Myths & Misconceptions About Hypnosis
The portrayals of hypnosis in the media and entertainment industries have contributed to a wide range of misunderstanding of the true nature of hypnosis. The information provided below will help address some of the commonly held misconceptions.
Myth: Hypnosis by phone or video conferencing does not work!
Fact: Hypnotists (especially hypnotists who use advanced forms of hypnosis) use specialized hypnotic language techniques that do NOT require you to be physically present with the hypnotist for the hypnosis to be effective. An oversimplified explanation would be that hypnotists use "subliminal" techniques to speak directly to the unconscious mind. Physical proximity to the hypnotist is inconsequential.
Myth: Not everyone can be hypnotized!
Fact: Everyone can be hypnotized. Hypnosis is a natural, normal state that we enter several times during the day. For instance, when we are totally engrossed in a TV show or movie, we are in a hypnotic state.
If you had a hypnosis session in the past and were not able to go into trance, chances are the hypnotist was inexperienced and lacked the professional training.
Your presenter, Mike Proulx, received comprehensive hypnosis training from the world’s largest and most revered hypnosis training organization in the world – The National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH).
Myth: You can be hypnotized to do things against your will
Fact: Your hypnotist is a guide. He cannot have you do anything against your will. You remain aware throughout the session, and you have the power to reject the suggestions being offered.
Why this fear exists: Stage show or entertainment hypnotists selects only highly motivated individuals (eager to cooperate), allowing them to create the illusion that the hypnotist has full control of the subject.
Entertainment hypnosis uses principles of magic (look here while we do something over there), mentalism, and a host of other skill sets that have nothing to do with hypnosis. All participants are willing participants, and none are under the full control of the hypnotist. It’s all illusion for entertainment purposes. Mike Proulx specializes in personal development hypnosis. He has NO professional entertainment hypnosis training.
Myth: While in hypnosis you will always be truthful and may even reveal personal secrets.
Fact: You can lie when you are in a fully aware state, and you can lie under hypnosis. In hypnosis, you are always in control. What you would not reveal consciously, you will not reveal under hypnosis.
Both your conscious and subconscious mind remains aware while in a trance. Think of it this way: while in hypnosis, your subconscious mind is in the driver's seat and your conscious mind is in the back seat playing a secondary role yet still observing, still aware.
Another vital point to make here is that hypnotists cannot read your mind. They are not psychics.
Myth: I won’t remember anything the hypnotist says.
Fact: We’re all different. We all experience hypnosis differently. For many, it’s a highly focused state while deeply relaxed. For others, it’s like daydreaming, and the mind might wander from one thought to another.
It’s no different than your waking state where your focus of attention shifts from being highly attentive to not paying close attention. Some choose not to remember, while others want to remember everything in detail. For most, it’s a mix of all the above.
Myth: You can get stuck in a trance and not wake up!
Fact: It’s impossible to get permanently stuck in a trance. For example, if the hypnotist would walk away while you're in a trance and did not come back to get you out of the trance, you would gradually regain full conscious awareness on your own, quite naturally.
Myth: Intellectual brainy types can’t be hypnotized
Fact: The smarter you are, the more capable you are at concentrating, and the greater your capacity for creativity and vivid imagination. These are ideal conditions for hypnosis. No matter their intellectual capabilities, everyone can be hypnotized.
Myth: When hypnotized you are either asleep or unconscious
Fact: Hypnosis mimics physical aspects of sleep, such as: slowed breathing, eyes closed, muscles relaxed, etc. You remain aware and deeply relaxed throughout the hypnosis session.
Keeping in mind that your mind can wander and can drift into a dream-like state, as previously explained. With the rare exception of specialized hypnosis for surgical amnesia or pain management, the subject remains consciously and subconsciously aware in varying degrees.
Myth: Hypnosis conflicts with religious beliefs
Fact: Hypnosis is not affiliated with any religion or philosophy. A professional and ethical hypnotist respects their client's religious beliefs.