Another article from one of my readers. Here she describes her experience with a stage hypnotist, and how the hypnotist could alter the people’s perception of him – at one point, they viewed him as the ugliest man on earth – at another point, the viewed him as the most handsome man alive. He also made the hallucinate and follow certain embedded commands that he sneaked in their subconscious.
While these kinds of shows do exist, and these phenomena happen, it should be made clear that there is a difference between “stage hypnosis” and real hypnosis. One is the utilization of hypnosis for show effects, and many people are first confronted with hypnosis through these kinds of sensational shows – and that creates a lot of false ideas about what hypnosis can and can not do.
If you want to practice hypnosis with others, then reading this story is also valuable, because it reveals what many people think and feel about hypnosis.
Hypnosis is an induced mental state that causes the subject to be vulnerable to desires off the person who put them in the trance. Often the hypnotist will make suggestions to the subject and the subject will be more willing to do them then if they were in a conscious state of mind.
When people are hypnotized they feel like they have a weakened sense of their surroundings, and other alterations to their knowledge of the present world. I have seen a hypnotist show at our senior graduation party once. The hypnotist asked for volunteers and he picked his subjects that were most willing to believe in him. This is because these subjects would be the ones that will be most vulnerable to suggestion. The subjects did all sorts of crazy things including falling asleep, smelling things that weren’t there, and generally stepping outside of their usual comfort zone.
He made all the subjects believe that he was the ugliest man in the world and then minutes later believe he was the most attractive man in the world. It was quite amusing to see how my classmates would hit on the hypnotist. Afterwards, I asked my friend what had happened when she returned from the stage. She still seemed a little out of it and couldn’t remember what really happened.
After all the participants had settled back into their seats, the hypnotist had one more trick for us. He clapped his hands and out of nowhere all the participants, now scattered with the rest of the school, jumped up to sing and performs “I’m a little teapot.” I guess the effects of the hypnotist were still with them. The next day, my friend told me that she remembers vaguely what had happened.
She tried to resist doing the things that he was suggesting, but she couldn’t. She wasn’t able to describe why the hypnotist was attractive or ugly at certain points, but rather that he just was. In my psychology class, we have learned what other uses of hypnotism are that could be of benefit to certain people. They could use it to reduce pain, quit smoking, motivational diet, or to retrieve past memories.
This made me wonder how hypnosis actually works. People react immediately to the suggestions of hypnotist. They do this by fixing the subjects gaze on a certain object. This is why you sometimes see them move a pocket watch back and forth and have the subject gaze upon it. The second way is giving rapid commands; the hypnotist will overload the patient with numerous strong commands, because it puts the patient on the edge and even more susceptible. Then the hypnotist might start speaking slowly and puts lots of imagery into the subjects mind. Putting this technique with a loss of balance, such as rocking the subject back and forth will cause the subject to loosen up and be in a more relaxed state. These techniques help the hypnotist prepare the subject for his next trick.