I’ve been fascinated with hypnosis for quite a few years. it first started when I read a sales book about the world’s top sales people. The book revealed that they were using some hypnosis techniques in their sales presentations, and most of them didn’t even know they were using then.
It was in that book (sorry I forget the name now) that I first heard about Milton Erickson, considered one of the greatest hypnotists of all time. He could hypnotise people instantly, and he could do it without them even realising it!
Milton Erickson subsequently became one of my heroes, and I read more and more about him over time. I probably started to take the subject of hypnosis seriously in the last year and half or so. I read more and more about the subject and today I’m proud to say I’m a newly minted, certified a hypnotist. But I consider myself an amateur hypnotist as I don’t practice hypnosis on a regular basis (or don’t I? Look deeeeeeep into my eyes!) and I don’t have a clinic or anything.
I don’t consider myself a pro yet by any means, but I’m still learning and I consider hypnosis a life long interest for me. And with that in mind, let me share some thoughts about hypnosis with you.
What The Heck is Hypnosis Anyway?
According to the dictionary on my Mac, it is “the induction of a state of consciousness in which a person apparently loses the power of voluntary action and is highly responsive to suggestion or direction.” Let me try to explain that in every day language; You could say that us humans have two minds, the unconscious mind, and the critical, conscious mind.
The unconscious mind is pretty much a sponge and will absorb whatever is fed into it. The conscious mind, prevents that from happening. What the hypnotist does, is by-pass the conscious mind in order to make suggestions to the subconscious mind. And the way you by-pass the conscious mind is by putting your subject into a trance.
Milton Erickson was so good, that he could put people into a trance without them even realising it. He used what is now called conversational hypnosis. He could hypnotise people during a normal conversation.
Can Anyone Be Hypnotised?
Well, there’s no easy, straight forward answer to this question. The quick answer is yes, anyone. But being in a trance is not like what you see on TV, where people lose complete control of their senses and are at the hypnotists command. It rarely works like that in real life. When you’re in a trance, you can still snap out of it when you want to. And you can’t really make people do things like a mindless robot. I think that’s what most people think hypnosis is; giving up all your control to the hypnotist.
Milton Erickson once tried to make a nurse he had in a trance get up and slap another nurse. After hearing the suggestion a couple of times and resisting, the nurse finally said something like “Dr. Erickson, the only person who will be slapped is you!”
The reason this did not work is because our morals are in our subconscious, and even if you by-pass the conscious mind, you can’t make someone do something that goes deeply against their morals. So if I were to put you in a trance, and then ask you to strip down and run naked in the streets, you probably wouldn’t do it. Unless, that wasn’t against your morals. get my point? Makes sense, right?
Remember the definition above says a person apparently loses the power of voluntary action. They don’t lose full power. I’ve been in a trance where the hypnotist raised my arm up in the air and asked me to hold it there. I could have just resisted and dropped my hand, but I chose not to. Makes sense?
Can YOU Be Hypnotised?
It’s very difficult to put someone into a trance if they don’t want to. Besides, why would you see a hypnotherapist if you didn’t want to be put into a trance? But having said that, a master hypnotist like Erickson can put anyone into a trance. And like I said, they can do it without the other person even realising it.
But make no mistake my friend, you’ve been in a trance many times before. You don’t need a hypnotist to put you in a trance (an altered state of mind). If you’ve ever driven for a while and then arrived at your destination, wondering what happened during the drive, then you were in a trance. It’s called highway hypnosis. Or if you’ve been enthralled (or “entranced”) by a movie, then you were in a trance. It happens all the time. Get my point?
Thanks for reading and talk to you soon.