Hypnosis can be a very polarizing and often misunderstood subject. To some people it’s a form of pseudoscience or new-age nonsense, to others it’s a dangerous tool used to control and influence the masses. To me it has been a very powerful tool for creating real, long-lasting transformation in myself and in my clients. The truth is that it can be all of the above depending on how you practice it. To be clear, I don’t believe it’s nonsense, but I do know there are people trying to profit off of others’ curiosity and desire for change. These people are full of false promises, fake enthusiasm and a lot of unfounded confidence. They talk a big game, but offer you a practice that simply doesn’t provide the results you expect.
If you’re on the journey of self-discovery, chances are you’ve run into one or two of these types of people. If so, I hope you didn’t let that discourage you from further exploration into the wonderful world of hypnosis. Since you’re reading this, I get the sense that it didn’t. In which case, welcome to the practice that has completely transformed my life and made me an infinitely better version of myself in the process. If you’re on the fence about hypnosis or still have doubts about the effectiveness of it, maybe this article will dispel some of those uncertainties. If anything, I hope it encourages you to try hypnosis for a month and see for yourself all it can do for you.
Here is a list of the most common misconceptions I hear about hypnosis. Maybe you’ve had some of these, I know I have. Here’s what I tell my clients…
Is hypnosis dangerous? Can someone control your actions and thoughts with it?
Essentially, no. Hypnosis is a very natural state that many of us go into hundreds of times a day. For example, when you’re day dreaming, when you get lost in a good book or movie or when you’re creating a masterpiece you go into a open suggestibility. When you’re being hypnotized, you are still fully aware of your surroundings and can stop at any moment. The ‘trance-like state’ you go into is simply a state of hyper-relaxation where you become more suggestible and open to change.
Does hypnosis really work? Or is it another new-age gimmick?
Hypnosis has long been an effective practice used in the medical field to treat a variety of ailments. It has most commonly been used to help people lose weight, stop smoking, manage stress and overcome different phobias. The term “hypnosis” was coined in the 1880’s in France; it has been practiced and developed for over a century and has since been used to help millions of people create lasting transformation in their lives. From a self-development standpoint, hypnosis is the most effective tool I have found for achieving my goals and becoming my best self.
Can you get stuck in Hypnosis?
At no point during the process do you ever get stuck in a trance-like state. Similar to when you’re drifting off to sleep, hypnosis simply puts you in a state of hyper-relaxation that you can choose to wake up from whenever you wish. If you’re ever uncomfortable during the process just remember that you always have full control over yourself and your mind.
Are people really being hypnotized or are they just faking it?
There are people who are more suggestible to hypnosis, but there are now brain imaging studies that show evidence of the activation of certain areas of the brain correlated with the suggested events. In other words, these studies show that the brain is actually experiencing these hypnoses as if they were real. Not to mention, the results speak for themselves. For example, Alfred A. Barrios, Ph.D. reviewed the overall lasting success of various psychological approaches.1 This study revealed the following success rates:
Hypnotherapy — 93% success rate after 6 sessions
Behavior Therapy — 72% success rate after 22 sessions
Psychotherapy — 38% success rate after 600 sessions
These are just a few of the common misconceptions I hear on a daily basis about hypnosis. With all that being said, there is strong evidence that hypnosis works, and that it works well. In some cases it has drastically improved lives, in other cases it has offered people relief from issues they have dealt with for decades. Hypnosis has helped me to take control of my life, mind, and habits; however, I can only speak from personal experience. If you’re truly curious about what hypnosis can do for you, I invite you to try it for the next 30 days and take note of who you start to become in the process.
-Nathan Richards, Co-Founder
1Barrios, Alfred A. “Hypnotherapy: A Reappraisal,” Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
2Oakley, David A., and Peter W. Halligan. “Hypnotic Suggestion: Opportunities for Cognitive Neuroscience.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 17 July 2013, https://www.nature.com/articles/nrn3538.