Saturday, June 7, 2008
Q. Can everyone be hypnotized?
A. Probably not. It is thought that a small percentage of the population, perhaps 10%, can not be hypnotized while an equivalent percentage is highly suggestible and very easily hypnotized.
Q. What does it feel like to be hypnotized?
A. Most people report a very pleasant, deeply relaxed feeling.
Q. How do you know that you are hypnotized?
A. You don't. Many people, even those who were very deeply hypnotized, are convinced that they were not really hypnotized but were very relaxed and "just felt like doing those things".
Q. What do you remember after being hypnotized?
A. Some people remember all or almost all of everything, some remember virtually nothing. Most remember parts but are frequently convinced that they remember everything. For many they are dream like memories.
Q. What are the practical uses of hypnosis?
A. The most important in my opinion is the use of self-hypnosis to better cope with stress and thus minimize the many adverse physical effects attributed to stress. Smoking, headaches, nail biting, compulsive behavior, fear of travel and other phobias are all areas where hypnosis may be helpful for some people. Hypnosis will apparently remove warts. Of course throwing a dead cat over your left shoulder in a cemetery at midnight will also remove warts. Possibly for the same reason: suggestion.
Q. Will hypnosis help athletes perform better?
A. It won't make them run faster than a speeding bullet but I think it may be helpful in improving concentration and motivation. My experience in working with athletes has been very limited. I have hypnotized quite a few golfers but have not noticed any of their names turning up on the leader board at major tournaments. I had the opportunity a few years ago to work with the point guard of a women's basketball team. Her coach had alerted me to one or two of her problems and I made suggestions to cope with them. The next day she had a career game and was instrumental in leading her team to an upset victory. Unfortunately circumstances prevented continued work with her. Another sports experience turned out far worse. At a show at a high school in southwestern Pennsylvania I suggested to the volunteers, as I frequently do, that they would find their home work, indeed all of their school work, both interesting and easy and would do the best work they had ever done. I had not realized that about half of my volunteers were members of the football team and when I arrived home that evening I had a call from an enraged coach. The players I had hypnotized had all skipped practice because they had to do their homework.
Posted by S. Martin at 3:05 PM