3 MORE Common Myths About Stage Hypnosis: BUSTED!
Updated: Feb 1
If you liked my first article, you are going to LOVE the second one! So let's get right into busting 3 more common myths about stage hypnosis!!
1. Hypnosis Only Works on Weak-Minded People
THE MYTH - This one is most likely an off-shoot of the "I can't be hypnotized" myth that we busted in the first article. Say hypnosis were to 'not work' on someone, yet work on someone else. Since humans must put meaning to their experiences, one such meaning was, "I'm must be too smart to be hypnotized".
BUSTED - We know so much more today about hypnosis, than any other time in the history of hypnosis. The truth is, the smarter you are the more hypnotizable you are. If you are of average intelligence or above, then you have the skills and abilities needed to become hypnotized.
Not only can everyone be hypnotized, the people with higher abilities of concentration, focus and visualization skills experience hypnosis much easier.
Now, this is not to say that if you have poor visualization, or concentration skills you cannot be hypnotized. It just means it would take a bit more work, or practice to do so is all. Remember, everyone can be hypnotized. The first step is to be willing. The next step would probably be to make sure your hypnotist has above average intelligence and skills too!
2. Hypnosis is a Form of Sleep or Unconsciousness
THE MYTH - The hypnotist says the word SLEEP right before the hypnotized person closes their eyes and appears to go into a deep sleep. The word hypnosis itself is derived from the Greek word "hypnus" which is the name of the Greek God of Sleep. The state of somnambulism which is the state used for stage hypnosis literally translates to "sleep walk". Yep, I can see how this all could be very misleading.
BUSTED - Due to the visual appearance of someone in a deep trance James Braid back in the 1840's coined the word "hypnosis" to describe this state. Hypnosis has had many other labels even further back in history however, this one seemed to stick.
Hypnosis is not sleep or unconsciousness, it is a state of deep relaxation and concentration. This deep relaxation is why people have a ragdoll-like appearance. When you see someone deeply hypnotized on stage, they are actually acutely alert and aware of their surroundings and everything happening around them.
We all make mistakes and James Braid upon realizing that hypnosis was not sleep, attempted to change the name of hypnosis to monoideo-dynamics. Unfortunately, the new name didn't catch on despite it being a more accurate description of the state. Despite this myth being busted by the very person who propagated it, it still exists to this very day.
3. Hypnosis is Evil!
THE MYTH - Throughout all of time there have been things that when not understood have been deemed evil, witchcraft, supernatural, etc. In fact, some of the greatest and most brilliant minds of all time were labeled heretics, or worse for their ideas and concepts, which today are considered basic education taught in school. For example, Galileo was tried by the Roman Inquisition as a heretic because he supported the idea that the sun was at the center of our universe. How dare he! Thankfully he only landed himself on house arrest.... for the remainder of his entire life! Some were not so lucky.
BUSTED - Hypnosis, like most unexplained phenomenon before the advancements of science, was simply misunderstood. In the times of the ancient Egyptians, priests, clerics and shamans (who we would refer to today as physicians) performed the "magical/mystical" rites and rituals of what we now understand to be a perfectly natural human occurrence that can be scientifically proven, measured, and tested.
Today the Anglican Church, Lutherans and most forms of Judaism, support and even utilize hypnosis in helping people. Even the Roman Catholic Church's Pope Pius XII gave his approval of hypnosis in 1956. On the other hand, the Church of Christ, the Seventh-day Adventists, the evangelical church, fundamentalists, and charismatics still tend to hold on to the myth that hypnosis is "mind control". That said, the majority of religions sit in the middle, where hypnosis is really a non-issue.
There is nothing supernatural, magical, or even spiritual about hypnosis. Hypnosis is a natural occurrence that we all experience multiple times a day. It's just another function of our brain that make us all extraordinary as human beings.
The human mind is amazing and stage hypnosis shows are a way to tap into and demonstrate some of those amazing capabilities.
And there you have it! 3 more common myths about stage hypnosis, BUSTED! I hope you enjoyed busting more myths with me about hypnosis. Feel free to share this information by word of mouth, or through social media. Together we can stop the spread of misinformation about hypnosis so more people can unlock the power of their unconscious minds!! Until next time!