Frequently Asked questions
This question is probably one of the most widespread fallacies of all. A weak-minded person is unable to concentrate for any length of time and is, therefore, a poor candidate for hypnosis. The lower the intelligence, the poorer the subject. Assuming willingness, the better mind makes the better subject.
Sheer nonsense. This is another popular misconception, probably furthered by fiction, TV, movies, etc., and as we know, so many people just believe whatever rubbish they see. No one will do anything under hypnosis that he would not ordinarily be willing to do. Suggestions must be acceptable.
No! Actually, imagination can probably explain much of the phenomena produced by hypnosis. For the mind, through its imagination and stimulated by the instincts of the subject, is capable of great things. The phenomenon of hypnosis can be the "agent". Expected results, prestige of – and complete confidence in – the hypnotist can act to produce extraordinary (and often contradictory) results. Emotions, such as joy or sorrow, love and hate, fear and courage, etc., all may be influenced by causes either real-or imagined. Imagination can, under certain circumstances, inordinately magnify sensations. For example, at night, objects will assume mysterious shapes and sounds; imagination becomes active and hallucinations ensure; fear, terror … and a person remains powerless. Imagination can work just as well for a person’s benefit, for-just as sickness can be brought on by imagination, so can "cures". Hypnotism, per se, plays a similar role. Imagination and suggestion can be the hypnotic "agents".
That’s really funny! Evidently the woman in question is simply seeking an excuse of her own foolishness. As I recall the item, she also claimed be hypnotized her into turning over large sums of money. If she were, in fact, hypnotized to do so, the man wasted lots of time, since she would have been easily persuaded without hypnosis. Obviously, she have very little sense and resorts to the rationale of hypnosis to absolve her own blame.
No! Despite occasional news articles, this is impossible. Hypnosis, in order to maintain itself, is dependent on almost constant outside stimuli. If a subject is left in the hypnotic state, he will eventually fall into a natural sleep and awaken within a few minutes. There have been cases where a subject feels so relaxed he would rather stay that way, but a few well-chosen words will handled this type of situation properly.
When you understand that the state hypnosis is not truly a sleep state, you realize that one cannot "not awaken." If the Hypnotist were to just walk away, leaving the subject alone, he is capable of emerging on his own, or go into natural sleep form which he will awaken within a short time.
In the hands of a capable practitioner, this is no problem.
Well, such a person would do one two things: 1) He will awaken immediately, since he is perfectly aware of everything going on and will realize he has been left alone, or 2) He will go into natural sleep and waken within a short time.
Even if the hypnotist were to stop talking and just sit there, waiting without saying anything, the subject would be perfectly aware that something is going on, something not normal, and would probably open his eyes to see "what’s going on".
From the tone of the question, we assume you are referring to suggestions not intended for self improvement, which you would want to remain. Let’s assume the hypnotist (and these things would only take place on the level of stage hypnosis) suggested that his subject’s arm is "very heavy and cannot lift up" … or some other such nonsense. If, after the entertainment is finished, the hypnotist forgot to remove the suggestion, there very well could remain some discomfort. The suggestion may very well remain, either in full or partially, and certainly could be uncomfortable until it wore off.
This question is one which has proved some controversy. There is no documented evidence, despite certain claims in some quarters, that hypnosis, per se, can cause a psychotic reaction. The writer has personally performed approximately 10,000 induction’s with not a single such reaction. Other respected authorities report the same experience.
If a person happens to be a borderline psychotic, there is no more danger of triggering a psychosis in the hypnotic state than in other forms of psychotherapy. The simple truth is that such a person could react to an innocent, casual remark in conversation! Or perhaps, while watching a TV show … or reading a book … etc.
Hypnosis is not more dangerous than natural sleep. The only possible danger would be an unqualified therapy. It is for this reason that the Association to Advance Ethical Hypnosis requires, in its Ethics and Standards, that we have proper referral from a client’s physician. Just for example, if a person had a migraine headache problem and this was relieved by hypnotism without proper referral, there would be a possibility that medical help is delayed which might be necessary. The headaches might be caused, for instance, by a tumor.
An emphatic NO! Hypnosis, per se, is no more dangerous than natural sleep and there is no evident that it can weaken the will, damage the nervous system or result in any adverse reactions. The hypnotic relationship is used primarily to communicate directly with the subconscious mind, resulting in suggestions being acted upon because they are perceived more fully (assuming the suggestions are in accord with the subject’s wishes). An incontrovertible fact is that no one has ever died from hypnosis and, actually, there is no modality less dangerous than hypnotism. There could be one danger, and this is not in hypnosis itself, but in unqualified therapy, which might keep someone from seeking needed medical help. This is why the ethics of our professional associations require medical approval before accepting a case.
No! Hypnosis, per se, cannot possibly precipitate any cardiac problem. In fact, the very fact of relaxation which is the essence of the hypnotic state, can be of definite help. Learning to relax, through hypnotic suggestion, can alleviate anxieties to a great degree, enabling the subject to live more comfortably. A physician’s approval would be mandatory in most cases accepted by an ethical practitioner.
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