5 Hypnosis Myths Exploded

Over the years, hypnosis has picked up all sorts of weird associations from stage hypnotists, the media, and superstition. This is a great shame, because in reality, hypnosis is your single most effective tool for change. Hypnosis is your birthright, and you should know how to use it so it doesn’t use you. Let’s dispel the biggest hypnosis myths.

Hypnosis Myth 1) All hypnosis is the same.

As with anything, hypnosis can be good, bad or indifferent. The most common is old-style authoritarian hypnosis of the type “You are getting sleepy, you are feeling confident”. Unsurprisingly, this sort of hypnosis doesn’t work well with many people. Good hypnosis uses subtle psychological principles and advanced communication patterns.

It’s like the difference between a football coach who thinks you’ll perform best if he yells at you, compared with the more elegant style of a great leader who knows that to get the best from his people, he needs to understand motivation, to cajole, encourage and reward.

Hypnosis Myth 2) Subliminals work.

Subliminals are words that you can’t hear. Common sense says they shouldn’t work, and there’s no research proving that they do.

Hypnosis Myth 3) Some people can’t be hypnotized.

The only reason you can’t be hypnotized is if you are incapable of paying attention due to extremely low IQ or brain damage. That’s not to say that every hypnotist can hypnotize you however. The more flexible the hypnotist, the more effective she will be with the largest number of people.

Hypnosis Myth 4) Hypnosis is something weird that other people do to you.

If you couldn’t go into hypnosis, you wouldn’t be able to sleep, to learn, or get nervous through ‘negative self hypnosis’. You know when you imagine things going wrong and it makes you feel anxious? Well that’s self hypnosis!

Hypnosis is simply a deliberate utilization of the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) or dream state. We’re not giving people medication here; if it wasn’t a natural ability, hypnosis wouldn’t work!

Hypnosis Myth 5) You lose control in hypnosis.

Crazy news stories, stage hypnotists and gossip have created the illusion that you lose control in hypnosis. In fact, when hypnotized, you are relaxed and focused – and able to choose to get up and walk away at any time. You choose to give your attention to the hypnotist, and you can withdraw it at any time.

If you have been scared of hypnosis in the past, this article has hopefully convinced you to at least give it a try. But remember, ensure what you’re getting is the real thing.

Why Hypnosis is Your Friend

Believe the hype or think for yourself.

For too long hypnosis has had a bad or difficult public image. It’s very misunderstood. And, if a person doesn’t understand something they do 3 things:

1) They might be skeptical and therefore stop from further inquiry and miss out on benefiting from a session.
2) They may conclude it is dangerous and to be avoided at all costs.
3) They may spend time discovering the truth behind the hype.

Some people assume hypnosis is akin to a carnival side show, others consider it mystic mumbo jumbo or mind control. For those who look beyond the hype the truth is far more illuminating.

Hypnosis is one of the most powerful tool you possess.

There are potentially huge benefits for those who use hypnosis as part of everyday life. When you understand hypnosis you start to see its potential to improve human performance in the physical, emotional and intellectual realms.

How hypnosis helped me.

I used to be shy. Thanks to hypnosis I can now talk to thousands at a time and can approach anybody calmly and confidently.

I used to have poor concentration and procrastinate; thanks to hypnosis I can instantly motivate myself.

I used to find physical work outs and exercise exhausting but because of hypnosis I am now in the best shape of my life.

Incidentally, I also stopped myself from blushing with hypnosis. Now, if ever I have a difficult call or conversation coming up, something I may naturally feel reluctant to do (you know the kind of thing) I spontaneously self hypnotize and rehearse the upcoming situation feeling good, with myself remaining calm. In this way I habitually set my own emotional blue prints for up coming situations. Having said that it’s naturally that some people have concerns or half digested ‘hand me down’ ideas regarding hypnosis. A common one is the one about ‘mind control.’ However what does this really mean?

