Hypnosis – Fears and Misconceptions
By Ron Eslinger
Have you seen a hypnosis stage show or maybe an episode of the Mentalist or a recent CSI episode where a lady was given the suggestion in hypnosis that she would dive from her balcony into a swimming pool a few feet below? There was no pool and the girl dove to her death. Such stories make great TV drama, but are far from hypnotic truth. 
I can understand the general public having fears of going into hypnosis because of such shows.  However, The Jane Pauley Show devoted an entire hour to hypnosis and its many benefits.  Date Line did a series on hypnosis for weight management and childbirth. Both were well researched and unbiased. The Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) did a 2 hour program called New Medicine which featured the many benefits of hypnosis in health and wellness. These programs showed hypnosis as the safe and beneficial integrative therapy that it is.  They explained that all hypnosis is self hypnosis and a person cannot be made to do something they do not want to do.
I am always surprised when the educated display their misconceptions of hypnosis.  For example, in 2004 my client came to me directly from an appointment with her doctor.  I ask her if she had told her doctor that she was seeing a hypnotist.  I was very surprised at her answer. She said, "My doctor said, I cannot believe you are going to let a hypnotist control your mind."  In this case the patient was more informed than her doctor. 

What is hypnosis?
Albert Einstein called hypnosis creative daydreaming. The most common definition is focused concentration.  Most importantly is the fact that it is a natural state.  If you have ever done any of the following you have been in hypnosis: Day dreaming, prayer, fantasizing, driving to work and not remembering what went on between home and work, worry, and meditation.  Worry is the most dangerous of all of these because of the physical and mental illness it can cause.

What are the fears and misconceptions?
– Inability to dehypnotize or return to normal state
– Gullibility confused with suggestibility
– Loss of consciousness
– Weakening of the will
– Giving away secrets
– Hypnosis requires a weak mind
– Losing control to the hypnotist

Hypnosis Is: 
– The ultimate display of control 
– Being awake with complete awareness 
– Rapport with subconscious mind 
– An avenue for therapy for a multitude of problems 
– Using the imagination 
– A legitimate tool for health care and wellness 

Hypnosis Is Not: 
– Loss of control 
– Sleep 
– Being controlled by someone else 
– A form of black magic or voodoo 
– Being gullible 
– An abuse of a person’s desires 

If the idea of hypnosis scares you then call it by one of its other names, Guided Imagery, Visualization, Meditation or Day Dreaming.  You often enter self-hypnosis so keep your thoughts positive, your self-suggestions healthy and your thinking will change your brain which will change how your body responds. Any drug advertisement will spend a large amount of its advertising space to list the side effects.  Not so with hypnosis.  Hypnosis is safe.


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    11711 Arbor St. – Suite 215
    Omaha, Nebraska  68144


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