Hypnosis has long been surrounded by misconceptions and myths, leading to many people having a very different view of hypnosis than what reflects reality. Here are some myths and facts about hypnosis.
Myth 1: You can be hypnotised against your will.
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t be hypnotised into doing things against your will. It’s not possible to be forced into a hypnotic state, instead you allow yourself to be hypnotised. It is a voluntary altering of your own consciousness, and you are always in control. It’s almost like you are hypnotising yourself.
Myth 2: Hypnosis can make you super-strong, fast or athletically talented.
While hypnosis can be used to enhance performance, it cannot make people stronger or fitter than their existing physical capabilities. In reality, we’re often unconsciously limiting our performance and hypnosis serves to unlock these latent abilities.
Myth 3: Hypnosis can help people remember the exact details of a crime they witnessed.
While hypnosis can be used to enhance memory, the effects have been dramatically over exaggerated in popular media. Research has found that hypnosis does not lead to significant memory enhancement or accuracy, and hypnosis can actually result in false or distorted memories.
Myth 4: If I become hypnotised, I may not be able to snap out of it, or hypnosis is dangerous.
Hypnosis is very safe and is in fact, just a natural state of hyper-focus. Any time there is an emergency, a person would naturally be able to come out of the hypnotic state by opening their eyes, and stretching or speaking. It’s like worrying that you’ll get ‘stuck’ in a daydream, it’s just not possible.
Myth 5: I can’t be hypnotised because my mind is too strong/disciplined.
Suggestibility doesn’t mean you are ‘weak minded’, as popularly believed. In reality, the vast majority of people can be hypnotised and a strong-minded person may actually be a better candidate for hypnosis because they will strive to get results from treatment.
Myth 6: A person under hypnosis is asleep or unconscious.
This is a really common myth and although you may lie down and close your eyes when performing hypnosis, you will never lose your full sense of awareness or fall asleep. It’s possible that you’ll have a “dreamy” feeling, or feel as if you are drifting back and forth between sleep and wakefulness throughout hypnosis. After hypnosis it’s likely that you’ll probably have a fading memory of the session, similar to emerging from a deep daydream or a nap.
Myth 7: Only some people can be hypnotised
Whilst it is true that some people are more suggestible to hypnosis, it often comes down to the person’s motivation, willingness and ability to concentrate. Everyone is suggestible to a certain degree which means everybody can be hypnotised. If you are interested in something and it is something that you want, then you will be open to its effects.