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Hypnosis in a Nutshell from Shawn's blog

The definition of hypnosis is different depending on who you ask, even among skilled hypnotists. The reasons for this is legion, but I think I've found a way to explain hypnosis in a way that anyone can understand.


The main problem with hypnosis is the confusion between the hypnotic process and what is generally thought of as the 'hypnotic state.' 


The so-called hypnotic state is just a state where the hypnotic process can be the most effective. It's like that position martial arts experts contrive to get someone into so they can demonstrate their 'talent' -- any 'off-balance' state will do, but the cliche is to get a volunteer to thrust a knife at them, which not only gets the job done in getting them off balance but the outstretched arm also gives the martial art 'expert' an easy handle to use.


The way this position is similar to the hypnotic state is that anyone can throw anyone once they have their opponent in this convenient off-balance position ( which I'm told never happens in a real fight ). Similarly, the hypnotic state it's easy for hypnotists to do what they do, but it's a state that almost never happens in real life except in very specific circumstances.


The hypnotic state is a deep state of suggestibility in which the critical mind has been shut off. It's very similar to a dreaming state where no matter what happens, no matter how strange, you just go along with it; if you are dreaming that you're at home, walk through a door, and suddenly find yourself in a movie theater, well, that's just normal.


What makes the hypnotic state so useful to hypnotists are three things --


1) the subject is passive

2) the subject's critical mind is shut off

3) the subject's imagination is on overdrive


With a subject in this state all a hypnotist has to do is speak a narrative which the subject can passively follow along with.


All forms of experience which require someone to become passive to it are naturally hypnotic. Most forms of entertainment these days are hypnotic in this way -- movies and television are the most hypnotic for the masses, reading books is the most hypnotic -- you probably won't believe it -- for those that make the best hypnotic subjects.


In the days before mass media, the rhythmic beating of a drum and the swaying of movement worked well. The swaying of dance and the swaying of a boat along the waves are equally as hypnotic.


Believe it or not, a roller coaster is a hypnotic device -- it requires it's riders to become passive to it and go along for the ride. 'Keep your hands in the coaster' and 'you must be this tall to take this ride' part of it's induction method.


So, there's the hypnotic state and the process of hypnosis. With the hypnotic state defined as I've defined it here, the hypnotic process is the process of directing someone's experience, and that's about all it really is.


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Jedi_Jane
Jul 30 '14
Interesting blog!
cristinauk
Jul 31 '14
I don't really know how else to ask lol. does hypnosis work meaning can people actually and really be hypnotised? can they be made to do things? im just curius about it
Shawn
Jul 31 '14
Yes, people can be hypnotized. If you believe Darren Brown and Milton Erickson, people can be made do things. I've never tried. What I do is state change and suggestion. I can get someone to want to do something, but I can't make them do it.
Shawn
Jul 31 '14
I'm trying to get all this written down so ask as many questions as you want.
Shawn
Jul 31 '14
Here's an example: whenever there's someone I think would be a good subject, and would enjoy it, but is still uncertain about the whole thing I ask "Can you imagine a way that you'd possibly enjoy being hypnotized?" Notice I didn't ask if they wanted to be hypnotic subject .. I asked them to if they could imagine enjoying it, so they do, and say 'yes'. (Usually followed by "That'll never work on me." :) )Here's an example: whenever there's someone I think would be a good subject, and would enjoy it, but is still uncertain about the whole thing I ask "Can you imagine a way that you'd possibly enjo...See more
Shawn
Jul 31 '14
In the case above, they have to imagine enjoying being a hypnotic subject to answer the question. In doing so, they a
Shawn
Jul 31 '14
...they've also decided that since they'll enjoy it, they might as well give it a shot. Keeping in mind how someone processes what you say is very important because you use language (mainly) to lead their experience.
Epicurus Member
Sep 1 '14
Wow very good analyses Shawn hypnosis is for Christians they believe that God will do things for them they depend on God like the same person that go to a hypnotist and they depend on what the hypnotist says. For both cases there isn't that real potential from within.Wow very good analyses Shawn hypnosis is for Christians they believe that God will do things for them they depend on God like the same person that go to a hypnotist and they depend on what the hypnoti...See more
Shawn
Sep 2 '14
I suppose that could be true, Epicurus. I never thought of it that way. I've always cast that as being a symptom of having an external locus of control, but as you pointed out, that fits my definition of hypnosis.http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locus_of_controlI suppose that could be true, Epicurus. I never thought of it that way. I've always cast that as being a symptom of having an external locus of control, but as you pointed out, that fits my definition...See more
Epicurus Member
Sep 3 '14
Thanks for your reply. I'll take some time to read it, it seams to me informative. Not to generalise I thing it can be the case the a person has a bit of both "internal and external - locus" a kind of balance depending on the situation they/he/she are in.Thanks for your reply. I'll take some time to read it, it seams to me informative. Not to generalise I thing it can be the case the a person has a bit of both "internal and external - locus"...See more
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By Shawn
Added Jul 29 '14

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