If you’re like most people, most of what you know about hypnosis comes from TV and the movies…and that means that most of what you think you know about hypnosis is wrong.
That’s OK. You’re in good and vast company.
Or maybe you’ve seen a comedy stage hypnosis show and saw the volunteers do all sorts of things and you’re worried that that’s what your session with a hypnotist will be like.
That’s OK too. A lot of people wonder about that.
Here’s the truth about what it’s like to be hypnotized:
When you’re hypnotized, you are completely in control. You can’t be made to do anything you don’t want to do. You can’t even be hypnotized if you don’t want to be. That means that you aren’t going to do anything embarrassing or contrary to your values or reveal any secrets when you’re hypnotized. It also means that you need to follow your hypnotists’ instructions if you want to get the best results from your session.
You are aware of everything going on around you when you’re hypnotized and you’ll remember as much as you would from any normal conversation. We hypnotists haven’t done anyone any favors by using words like being out or under to describe the hypnosis experience. Those words can suggest anesthesia, and that’s not what hypnosis is like at all.
And stage hypnotists or street hypnotists use the word sleep a lot but you’re actually wide awake when you’re hypnotized. To anyone seeing you, you might appear to be asleep, but you’re actually just in a very relaxed state where your mind is ready accept suggestions that will allow your subconscious to work towards your conscious goals.
People find being hypnotized to be a pleasant, relaxing experience, even people who have had trouble getting relaxed in the past. And you don’t even have to be relaxed when you’re hypnotized, although you probably will be surprised at how easily you’re able to become comfortable and relax during your session. Think about those people in the stage show (even if you’re only seen one on TV, because that’s the one thing about hypnosis that TV and the movies tend to get right): they’re up out of their seats, doing all sorts of very funny, very energetic things. They’re hypnotized but they’re definitely not relaxed. So if you were curious about whether you can be hypnotized because you have had trouble relaxing in the past, you can set that thought aside because now you know that you can be hypnotized whether or not you’re relaxed.