Is Hypnosis Real?
Hypnotism has a very long history, starting during Franz Mesmer‘s time in the late 1780’s. It’s where the term “mesmerism” comes from. A bit later James Braid proposed the term hypnotism and it stuck. Even then the practitioners had many skeptics; they all wondered is hypnosis real?
If you approach hypnotism or nearly anything else for that matter as a skeptic then you’ve already tilted the tide towards disbelief. I personally used to be horribly skeptical about hypnotism until I started experimenting with it myself and eventually seeing a hypnotherapist for anxiety (hint: it really helped).
Is Hypnosis Fake?
The very idea that someone could “control your thoughts” or “control your actions” or make you bark like a dog against your own will was literally insane for me. Audience plants, convincing actors, and smoke and mirrors. I even thought that situations like stage hypnosis was just a bunch of people that were afraid to look silly by NOT playing along, they were drunk, drugged, or just didn’t care. They played along! Hypnosis can’t be real! Fast forward a few years and I don’t really give it much thought, but the idea still lingered and continued to appeal to me.
Years later I met my wife and she had a hypnotist come to her graduating class and she shared her experience with that. She was open minded about hypnosis on the whole and had a fun experience. She believed it was real, didn’t remember much of what she did but she remembered being told what she did. Amazing! I was still skeptical if it was real at this point but I was getting there.
My Personal Experience
Shortly after my wife shared her experience with hypnosis I dove right into research, reading, and videos. I read a lot of tutorials, a lot of scripts, watched a few hypnosis induction patterns, and my reluctant wife allowed me to try it on her! I was hooked after that.
I got her to miscount fingers, forget her name, make her unable to see but only hear me, and convinced her my name was Bob (it’s not, no never has been Bob). I got her arm to levitate when I said a specific phrase (this is called a post hypnotic trigger). I got her to feel paralyzed from the waist down, unable to move her body or stand up. It goes on and on!
I even stuck her finger to her nose and then I convinced her that no matter what she did she couldn’t touch her nose no matter how much it itched. It was all I needed. I’m a see it and know it kind of person, I love evidence. I experienced it firsthand, my wife is no actress, and I didn’t pay her. I was hooked. Hypnosis is real. Hypnosis is NOT fake.
I even began to experiment with self hypnosis and I’ve gotten some pretty good progress. It takes a bit of concentration, most will say listen to recordings to do it but I’ve been able to lay in bed and cause arm levitation, tingles, and convincing my hand that it’s stuck to objects. Lately I’ve been experimenting with post-hypnotic suggestions and hypnotic triggers and there’s a small about of progress there as well.
Look for an article soon on how I learned learned hypnosis as a hobby but for now I’ve got several articles on what hypnosis is, a brief article on how to start hypnosis, and a few other details about hypnosis you might enjoy. I also recently wrote about my experience on how hypnosis can help with anxiety and I think you might get something out of that as well.
Let me know what made you skeptical, if you still are, or have “seen the light” when it comes to hypnosis in the comment section below.
I’d love to hear your stories!