Myths Surrounding Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a paranormal, supernatural phenomenon

No, it is not - Hypnosis is a natural phenomenon. A person will drift in and out of hypnosis several times during the day. Hypnosis is not a force from an outside world. You have experienced some form of hypnosis. For example: You are watching something intently and you don’t hear something being said to you. You are so concentrated and focused on whatever you are watching that you are hypnotized (mesmerized) by it.

Hypnosis is sleep

To a hypnotized person, it can feel like sleep but it is not. Hypno is the Greek word for sleep and Dr. James Braid, a Scot named this state hypnosis in the 19 th century but hypnosis is NOT sleep. The fact is that hypnotized people can be fully aware and responsive and usually are. They hear and they can talk and move. Hypnosis is a very deep form of relaxation and concentration.

A hypnotized person has weak willpower and surrenders to the strong will of the hypnotist

Hypnotized people do not surrender their willpower to the hypnotist. No one under hypnosis can be made to do or say anything that is contrary to their ethical standards. They can come out of hypnosis at their will. People go to a hypnotherapist to help them deal with their challenges, so they are willing to be hypnotized and they must deeply desire the change for the hypnosis to be effective.

You will tell the hypnotist your secrets

No, this is the same as myth #3. You will NOT divulge anything under hypnosis that you do not want to.

People can get stuck in hypnosis, and never wake up

You cannot get stuck in hypnosis. If a person goes into a very deep state of hypnosis, left alone they will naturally  drift off into sleep or awaken from it themselves.

Hypnosis is dangerous

Hypnosis is no more dangerous intrinsically than listening to a lecture. You hear things that you may or may not agree with. Your subconscious mind chooses what you accept and what to act on.

Many people CANNOT be hypnotized

This is untrue. Only a small amount of people cannot be hypnotized: very young children, up to the age of about 5 or 6 or people who have a very low IQ, usually under 70. It requires a certain level of understanding and these people usually cannot follow instruction.

You need to reach the deepest level of hypnosis to make changes

Most people remember something of the suggestions made to them. Some remember everything and some remember nothing at all, except that sweet state of peace and tranquility. Even when one is in the deepest level (Delta), and the conscious mind does not hear, the subconscious mind is hearing and processing. One only needs a light state of hypnosis for the suggestions to take effect.