But does real-life hypnosis have as good a soundtrack?

The conclusion to this article is rather a let-down - I’m not one to trust this sort of thing to be anything more than quackery, but having not done what she told you to do, and instead done something completely different, there is just no useful conclusion to be drawn here.

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Very neat to see this topic on BoingBoing. My mother bought me a 40-hour certification course in clinical guided imagery (hypnosis) as a graduation present, and the field is rather fascinating. Our subconscious minds wield considerable power, usually with the best of intentions. That mean dog scared you as a child, and you’ve now got a built-in defense mechanism against poodles… not so helpful when you’re a postman (say). Post-hypnotic suggestion typically only lasts up to a week, the real power comes in exploring the deeper thoughts that you don’t usually allow yourself to verbalize, to root out the cause of why you have insomnia.

Eye fascination is a fairly old-school method of induction, and one that’s been show to take a rather long time. I’m also a bit wary of any hypnotherapist that declares “You can only go under easily for me…” while it may be comforting, it’s not exactly setting the client up for success if they decide to move on to a different hypnotherapist.

Remember kids: You can’t be forced to do anything under hypnosis that you wouldn’t want to do if you were inebriated. It may lower inhibitions a bit, but the conscious mind is always on edge waiting to protect you. It’s like when you are zoning out while driving, and notice a dangerous driver going too fast towards an intersection… you don’t know what you did for the last 20 miles, but you’re definitely in the moment now.

My 2 cents, anyway! :smile_cat:


“Do I think about what I could have or should have said afterwards? (Shake, but I should have nodded.)” Haha—self-proving statement, Carla!

“Shallow Hal wants a gal.”

I remember reading something by Dilbert creator Scott Adams a few years ago about what a positive influence studying hypnosis had on his life. The subject of hypnosis has fascinated me since I was a kid, but not enough to spend money on it.

Would hypnosis help a person to speak a foreign language, lots of which they understand but are intimidated to use with native speakers?

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I did hypnosis to quit smoking. It did require some willpower for the first few days without cigarettes, but I didn’t smoke again after one 3 hour session. Most of the time was spent talking about what the nature of unconscious habit, the nature of hypnotherapy, and the nature of my habit. Other than that, it was much like going to the dentist, assuming you’ve never been to a dentist before and aren’t sure what ‘dentistry’ is really all about. It did require a great degree of trust. I kept thinking I’d tell him my PIN numbers.

It is important to note hypnosis is not an all-powerful force over-riding your will. The therapist told me about a patient who wanted to test how strong the bonds against her were, and defiantly smoked a cigarette :slight_smile: You have to understand, accept, and foster the process - it’s a collaboration to help you, not a war. A bit like going to the dentist. So it was a bit strange, but that’s how I quit smoking in a few hours.

I think hypnotherapy should be on the National Health Service as it would obviously save a fortune - the punitive taxes on cigarettes are enormous, and each quitter only costs about 4 people-hours of professional labour.

I feel the story structure requires the journalist to go back several times until she gets it to work, and talk about what hypnosis ‘working’ felt like.


i’ve always been curious to know if hypnosis would assist one in reaching altered states of consciousness, without the use of illegal substances. IIRC, johns hopkins university has conducted studies with psylocybin. alas, such things are illegal for the rest of us.

Good article. I felt like I was in the room. I studied at HMI many, many years ago, back when the founder, John Kappas, was still teaching.

It’s probably wise to point out that hypnosis, or, any form of hyper suggestibility is a natural process that we all go through quite often. There’s nothing mystical about it. There’s no feeling to it, no magic. It just is.

If you’ve ever been caught up in the thrill of an action movie or reacted to the romance or sadness in a drama then you know what it’s like to be hypnotized. You’ve willingly suspended a fraction of your mind that knows its just a picture of actors playing a scene.

A trained hypnotist understands how to convince a subject to willingly suspend certain processes and then plants suggestions either directly or indirectly. It can be a great tool for some for many purposes.

But, the bottom line is that it takes cooperation from the subject for it to work. No one will do anything by suggestion they really do not want to do.

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I actually have two college credits from a hypnotism course, so I’m getting a kick out of these replies (and the article)…

Hypnotism is a perfectly normal, ordinary phenomenon. There’s nothing magical, transcendental, or particularly empowering about it.

If you step on a nail, let rip a swear word. Then remember that the qualia of that pain is in your brain, not in your foot. If you decide that you’re not going to be crippled by that very small puncture wound and force yourself to walk normally - which, I can tell you from experience does make the pain go away almost instantly - you could call that hypnosis…or Mind over Matter, or (in my case) telling your body who’s the boss.

A biologist studied Sherpas to try to understand why and how they were able to tolerate the cold in the Himalayas. After careful study, he finally realized that they tolerated the cold well because they didn’t complain about the cold.


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