Hypnosis: Myths and Facts

When many people think of hypnotism their thoughts go to Las Vegas shows, stage hypnotists, mass hypnotism and poor representations of hypnotists in the movies. Stage hypnosis, entertaining as it can be, can shed an unfavorable light on the process of hypnotherapy. When you see a dozen people acting out in what we perceive as ‘embarrassing’ according to the social code, how enthusiastic are you going to be about exposing yourself to someone you’ve never met before even if that person is a mental health provider? So I wanted to dispel some of the myths.

Myth : Trance is a mindless state.

On stage it’s often depicted as a mindless state where the subjects are just puppets exposed to the will of the hypnotist, when in reality it is something completely different. Most people have already experienced trance :.

Have you ever lost a few miles when you were driving in a car?
Have you ever lost track of time while doing something you were completely focused on?
Have you ever been so engrossed in a movie that you forgot about everything else around you that wasn’t taking place on screen?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you already know what it is like. These are all states of trance.

You will not feel drugged when coming out of trance, you are most likely to just feel relaxed.

Myth : You have to be stupid or weak-willed to go into trance.

Fact : While just a few centuries ago, people used to think hypnosis was only for the weak willed or stupid.  We know now that the ancient civilizations were right, everyone can enter trance.  In fact, generally the more intelligent you are, often the faster you will go. While it is true that a person needs to be open to suggestion to be hypnotized, if you are seeking out a hypnotherapist, chances are you are open to the idea.

Myth : Hypnosis can make you do things against your will

Fact : When it comes down to it, I can’t make you do something against your will or moral values. Hypnosis does not change a person, it just makes them more susceptible to suggestion.  If I could really control people, I would not be doing this job.

Myth : Hypnosis is a cure all.

Fact :  It can be used for pain control, treatment of sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, sports psychology and even weight loss. It is not however, a magic cure.

Myth : One falls asleep during trance.

You won’t be asleep… at least not generally.  It is like that state right before sleep.  However, you’ll be in a state that allows you to truly listen and believe in suggestions which your conscious mind would subconsciously reject.

If you would like to learn more about other myths about trance, please visit my youtube channel Pre talk playlist.

Melvin S. Marsh is a practicing hypnotherapist in Augusta, Georgia. He performs hypnotherapy appointments both in person and worldwide via Skype. He can be reached at  or afterhourshypnotherapy @ gmail.com or you can book an appointment online.