Dispelling Myths

In the state of hypnosis, subjects are awake and aware of everything that is going on. The “critical area” in your mind acts as a protective filter which prevents you from acting on suggestions that are harmful or in conflict with your basic instincts. Almost anyone can be hypnotized, with the exception of people on drugs or alcohol. Let’s review some common myths about hypnosis.

Myth: The Hypnotist can make you do things against your will.

Absolutely False! The hypnotist has no power over you at all and cannot make you do anything against your will. Hypnosis is really just self-hypnosis. All the hypnotist does is guide you into a hypnotic state, which you can easily learn to do for yourself, if you wish. The hypnotist is not a master, but a guide, and does not have any special powers or magic.

Myth: You can get stuck in hypnosis and never come out.

False again. If you are hypnotized and the hypnotist left the room and never returned, your own mind would pull you safely out of the hypnosis in one of two ways. You would either realize the hypnotist was no longer talking to you , and you would open your eyes and be wide awake and feeling fine, or, you would drift into a normal sleep for a few minutes and then wake up normally, feeling fine.

Myth: Everyone can be hypnotized.

False. I have already told you that no one can be hypnotized against his or her will. In addition, people with certain mental or neurological conditions cannot be hypnotized for reasons that are not known. However, most people can be hypnotized if they want to be.

Myth: Hypnosis can cure anything or solve any personal problem.

No, hypnosis is not a cure-all. Hypnosis is very powerful and can cure, or aid in the cure, of a great many ailments. Hypnosis can also solve a great many personal problems. At times hypnosis can produce what seems to be miracles. But it is not the answer for everything. Hypnosis is a powerful, natural tool we all have available to us to help improve our lives in a great many ways.

Myth: Hypnosis is dangerous

Untrue. It is quite the opposite. Hypnosis is safe and natural.

Myth: Only weak-minded people can be hypnotized.

Again, false. The contrary is true. It is easier to hypnotize people who are intelligent.

Myth: Deep hypnosis is necessary for good results.

Not true. Any level of hypnosis from light to deep can bring good results.

Forget the Hollywood-type hype that depicts people walking around like zombies under the control of some madman, who merely has to look into a person’s eyes to put them into an alleged hypnotic trance. This is pure mythical, dramatic garbage that has absolutely no basis in fact.


Let’s talk about the truth. Exactly what is hypnosis, or more accurately, self-hypnosis.

Self-hypnosis is a self induced, altered state of mental consciousness that allows you to give constructive suggestions to your subconscious mind.

More simply put, you cause your brain frequency to slow down to the range of seven to fourteen cycles per second. In that frequency range, your mind is highly susceptible to suggestions or instructions. By giving constructive suggestions to your subconscious mind, you can change your life for the better in many ways.

Your subconscious mind is that part of your mind which is like an obedient servant – it does what you program or tell it to do. The subconscious mind does not think, reason or rationalize. It does not know the difference between right or wrong, positive or negative. The subconscious mind just does what it is instructed to do. If you tell your subconscious mind you are a good, worthwhile person, it will cause you to be a good, worthwhile person. On the other hand, if you tell it that you are an inferior person, it will cause you to behave like an inferior person.

Self-hypnosis is a tool we can use to straighten out the bad programming. Self-hypnosis works because it is a method of allowing ourselves to adjust the brain frequency of our subconscious area and then re-program our mind with the information we want. Simply, we overlay the negative programming with the positive programming, thus canceling out the negative programming. It works!


  • Self-hypnosis is a procedure that bores your conscious mind to the point where it grows quiet, allowing you to speak directly to your subconscious mind.
  • Your subconscious mind, being an obedient servant, does what you tell it to do.
  • Self-hypnosis is safe and natural because all it does is take advantage of the going to sleep cycle that we all experience every time we go to sleep.
  • Self-hypnosis is a powerful tool available to all of us that can provide us a way to alter our lives in virtually any manner we choose.

Stage Hypnotism – Fact of Fiction?

We’ve all seen some of the amazing things that hypnotists can make people do on stage. Nicholas Spano and Theodore Barber did more than just wonder; they made a study of these phenomena. Their conclusion is that little or no hypnosis is necessary to do a good stage hypnosis act. To prove it, they have been able to recreate every stunt performed by the stage hypnotist without resorting to hypnosis.

Their view is that stage hypnosis produced a normal mental state in which suggestible people act out the role of a hypnotic subject and behave as they think hypnotized people are supposed to. Stage hypnotists make use of certain characteristics of the stage to perform their act.

  • Suggestibility. We are all more or less open to suggestion, but on stage people are unusually cooperative because they want the hypnotist to succeed. They don’t want to ruin the act. As a result, they will readily follow almost any instruction given by the performer.
  • Getting the right subjects. Only volunteers are allowed to appear on stage. This alone ensures that participants are relatively uninhibited and ready to participate. Next the group is hypnotized and anyone who doesn’t succumb (or go along) is eliminated. This means the hypnotist has a group of subjects who are ready to perform.
  • No responsibility. The movies, TV and such stage acts have instilled a common perception about how people should act. One of these perceptions is that “hypnotized” people are not responsible for their actions. They therefore can sing, dance, act silly or whatever without fear of embarrassment.
  • Directing the actors. It does not take long for participants to loosen up and after responding to a few suggestions suddenly find themselves the star of the show. The audience response often brings out the “ham” in many participants so that all the hypnotist has to do is direct the action.
  • Using tricks. Stage hypnotists use impressive stage tricks for impact. A common one is to rigidly suspend a person between two chairs and then stand on the person’s chest. This is impressive only because the audience doesn’t question it. The reality is, as Nicholas Spano has shown, that anyone can do it.
  • Inexperience. People who have appeared on stage will generally always say they were hypnotized or felt they were hypnotized. But since most people don’t know what it is like to be hypnotized, the combination of bright lights, nervousness and the things they did convince them that they were.

reprinted from – Tampa Bay New Times – July/August 1998