Top 6 Myths of Hypnosis

The Top 6 Myths of Hypnosis

The top 6 myths of Hypnosis has been around for many centuries and millions of people have undergone hypnotic therapy or seen hypnosis in action when attending events and live on TV. While hypnosis has become highly familiar to people all around the world, it is amazing just how many misconceptions there are about what hypnosis is and the many myths of hypnosis that are still believed by many people today.
The hypnosis myths that are still sustained to this day are often ones that make the most sense to those who are not all that familiar with how exactly hypnosis works. What is true is that hypnosis can create a number of interesting effects on the mind, including inducing audio or visual hallucinations, feel less pain and actually move in ways that are otherwise unintended.
However, that does not mean that hypnosis can do everything. Plus, many of the things millions of people think it can do are simply not true. What follows are some very common hypnosis myths that can be put to rest which will help you gain a better understanding of how it really works on the mind.

Hypnosis is Not a Form of Sleep

The top 6 myths of hypnosisThis is arguably the most common of the top 6 myths of hypnosis. While people may appear to be asleep while hypnotised because they look peaceful and their eyes are closed. The truth is that they are far from being asleep.
We know that they are not asleep because their brainwave pattern indicates a heightened sense of concentration. If a brain scan were to be placed on someone who was hypnotised, it would show a very high level of alpha waves which indicates that they are awake, highly responsive and very alert.

Hypnosis Works on All Minds, not just the “Weak”

While many people feel that those who are mentally weak or uneducated are the most likely to be hypnotised, the truth is that it is The top 6 myths of hypnosisprobably the opposite. In fact, the greater your intelligence and the more powerful your self control, the more easily you can be hypnotised because of these factors.
Hypnosis is all about concentration and those who have mental issues are often far too distracted to properly concentrate and enter a state of hypnosis. However, a person who is mentally sound can concentrate better and therefore are much more likely to be hypnotised.
However, it must be noted that everyone has their own susceptibility to being hypnotised with about one out of every three being more resistant to falling into a state of hypnosis for varying reasons. However, even this resistance can be overcome in time.
People who are Hypnotised are not Helpless
Despite many of the responses we see from people who are hypnotised, the truth is that they are far from being helpless. People in a state of hypnosis still have with them their core values, morals and standards of behaviour just like if they were in their normal state. It actually is difficult to get people to do what they normally would not do in public.
However, the silly things that we see people do on stage under a state of hypnosis may be due in large part to their own personality type. In essence, if a person who enjoyed attention would bark like a dog to get people to look at them, why would they somehow not do it under a state of hypnosis?
While hypnosis on the stage does involve a heightened level of suggestion, it only really works if the person is willing to do such things or is placed in a situation where they feel comfortable in following the commands.

Hypnosis can Retrieve Long Forgotten Memories

The top 6 myths of hypnosisThis is also one of the most popular of the  top 6  myths of hypnosis, as many believe this is true along with trained professionals such as psychologists as well as those who practice hypnotherapy. However, the truth is that the opposite is more likely in that any memories buried deep in the mind will not only stay there, but false memories can be put in their place.
Because a person is under a state of heightened suggestion, it means that a hypnotist may even unwillingly plant false memories that seem just as real as what might have happened to a person long ago. Hypnosis simply does not work in a manner that activates memory cells that have long been deactivated.
Therefore, the person placed under hypnosis in a Hollywood film to remember the face of a killer long forgotten is pure fiction, albeit an entertaining piece of fiction.

Hypnosis Takes Several Sessions to “Cure” Someone

Another one of the top 6 myths of hypnosis. Whilst certain things like quitting smoking or getting rid of a phobia can be done in just one session.
The very idea that one session of hypnosis will cure depression or cure an illness is almost laughable. It takes several sessions over timeThe top 6 myths of hypnosis to have any real impact, just like with many traditional therapies.
However, many people have claimed that it only took one session of hypnotherapy to work for them as it makes a great story. Using hundreds of nicotine patches over two years to finally quit does not make for a very entertaining story.
It can take one, six, ten, or more sessions for a person to receive the true benefits of hypnotherapy and it often needs additional support in order for the sessions to have a real impact. Still, this is one of the most pervasive myths as used in many Hollywood films or by those who misunderstood their own abilities to overcome a problem was the main factor in curing them from their ills.

You have never been Hypnotised before

The top 6 myths of hypnosisIn fact, most people have experienced a level of hypnosis in their lives whether they realise it or not. You don’t have to put under by a trained hypnotherapist for it to happen. In fact, one of the most common states of hypnosis occurs when you have been driving long distances.
This state known as “reflective driving” is where the conscious mind has disassociated itself from the body while the unconscious part of the brain still takes care of all the functions of the vehicle. If you cannot remember the last several blocks or miles that you have driven, yet have executed a number of stops, turns and lane changes, then you have been in a mild hypnotic state.
These are just some of the top 6 myths of hypnosis that have been floating about for many years. The truth is that the top 6 myths of hypnosis are actually not as fascinating as the reality of how it can help you in your daily life.

23 Comments

  • Kara Jacobs

    Reply Reply September 19, 2014

    This is really interesting. I went to see a hypnotherapist 3 years ago as I was terrified of dogs and it was making going out more and more difficult especially as a neighbour had a dog which would bark as I walked by his gate. I was really reluctant and sceptical and all through the session was convinced it couldn’t possible be working as I was very aware of everything going on. It wasn’t until the next day I realised I had walked past the neighbours gate and didn’t even register that the dog had barked until my sister pointed it out in amazement. Now, 3 years on I even have my own little dog and am forever grateful to that hypnotist .

