering hypnosis and counseling services at Center Point Medicine in La Jolla, California, and Syracuse, New York. Dr. Anbar is also a fellow and approved consultant of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. Dr. Anbar is a leader in clinical hypnosis, and his 20 years of experience have allowed him to successfully treat over 5,000 children. He also served as a professor of pediatrics and medicine and the director of pediatric pulmonology at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, for 21 years.

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