Why you are more in control of yourself in hypnosis

If someone expresses concerns about being ‘controlled’ in hypnosis what they mean is they don’t want to be like a robot, an automaton that is forced to obey the every whim of the hypnotist. We can’t help but influence others but we don’t control them. To understand why you need to understand hypnosis better.

So what is hypnosis like?

Hypnosis isn’t like a coma. It’s not unconsciousness – more a subtle shifting of consciousness. In hypnosis, you can still think logically but you also have access to the ‘software’ of your mind so that you can update instinctive emotional and physical responses. In fact the hypnotized subject (not the hypnotist) calls the shots. When I hypnotize someone I need to go at their speed and respond to their needs and expectations. Hypnosis will give you more control in your own life because of what it enables you to do.

How can I be so sure?

Because over the decades I’ve seen all kinds of people, all ages and from all backgrounds turn their lives around thanks to hypnosis. When you use hypnosis for yourself it improves confidence in all kinds of ways. When you use it to change others lives it just blows you away. This is what I mean.

When I first hypnotized someone to feel no sensation in a painful arthritic arm it was an incredible feeling. When I first cured life long phobias quickly and comfortably I was astounded. When I stopped hardened alcoholics from drinking and even got a heroin addict off the stuff and back into mainstream life again I started to feel angry that people could just associate hypnosis with entertainment.

With the aid of hypnosis I (and many people I have trained and worked with) have helped severely depressed people feel strong and positive again. The rewards and satisfactions are hard to describe. I’m going to take a stand against ignorance and short shortsightedness around hypnosis and here’s why.

Why you need to reclaim hypnosis for yourself

Hypnosis is your birthright. It’s nature’s optimum learning tool. In fact to learn and perform anything well you need to experience a natural focussing of attention, a natural kind of hypnosis. To be successful hypnosis needs to be your companion and friend.

Successful people use it naturally all the time because hypnosis is natural. It’s the way we learn new responses. Unlike medications its side effects are purely positive – one expectant mother I worked with to feel relaxed during child birth later reported that she was also more relaxed when flying!

Hypnosis is easy to learn and every body can benefit. Hypnosis is a safe environment to ‘try out’ new behaviours and emotional patterns before you experience them for real. So the young man can ask a woman out for a date many times in calm relaxed hypnosis so that by the time he does it for real it feels real and natural and relaxed. Sports people who use hypnosis learn new quicker and more accurately. So hypnosis gives you more control of yourself and your life, it’s natural and gives you instant benefits and it’s a way of ‘trying on’ and establishing new patterns of emotional response and behavior, Hypnosis enables you to develop yourself as a human being.


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Hypnosis for Anxiety

Hypnosis is a very effective tool for treating anxiety problems. Anxiety is a central feature of most psychological disorders and psychiatric illnesses. Correcting, healing, and transcending anxiety is a significant breakthrough for those that suffer from it.

People with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) go through the day filled with exaggerated worry and tension, even though there is little or nothing to provoke it. They anticipate disaster and are overly concerned about health issues, money, family problems, or difficulties at work. Sometimes just the thought of getting through the day produces anxiety. GAD is diagnosed when a person worries excessively about a variety of everyday problems for at least 6 months.

People with GAD can’t seem to get rid of their concerns, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants. They can’t relax, startle easily, and have difficulty concentrating. Often they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Physical symptoms that often accompany the anxiety include fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, having to go to the bathroom frequently, feeling out of breath, and hot flashes.”

Sometimes, there are greater symptoms that keep people from living a normal life. These are such things as shortness of breath, dizziness, heart palpitations, trembling, sweating, feeling of choking, nausea/abdominal distress, depersonalization, numbness and tingling, flushes, chills, chest pain, fear of dying, and fear of going crazy or fear of doing something uncontrolled.