  • Mark Stevens

    Reply Reply September 23, 2014

    Mt wife was cajoled into going along to a hypnosis slimming class with her work colleagues. When she came home I asked her how it had gone and she told me that although she had found it relaxing, she thought it was a load of bull as she was awake the whole time and remembered everything the hypnotist had said. The next evening we went out for a meal and she turned her nose up at dessert – at first! That weekend I was out with my friends and came home from the pub with my usual chinese takeaway. In the past she would say she didn’t want any as she was trying to be ‘good’ but would end up eating half of it anyway. That night she showed no interest and I suggested that perhaps after all the hypnosis was working. Again, she said no, she just didn’t want anything. She’d paid for a 4 week programme and so went back and it wasn’t until she heard all the other participants feedback that she realised that yes, the hypnosis had indeed helped her make better choices. At the end of the 4 weeks she had lost 15lb and had so much energy and confidence. She continued to lose weight even although she wasn’t following a ‘plan’ counting calories or talking incessantly about ‘sins’ much to my delight. She said at the end that it was like a weight off her shoulders not constantly being ruled by one diet or another and now she and her work colleagues apparently now talk about clothes and what next to buy. I have a wife who now feels good about her image and for the first time in years let me buy her sexy lingerie so I have a lot to thank that hypnotist for. I was so impressed I booked up to see him and finally got over my fear of flying so last year we went on our first holiday abroad in years and we both had a fantastic time with me not dreading the trip and she being able to wear a costume without being self conscious and covering up by the pool. Hypnosis is much more powerful than you think and not anything how you imagine it will be like.

  • William

    Reply Reply September 29, 2014

    Interesting read. I always hear that hypnosis could be used to retrieve past memories that have been squirreled away in our minds for whatever reason. I even tried this a few times; no wonder it didn’t work.

  • Ross

    Reply Reply September 30, 2014

    Hmm, curious. DO you believe that hypnosis can be used to reduce the symptoms of dementia. I was told that when I was taking care of my father. But, if hypnosis can’t use to recover memories, then this does seem possible.

    • Biodun

      Reply Reply September 30, 2014

      Yes, you don’t need to recover past memories. What is important is moving froward and if the individual has the ability to remember certain things that are important to them then using that ability and associating it to things they are forgetting. It is about using an individuals inherent skills. It reminds me of one lady who was diagnosed with dementia, she was very religious and remembered to do her prayers everyday at the same time. You see she must have a strategy to remember her prayers

  • Parker

    Reply Reply September 30, 2014

    The second myth, “Hypnosis Works on All Minds, not just the ‘Weak’”, is very interesting. I’ve heard that hypnosis didn’t work (or at least didn’t work as well) with people who were strong willed.

    • Biodun

      Reply Reply September 30, 2014

      The more strong willed you are the easier you will actually go into hypnosis. Hypnosis is all about a focused state of attention and if you have the ability to be so strong minded to resist hypnosis then that focus and state can be used to assist someone to enter hypnosis. Hypnosis is a trance state and a state we access all day long such as day dreaming

  • Calista

    Reply Reply September 30, 2014

    The wording of the last myth is odd –I think you mean to say “You’ve never been hypnotized before.” It’s true that this is a myth. We enter hypnotic states regularly and don’t even realize. In addition to the example you provided, we also enter this state when we fall asleep and when we wake up.

    • Biodun

      Reply Reply September 30, 2014

      Thanks for pointing that out, i have changed it

  • Trevor

    Reply Reply October 1, 2014

    Accurate list. I would also add that it is a myth that you are helpless when you’re under hypnosis. This is not true and people buy too easily into stage hypnosis.

  • Sean

    Reply Reply October 1, 2014

    Cool. I didn’t know many of these weren’t true. Is it true that you can’t lie when you’re under hypnosis?

    • Biodun

      Reply Reply October 1, 2014

      Whatever you can do in a waking state you can do in hypnosis

      Regards

  • Phoebe

    Reply Reply October 1, 2014

    This is an informative list of hypnosis myths, Biodun. Do you mind if I use this in my lecture (with full attribution, of course)?

    • Biodun

      Reply Reply October 1, 2014

      Yes of course you may use it for your lecture

      Regards

  • Bradley

    Reply Reply October 1, 2014

    Interesting! I definitely believed that some of these were true.

  • Brian

    Reply Reply October 2, 2014

    I utilize hypnosis in my profession and I’m glad to see articles on popular websites that dispel myths about hypnosis. I’ve had to provide more disclaimers and manage expectations so my patients are fully aware of what hypnosis is/isn’t and what it can/can’t do.

  • Sharon

    Reply Reply October 2, 2014

    Ah, this is cool. Is it possible to tell when a person is hypnotized? Like, how do you know when you’ve successfully hypnotized someone?

    • Biodun

      Reply Reply October 3, 2014

      Hypnosis is a natural state of trance which we access all day long. Day dreaming, engrossed in a film or book, sitting at the traffic lights and they change yet the person is still sitting there.

  • Shawna

    Reply Reply October 3, 2014

    Glad I read this. I’ve been looking into making an appointment with a hypnotherapist, but have been apprehensive because I believe some of these myths were true. I didn’t want to reveal be under the full control of some unethical hypnotist who would take advantage of my state.

  • Joe

    Reply Reply October 3, 2014

    How timely. I’m taking a class on hypnotism and instructor was just going on discussing the myths that are associated with hypnotism.

  • Laurel

    Reply Reply October 3, 2014

    Can you recommend any research studies related to hypnotism?

  • Alex

    Reply Reply October 3, 2014

    Sharing this with my friends. So many of them believe the myths that you’ve debunked.

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