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Understanding Hypnosis

Have you ever wondered how cool it is to hypnotize people?

Hypnosis is the process of training a state of consciousness. The person being hypnotized loses the ability to act voluntarily and becomes responsive to propositions and instructions. Therapists use this method to unleash suppressed memories or allow adjustment of behavior. This process is controversial.

“Almost all people are hypnotics. The proper authority saw to it that the proper belief should be induced, and the people believed properly.” —  Charles Fort  “


The practice of hypnosis is often associated with magic, but it is not. It is a process of putting a person (including yourself) into a state of focus so as to be more open to messages and can even break bad habits. 

Hypnosis involves a change in the way a person perceives, feels, thinks, senses and acts while in the submission of someone else’s suggestions. It works best when one achieves behavioral control.  

Elements of hypnosis


The first element in hypnosis is a suggestion. There is skepticism over one’s submission to the person performing the hypnosis. However, in most instances, one is hypnotized even before they know it. There must be informed consent in some way. One also needs to be assured that there will be no harm in the process. The one who will be making the suggestions will have to be credible. 


The second element of hypnosis is focus. Hypnotists will explain this as it is. Have you ever been so focused watching a scene on television that you, forgot everything else? The same goes with hypnosis. Focusing on the voice of the hypnotist will turn off your thoughts, making it easier for the hypnotist to replace your thoughts with things that he/she is trying to suggest. It is not always possible to ignore everything in your surrounding. The hypnotist would have to use a “paradoxical” statement to prevent noise from interfering with your focus.


Another element of hypnosis is imagery. The hypnotist will suggest you to imagine going down and deeper on a flight of stairs. Then, he may begin a countdown as you get closer to the bottom. By the time you reach the bottom, you will be asleep. To end the hypnosis, the hypnotists will have you imagine the opposite of what you did like going up to get out of the trance.


Relaxation is the third element of hypnosis. After achieving the second element, focus, the hypnotist will lead you into a regular relaxation exercise: eyes closed, you’ll be asked to unwind from head to toe, letting yourself slip from the chair while you feel the ease. Listening to the voice of the hypnotist and doing the different elements could decrease the outside interference.


The mystery begins when you THINK you’re asleep. Yes, “think” because if you were truly asleep, how would you be able to follow the suggestions that the hypnotist is making? If you were really unconscious, you wouldn’t hear what the hypnotist is saying. Unless you have a sleepwalking disorder, you would be unable to get up or do anything funny being asked of you if you were really asleep.

That said and observed, hypnosis involves a state of altered consciousness in which there is retention of some conscious awareness.


The trance-like state for therapeutic purposes is usually associated with Franz Mesmer, an Austrian physician who lived from 1734-1815. It was from his name that we got the word “mesmerism.” His followers believed that channeling their animal magnetism would enable them to overcome their diseases.

The proposal that Mesmer’s technique to the extent that they worked and relied on the process of suggestion was made by James Braid, an English Physician. He was the one to coin the term “hypnotism”, from the Greek god of sleep, Hypnos.

A French neurologist, Jean-Mari Charcot, began using hypnosis as a form of treatment for hysteria among women. Freud working along with Charcot, found that he could reach the unconscious state by free association.

Pierre Janet, a French neurologist, continued the practice of hypnosis and was even successful at using it to treat women who suffer from a certain form of blindness known as “hysterical blindness”. The form did not involve a physical cause.

What do you think? Do you have the guts to try hypnosis and explore the mystery of the mind?

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