Before I became a hypnotist, I asked myself questions such as the title of today's blog post. I couldn't fathom the possibility of being brainwashed and left vulnerable, completely at the will of someone else. I thought I would become a zombie.
But, where would I get such ideas from? The media, of course. Cinema has frequently portrayed hypnosis as a mysterious and evil practice. As an example, I will cite the movie which has probably influenced you even if you've never seen it. 'Svengali,' starring John Barrymore, was released in 1933. It is based on the book 'Trilby' by George du Maurier, and is arguably the most popular film interpretation. In the film, Svengali used hypnosis to control a woman named Trilby and make her a star. The movie was immensely successful and was even nominated for two Academy Awards. The term 'svengali' has now become so ingrained in popular culture that its official definition is "a person who manipulates or exerts excessive control over another."
Examples of more current movies involving hypnosis include 'The Manchurian Candidate' (1962), 'Stir of Echoes' (1999), 'Now You See Me' and sequel 'Now You See Me 2' (2013 and 2016) and 'Get Out' (2017).
In addition, we've all seen comedy shows where a group of people on stage are hypnotized and end up acting out of character for the amusement of others. "You have WINGS.... Now FLAP!" This is aptly named 'stage hypnosis' and is for entertainment purposes, not to influence someone to do something inappropriate. Stage hypnosis is different from the hypnosis used to help you change your life.
Now, I'll clear up some misconceptions about hypnosis. First, one has to be open to the idea of hypnosis in order for it to be effective. If you are not receptive, then it will not work.
Next, the idea that only the 'feeble-minded' can be hypnotized is not true. Those who are strong-willed and self-aware can be hypnotized. Again, however, your willingness is an essential key to the effectiveness of hypnosis.
Also, you don't have to worry about waking up on the side of the road, not knowing who or where you are. Hypnosis does not involve making you do something against your will, nor does it involve wiping your memory clean.
In fact, you are not even asleep during hypnosis; you are only in a state of relaxation. Therefore you will not 'get stuck!'
Hopefully, this post has allowed you to separate some of the truths about hypnosis from the falsehoods. Are you ready to take that next step and see what hypnosis can do for you? If so, or if you would simply like to learn more, feel free to visit our hypnosis page, call or text us at (410) 412-0230, or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!
~ Shelby Fizer
The gentleman in the photo is 'Carter the Great,' a magician born in 1874. Although he was not a hypnotist, this poster aptly displays the Hollywood image that would surround one. Photo taken at Geppi's Entertainment Museum in Baltimore, MD.