I have been in the hypnosis field, both clinically and on stage, for over 45 years and I am still amazed at the erroneous assumptions and beliefs within the ranks of hypnotists today. I would like to list the misconceptions and/or myths here with my answers. You may agree or disagree, as I am sure that you have your own opinions, and that is just fine.
As one of the founders of hypnosis, Harry Arons always stated “THE ONLY THING THAT YOU CAN BE SURE ABOUT HYPNOSIS, IS THAT YOU CAN’T BE SURE OF ANYTHING.” That is so true. You never really know if the subject is accepting or rejecting the suggestions and how they will react. A good rule of thumb is: NEVER GIVE A SUGGESTION THAT WOULD BE HARMFUL OR FRIGHTEN A SUBJECT.
With thousands of hypnotists today with a private practice or on stage, this summation might help you to explain to clients or an audience just what hypnosis is and what it is not.
Here is my Q and A
Q. Is hypnosis sleep?
A. No, hypnosis is not sleep like when you fall asleep and your conscious mind shuts down and you are unconscious. My definition is that hypnosis is a deep daydreaming sleep whereby the client or subjects on stage hear everything, see everything and follows your suggestions properly. It is a state of profound relaxation where just 10 minutes of hypnosis can feel like 3 hours of a natural sleep. What I tell my subjects on stage or in the office: “You might hear other sounds but once you are focused on my voice, you simply ignore all other sounds. You hear other sounds but pay no attention to them.”
Q. Can everybody be hypnotized?
A. No. People who resist cannot be hypnotized. People who are severely retarded cannot be hypnotized and some with very low IQ’s may not be able to be hypnotized. Of course, there are always exceptions to our ideas and opinions. Generally, anyone, other than the ones I listed, who wants to be hypnotized, can be to some level such as light, medium and deep (somnambulism).
Q. Can I get stuck in hypnosis? What if I don’t wake up?
A. Actually, that has never happened and cannot happen. Since the subject is in a daydreaming state and not actually sleeping, what is there to wake up from? I have known a number of hypnotists that had trouble taking subjects out of hypnosis. I believe that their introduction and instructions to the subject might not be quite right. For the last 45 years I have never had a subject not come out of that hypnotic state … let me tell you why. I developed a sure-fire statement that precludes subjects from staying in the hypnotic state … I give it to you here as a gift. You should make this statement on stage and in your practice just before your induction. It works beautifully.