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  • Writer's pictureChris Minor

The 5 Most Common Myths About Stage Hypnosis: BUSTED!

Stage hypnosis is a fascinating subject! Unfortunately, most people's personal experience working with a hypnotist is extremely limited. After all, how many hypnotists do you know? For this very reason, what is known and accepted about hypnosis tends to be inaccurate, or sensationalized. From Hollywood movies to superstitions, urban legends and out of date information there is a lot of misinformation circulating freely within today's culture. So let's blow the doors off The Top 5 Most Common Misconceptions About Stage Hypnosis!

1. Only Certain People Can Be Hypnotized!

THE MYTH - Over the years people have created the meaning that they must not be able to be hypnotized for (enter reason here) due to a likely failed attempt, or disbelief at what they are witnessing. This is common with stage hypnosis as many in attendance see hypnotists dismiss people from the stage. This is done for several reasons and not because they cannot be hypnotized.

BUSTED - While it is true that certain people are more susceptible to hypnosis than others, everyone is capable of being hypnotized. First, you must be willing to become hypnotized. After that, factors such as intelligence, personality, motivation and mindset can come into effect, however they do not determine whether a person can be hypnotized or not. Additionally, the skill level, experience and level of rapport with the hypnotist you are working with is also a contributing factor.

2. I Won't Remember Anything!

THE MYTH - There are times when people will come on stage and then afterwards tell their friends and family that they do not remember certain skits or pieces of the show. Over the many years stage hypnosis has been around, at some point, the belief that you will not remember your time being hypnotized somehow came to be the reason.

BUSTED - While it is true, sometimes after a hypnosis show some people may not be able to readily recall certain parts or segments of the show. I assure though, they are there. Think about it as if you were having a lengthy conversation with someone. You won't consciously retain everything, however you will retain what you need and if necessary, be able to recall even more information as needed from that conversation. Hypnosis shows can be as long as 90 minutes to 2 hours and in deeper states the conscious mind simply pays less attention. This is why some people may not consciously remember some things until they really look for it. It's there.

The subconscious mind is alert and attentive the entire time so it does in fact retain and remember everything.

One would only have to want to recall everything and they would be able to do so. Also, if at anytime anything is said or done that is detrimental to your well-being while under hypnosis, your subconscious will awaken you and you will remember everything. Your subconscious mind's highest priority after all, is your well-being.

3. Hypnosis is Truth Serum!

THE MYTH - While under hypnosis the person will answer any and all questions truthfully and honestly no matter how humiliating or embarrassing. My guess is this originates with outgoing personalities sometimes oversharing information when asked questions on-stage. Thus, hypnosis must be truth serum!

BUSTED - It's hypnosis not truth serum. You are not going to just start launching skeletons out of the closet the moment the hypnotist asks you a question.

The conscious mind is always around to some degree or another which means you are aware of what you are doing and saying at all times.

Second, people under the effects of hypnosis can lie. Even if given the suggestion that everything they say will be the truth, they can still reject the suggestion. Hypnosis is not mind control. Which brings us to our next myth!

4. Hypnosis is a Form of Mind Control!

THE MYTH - The hypnotist tells the person that when they snap their fingers they will bark like a dog. They snap their fingers and the person barks like a dog. Strange, Bobby never used to do that... Stage shows lend to the illusion that the volunteer is being controlled by the hypnotist, giving fuel to the idea that what you are watching is some kind of mind control. Hollywood likes to sensationalize the concept of hypnotic mind control as well. #nothelpingthesituation

BUSTED - "No, I like my free will", said one person to me many years ago. I was asking them if they were going to come up and get hypnotized, not go out and rob banks and steal cars. Apparently they didn't see the difference. Sorry to have to burst that bubble but the only place you are going to find mind control is in the science-fiction and fantasy genres.

People under the effects of hypnosis are never 'out of control', nor will they ever do anything that will go against their moral or ethical beliefs.

The amount of hard working hypnotists out there (me included), should say enough to put this myth to bed once and for all. Meaning, we all have to keep working because we can't get people to rob banks and steal cars for us.

5. Hypnosis is Dangerous!

THE MYTH - This myth likely originated in 1993 when a 24-year old woman unfortunately passed away while part of a stage hypnosis show. The coroner recorded the death to be from natural causes, however the family was not satisfied with that report and started a public campaign against stage hypnosis.

BUSTED - When you consider the amount of hypnotists doing shows over the entire planet, year after year, after year; it was only a matter of time that someone, somewhere, would by sheer coincidence, pass away while on stage. Just in Las Vegas alone there are around 2000 shows performed every year.

In 1994 a board of experts was put together to review all evidence of any possible danger to people participating in stage hypnosis shows. As well, they were to review the current laws governing stage hypnosis.

In 1995 the board published their findings. The conclusion was, "there was no evidence of serious risk to participants in stage hypnosis and that any risk which does exist, is much less significant than that involved in many other activities."

And there you have it! The Top 5 Most Common Misconceptions About Stage Hypnosis: BUSTED!! I hope you enjoyed the content. If you did, give it a like a move on to another of my articles like The History of Stage Hypnosis!

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