Section 1: The Skeptic
I was 19 when I learned hypnosis and began hypnotizing others. I was young, enthusiastic and ambitious, hypnotizing anyone I could.
I was also incredibly defensive when people told me they could be hypnotized. I was defensive because I had been so open to experiencing it during my training in Vegas, that it worked well on me (and I wanted to share those amazing experiences with others). Naturally, I encountered many skeptics and (with my defensive response to people) hecklers.
On Tuesday evenings, I used to hang around a group known as “Drum Circle”. It was often younger adults (like myself) and middle-aged adults getting together to play drums, other instruments, fire spin, hula hoop and vibe. I thought they’d love this new addition to my entertainment arsenal.
This crowd was perfect since many were creative and open-minded individuals willing to experience new things. I quickly solidified myself as a Hypnotist and was hypnotizing teenagers and middle-aged adults alike. I helped people experience the power of their creative minds by having them:
- Laugh hysterically
- Forget their name/ age/ location
- Feel stuck
- Re-induce themselves
- And more…
One week a young man said he wanted me to hypnotize him but was convinced it was fake and wouldn’t work. He was what you’d consider the “class clown” but I was passionate about helping him explore the relaxing and incredibly enlightening world of hypnosis.
After having him sit down at a nearby bench and lay his arms and head down on the table, I began to hypnotize him. I was a bit surprised that, at some point, he appeared to be fully asleep. Some part of me was expecting him to spring up and proclaim that it was all a ruse and he “proved” hypnosis didn’t work.
Instead, he laid there… silent. After instructing him to wake up, he didn’t. I instructed him to wake up again… no response. I began to shake him lightly and tell him to wake. He wasn’t opening his eyes and he wasn’t moving. At this point, I figured he’s either being obnoxious or fully passed out and sleeping.
After a few minutes of not responding or waking, I could tell he was still breathing and alive but very much in a deep sleep. With the help of one of his friends who was with us, I made sure we got him to his house safely and laid him on his bed. What happened next shocked me.
He literally sprung awake in his bed, sitting straight up (bug-eyed) and asked what was going on. This freaked out both his friend and I. We explained what had happened and how he got into his bed. He was simultaneously freaked out and impressed
Afterwards, he explained the following…
Section 2: Why it Failed
As I had expected, he was trying to prank me. However, his prank failed because he actually got so hypnotized that he literally passed out.
His plan was to relax on the bench and pretend as if the hypnosis was working by staying put and not talking or moving. He wanted to portray himself to be so hypnotized that he was passed out in a coma or something. For anyone new to hypnosis and/or HypnoKick, you’ll be happy to know that hypnocomas doesn’t exist.
He was unaware that by relaxing himself enough to pull this off and appear unconscious, he was actually demonstrating self hypnosis. He mentally and physically relaxed himself so much, while hearing my guidance in the background, that he caused himself to literally pass out into Delta unconsciousness (aka sleep).
What’s interesting about hypnosis, is that so many people still misunderstand it. They think the Hypnotist has this mystical power of control without taking into consideration that the Hypnotist is merely a mental guide helping them to tap into a natural part of themselves.
What’s more, many don’t make the connection that when they relax themselves the way this young man did, that they’re preparing for sleep and that the process of sleep is natural self hypnosis.
Do you or someone you know sleep through loud thunderstorms? Morning alarms? Earthquakes? Calls for them to get up by you, a parent, a relative or a significant other? These are heavy sleepers (and I’m jealous). This young man was apparently also a heavy sleeper because despite saying his name, telling him to wake up and shaking him lightly, he was fully passed out.
In the same way that comedy stage hypnosis can help bring out someone’s inner personality and hidden talents by helping to lower their inhibitions through relaxation, hypnosis itself has helped many relax to the point of achieving a deep and restful sleep. Needless to say, this young many literally hypnotized himself into sleeping while trying to prank me (karma’s funny).
While I would handle a similar situation differently now, I was young at that time and figured getting him to his house was best/safest for him. After we each explained our sides of the situation, he walked away from that experience impressed and advocating others to trust and enjoy the process.
Section 3: Conclusion
I’ve found that asking people what they perceive hypnosis to be upfront helps put them at ease the quickest.
If they’re scared of mind control, I explain the myth & the psychology of stage hypnosis. If they fear never waking up, I cover the hypnocoma myth that I linked above. If they don’t want to divulge their secrets, I ask them to admit where the dead bodies are… just kidding (I ask them to hide mine… again… joking) 😛
Do you practice self hypnosis? If so, what for & how has it worked for you?