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Lee Darrow
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Chicago, IL USA
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HYPNOSIS FAQ Part 1 Common Myths

Hollywood hype shows that a hypnotist can control and direct our actions, and that we can be made to do all sorts of odd and paranormal things under hypnosis. Here is a list of some common myths which must be clarified before we proceed further.

1) The hypnotist can make you do things against your will.

Absolutely False. The hypnotist has no powers over you at all, and cannot make you do things against your hard-held beliefs, ethics or morals. All Hypnosis is really self-directed and self-controlled. The hypnotist merely guides you into a hypnotic state, and feeds your mind with care­fully worded suggestions. If you feel uncomfortable with these suggestions, you may reject them at will. Hypnosis is essentially a matter of cooperation between the hypnotist and his subject, not some form of power the hypnotist possesses which will compel the subject to submit to his or her will. In a stage show, remember, people are up there to show off, so the appearance of them doing something "against their will" may seem to be the case, but, in reality, it is NOT the case at all.

2) Once under Hypnosis, the subject can't come out of it on their own.

False again! If you are under hypnosis and the hypnotist suddenly left the room, two things may happen: you will either realize that the hypnotist is no longer talking to you, and will open your eyes, feeling fresh and alert; or, you may drift into natural sleep, in which case you will wake up after a few minutes (or hours). So, the subject CAN, and will, come out of the trance on his, or her, own.

3) Only weak-minded people can be hypnotized.

Completely False. Hypnosis has nothing to do with will power. People often confuse hypnotizability with gullibility. There is NO connection between the two. On the contrary, the more intelligent a person is, the easier it is for him to be hypnotized. To be hypnotized, one needs the abilities of concentration, imagination and vivid visualization, not to mention cooperation.

4) Under hypnosis, the subject is totally unconscious.

Wrong again, Waston! At all times during the course of a hypnotic session, you will be able to hear, to think and respond as appropriate. You are aware of what is going on around you, but you may not pay much attention to any of the distractions around you. Although your body is very relaxed, your mind is actually more alert than usual. Many people are worried by stage hypnosis and the fact that the subjects, many of whom do ridicu­lous things during the session, seem to have no knowledge of anything around them or recollection of what they did after the show. The unfortunate part of such an activity is that it often frightens away those people who could really bene­fit from hypnotherapy, but are afraid of losing control. This is actually called post-hypnotic amnesia, forgetting what happened in the trance state and it rarely lasts for more than a few hours, or at most, a few days and is used as a method of impressing an audience for future shows, nothing more. The volunteers are completely aware of what transpires while it is happening and no loss of volition happens during the show, whatsoever.

5) Under hypnosis, one can be made to reveal his secrets.

Nope! Sorry to disappoint those of you who want to pry into your friends and foe's minds, but it does not work this way. As mentioned above, under hypnosis, the subject is fully alert, in fact more alert than usual. The hypnotist can only guide the subject to remember forgotten memories. Whether the subject will reveal them to the hypnotist is entirely at his own discretion. In other words, the volunteer can refuse to answer ANY question put to them or even LIE about what they have been asked to answer. It is a myth that "they hypnotized never lies."

6) Hypnosis is dangerous.

COMPLETELY Untrue. It is quite the opposite. Hypnosis is a safe and natural process. One fact that most people are unaware of is that we undergo Hypnosis several times in our daily lives. For example, while driving along a highway, very often, people suddenly dis­cover that they have lost awareness for several minutes. This is actually an example of momentary hypnotism. Many people call this "driving on automatic pilot," or "zoning out behind the wheel." Milton H. Erickson, MD, one of the greatest hypnotherapists of the 20th century once said that he would not ride in a cab where the cab driver was NOT in such a trance state as such drivers were actually safer to drive with!

7) One needs special powers to hypnotize.

Total BULL! Hypnosis is not an occult power, but a skill, like learning to do a good card manipulation, though much more complex on many different levels as it is a communications skill set. Any average person with the willingness and patience to learn, can master the skills of hypnosis. Like other skills such as playing the piano, or learning a foreign language, some people become accomplished with greater ease than others while others can increase their abilities through regular prac­tice. The ability to hypnotize someone is not a talent - it is a LEARNED skill set.

8) The user might become addicted to hypnosis.

Incorrect. While one might enjoy hypnosis enough to use it regularly because it feels good because it can be incredibly relaxing, you cannot become addicted to hypnosis because it has no physical effects on the body in the way a chemical substance does.

Respectfully submitted,

Lee Darrow
Certified Hypnotist
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
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