Hypnosis – Fears and Myths

“I have lost a gold chain at home. I suspect the servant maid has stolen it. Can you hypnotize her and find out?” This was an enquiry I had received over the phone for hypnotism.

“I will not be able to hypnotize her if she is not willing” I said.

“She is willing for it” He replied.

“Even if she is willing, she can tell me in hypnosis, that she has not stolen it, even if she has” I replied.

This really surprised him.

And it surprises many people. Because, many people think hypnosis is something where you just spin a pendulum or look into the person’s eyes and make any person sing like a parrot or dance like a monkey or chew onions and appreciate them as apples, or worse still, steal bangles, rings and any other expensive item worn by the ‘victim’.

Hypnosis is a lot different.

Willingness – You require absolute willingness to hypnotize a person. I tell my students, that after you learn hypnosis, if someone approaches you and says that I don’t think I can be hypnotized, can you try, just tell the person, you are right, you can’t be hypnotized. It’s pointless and a waste of time accepting a challenge like that, because the fact is that, you just cannot hypnotize a person against his will.

What you speak while in trance – You have control on what you speak in a trance. You can censor, criticise and comment on what you say. I cannot hypnotize a person and ask him to reveal anything that he does not want to tell me – like the name of his secret girlfriend, or anything that is irrelevant for the session like the PIN no of his credit card. You have absolute control on everything that you speak in a trance. You can choose not to tell something, you can even tell lies (though this never happens, as we are all interested in a therapeutic cure). And that is why statements under hypnosis are not valid in a court of law. But such a statement can be investigated further in forensic hypnosis.

Hypnosis is not a zombie like state – It’s not some sort of a coma where you can’t move. Even in a trance, you can open your eyes, stand or move around if you want. Only, it’s such a relaxed state that you may not want to. After all it’s a state of focussed concentration, and just like when we relax and listen to music, we like to close our eyes and focus, we do the same in hypnotic trance. And yes, you just can’t be forced to do any action against your will – no going out and robbing the bank!! 😉

The hypnotist does not control your mind – In a trance, your conscious mind is awake and in control. The trance is yours. The hypnotist is a guide. You are in total control of yourself. A hypnotic trance in no way reduces your mental capacity. Nor is it only the weak minded who get hypnotized easily. It’s the more convinced who do. If you feel that I can help you in your problem with hypnosis, the more you believe that, the more deeper into a trance will you go.

No dangers of a trance – Hypnosis is like meditation. Have you heard of anyone getting harmed by meditation? It’s a relaxing process. Has anyone been harmed by the process of relaxation? And yes, if in a trance, you regress to say 3000 years back, building pyramids in Egypt, there is no way that I can leave you there. That’s because, I am only making you view a memory, you are not doing a time travel. Hypnosis is safe.

No data can be deleted – “I am very troubled by these thoughts, can you hypnotize me and delete those thoughts?” I get such queries. In hypnosis, we can’t delete data of your subconscious mind. We can work on the emotions that the data has produced in you, much of which may not be in your conscious awareness, and we resolve them. You will be comfortable with the data. And that is the therapy.

All I can say that it is that a hypnotic trance is a state worth experiencing, it’s relaxing and you get to be with your inner self, something that we need the most right now.

-Dr Rupinder Singh Sodhi, Dr Sodhi’s Enhancers

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