My hypnotherapeutic approach to treating anxiety disorders incorporates two aspects, treating the symptoms and uncovering the root causes. I address the symptoms by teaching you cognitive, behavioral and relaxation coping skills. Self-hypnosis for relaxation and cognitive control of anxious thoughts and worries is routinely taught as a coping skill.

I also teach instant relaxation skills to help you cope with stress, tension, and anxiety episodes on the fly, wherever they occur. Hypnotherapy puts you in control You can learn to control your anxiety through Hypnosis. Treatment usually takes two to five visits.

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Can Everyone Be Hypnotized?


With the exception of the feeble-minded, everyone can be hypnotized.  This is one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to Hypnotherapy.  And, interestingly enough, people naturally experience at least two hypnotic trances a day. Most of us experience around twenty per day, but, we just don’t know it.

Yes, some people are also adamant that they can’t be hypnotized. They are convinced that hypnosis will never work for them. Is possible some people can’t be hypnotized? No. Everyone can be hypnotized, theoretically, so there’s no physical reason why everyone can’t be put into a hypnotic state. But there are psychological reasons why someone can be resistant to being hypnotized. There are hypnosis techniques for the resistant person, and the induction portion of the session can be adjusted, and often is, for each client. Typically, those that believe they can’t be hypnotized are often easily placed into trance. And, there is the rare individual that finds it very difficult to relax enough in order to enter a deep hypnotic state.

Those that believe they can’t be hypnotized may have deep control issues. They may consciously or unconsciously believe that if they allow themselves to be hypnotized, they will be allowing someone else to control them, their behavior, and their thoughts. They’re usually reacting to what they think hypnosis is. In just about every case, they are unfamiliar with what hypnosis is or what it can be used for. In other cases, a person might have difficulty relaxing because of current physical pain or emotional trauma. And some people simply doubt the power of suggestion, believing that only weak minds can react to hypnotic suggestions.

It’s all a myth. You never give up control of your mind or body during hypnosis. You’re never unconscious. Your conscious mind is simply deeply relaxed and letting the subconscious mind come to the forefront.

So, what kind of person can be hypnotized? Anyone who has an IQ of at least 70, and is willing try it. That’s it. Of course, some people can go into trance more easily than others, and it’s possible to block or stop the process. Although some people are more easily hypnotized than other people, hypnotic responsiveness doesn’t seem to correlate in expected ways with personality traits such as gullibility, imagery ability, or submissiveness. Another similar study suggests that people who become very engrossed in day-to-day activities may be more easily hypnotized. Through subsequent studies, researchers learned that 95 percent of people can be hypnotized to some extent.

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Hypnosis Complements Other Healing Practices

Hypnosis works and the empirical support is unequivocal in that regard. It really does help people. But, hypnosis isn’t a therapy in and of itself. Most people wouldn’t regard it that way.

Michael Yapko, PhD,

Hypnosis can create a highly relaxed state of inner concentration and focused attention for patients, and the technique can be tailored to different treatment methods, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. Patients also can become more empowered by learning to hypnotize themselves at home to reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, or alleviate some symptoms of depression or anxiety.

Hypnosis has been used for centuries for pain control, as far back as the Civil War when Army surgeons hypnotized injured soldiers before amputations. Recent studies have confirmed its effectiveness as a tool to reduce pain.

In one study, researchers tested the effectiveness of a 15 minute pre-surgery hypnosis session versus an empathic listening session in a clinical trial with 200 breast cancer patients. In a 2007 article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (Vol. 99, No. 17), the team reported that patients who received hypnosis reported less post-surgical pain, nausea, fatigue and discomfort. The study also found that the hospital saved $772 per patient in the hypnosis group, mainly due to reduced surgical time. Patients who were hypnotized required less of the analgesic lidocaine and the sedative propofol during surgery.

Hypnosis helps patients to reduce their distress and have positive expectations about the outcomes of surgery. There is also a study, which found that a combination of hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral therapy could reduce fatigue for breast cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. Research has also shown the benefits of hypnosis for burn victims.