Hypnosis - Should we really be performing it?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DLeerium, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. So recently, it has caught my attention, that there is an influx of "learn hypnosis" DVD's and books e.g.

    -Manchurian Approach
    -Reality is plastic
    -ZAP (is crap =D)
    -List goes on.

    I have also talked to countless magicians and hypnotherapists about this, so to cut to the chase, here is something a hypnotist told me.

    "Hypnosis is a very dangerous tool to use,without proper training, it's pretty much giving a scalpel to a kid"
    "There are many consequences of bad hypnosis. People can stay in trance, after prolonged periods of time, can develop depression and even in the worst cases develop psychosis and schizophrenia"
    "Want to learn to hypnotize people?, GET SOME F*******TRAINING as a hypnotherapist"

    Some dangers can be seen at

    Basically from what I have been researching and seeing, is that more and more kiddies are leaning this potentially dangerous skill, and I have to admit some performances I have seen, really sicken me (much like watching an ellusionist kiddie, talk sh*t about AoA lol).

    So my question is, especially to those who have EXPERIENCE in this subject.
    -Is it necessary to actually have "training in hypnotherapy" to hypnotize people safely?
    -Will learning from these DVD's and books suffice if you want to become say a stage hypnotist?
    -What is your thoughts on the dangers of hypnosis.

    I have sufficient knowledge about hypnosis, however I am no expert, so I would really appreciate some serious comments rather than a bunch of "Get Zap! its full sick bro" type of comments. Cheers
  2. We have a very well known hypnotist in our IBM ring who is well known all over the U.S.

    I just had this same discussion at our last meeting. He said the exact same thing, that all of these new guys want to do "rapid" hypnosis and they are jerking people around and not doing the procedures correctly.

    There could be a lot of potential lawsuits out there.
  3. I have definitely seen my fair share of bad performances, most of them are people performing ZAP. I just don't get the whole arm pull action. It is completely unnecessary IMO
  4. Zap isnt that great i'll admit.
    but thats not the real purpose of this.
    That Hypnotist seems to be really against anyone doing hypnosis except for himself.
    Hypnosis can be harmful im sure. but not in the way we are doing it. perhaps over long durations and many sessions one can be damaged but not likely. What hypnosis could do in a clinical situation could bring out old memories that people may not want to deal with. this could be bad for you if you are not a psychologist of some sort or counsuler.
    for entertainment purposes, it is quite harmless. everyone goes into a hypnotic state one time or another. just by watching tv or listening to radio. its extreme concentration.
    I checked out the site saying why it is dangerous. there are only 2 stories, one is based on an opinion, (thestory about SHARRON TABARN and how she died from hypnosis) saying that she had repressed phobia. and the other story about chris gates, who said he went Schizophrenic. The case was never proven by psychologist or any kind of doctor.
    So by reading that page. i have no clear or factual answer as if hypnosis is safe.
    if you dont know what you are doing with hypnosis, then you probably wont know how to hypnotize.
    first rule states, before you hypnotize anyone is to get permission. so they understand what it is and what should happen.
    having training is not nessasary and isnt used as much in psychology now of days as it was back when they would use it for psychodynamics (like freud) and for depression and hystaria.

    TO be honest tho. even with all these dvds coming out and books coming out ( which they didnt just come out, hypnosis books have been around for a long time and many people could get their hands on them, they just havnt been promoted on popular magic sites untill recently.) but even if a kid got his hands on this. the chance he would put in the time and effort into hypnosis is little to none. it is very difficult to get the courage and confidence to do and even so, most of these kids just do it for youtue anyway.
    but hypnosis is quite safe. i have searched up hypnosis and the dangers and that is basically one of the main sites. and they have nothing of merit on it.
    hypnotherapist would probably tell you not to do it because it is dangerous. not a scalpel tho. that is going a little far. Lets say some kid came to you and wanted to know how you did electric touch or something from TA. you probably wouldnt tell him would u? because its a secret and you (well not you, i dont know your background) make money from it. pretty good money (especially a hypnotherapist)
    But i dont think its a big deal and dangerous.
    its a natural thing. and the chance of anyone really getting hurt from a proper technique is little to none
  5. to add to the other posts. Zap is very popular with the kiddies, and that is very unessasary. manchurian is very good and it can all be done sitting down with no jerking. i have had some sucess with teh zap method, but not as well or as much as i have had with other methods.
    but the only danger i could see is from the zap method.
  6. Great argument, and I agree with you on most parts.
    I have seen/ heard that hypnosis is fairly safe if you know what we are doing. I understand that a trance like state occurs everyday.
    However what is troubling me isn't so much the physical damages that it can inflict, but the psychological.

    Say you were to perform a induction+ deepener where "the deeper you fall the more you relax" what if per se, the spectator had a traumatic experience as a kid where he fell into a hole filled with spiders and was burried alive...or something like that. I guess maybe some suggestion can make him feel that feeling again, hence creating an abreaction.

    From what I heard abreactions occur more often than documented, with recent studies stating that abreactions occur around 1 in 20 (this includes minor ones), which is wayy more common that we might think.

    Hypnosis apparently does something that many cannot understand. Science cannot explain all phenomenon that happens in hypnosis, so I believe what my friend said about learning hypnotherapy is the security of knowing how to handle these abreactions that occur and to ensure your spectators are safe as possible.
  7. #7 romeo sierra, Sep 23, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2009
    Dude, seriously... get Zap. It's all you'll ever need.


    First and foremost, hypnosis in itself is perfectly safe. In fact, it's a natural state of mind that everyone goes through everyday. Have you ever driven on a very familiar route and dozed off daydreaming while on the road? Next thing you know, you snap out of it while pulling into the parking lot of your destination and wonder how you managed to get where you are. The truth is you were under road hypnosis-- you still consciously stopped at every red light and followed the legal speed limit; in fact you probably even changed lanes and weaved in and out of traffic as you normally would. But your subconcious took over and let you daydream as you listened to a good song on the radio or recalled a fond memory you had the day prior. Hypnosis is a perfectly natural state that everyone experiences everyday.

    With that, there are admittedly inherent dangers in inducing hypnosis without proper training. Most dangers are due to the hypnotist's lack of guidance through the subject's experience. This mismanagement may lead to the various horror stories and consequences you laid out above. Such instances may be rare and far in between, but the threat does exist and every hypnotist should be aware and knowledgeable enough to prevent such unfortunate things from happening. I do agree with your assessment: too many curious noobs are taking an interest in hypnosis without putting in the required attention or respect it deserves to be learned with.

    In response to your questions:

    1. I believe there is no better training in hypnosis than live training from a qualified professional. I've taken two such courses and I feel very confident in my knowledge-base and abilities. I don't think it's necessary to be taught by a hypnotherapist per se-- just someone who has the experience you're looking for. If one person is a hypnotherapist for six months and another person is a stage hypnotist for 15 years, I'd obviously prefer the experience over the title. The thing about live training is that you get the instant feedback and interaction with an instructor that you cannot acquire through books or video courses. I took full advantage of that aspect when I attended the live courses, and I was able to leave feeling confident that all my curiosities and questions were fulfilled and answered completely. Live courses take away the ambiguity inherent in book and DVD instruction. Also, as a hypnotist, it's good to associate and interact with other hypnotists for the same reason magicians interact with other magicians at conferences and sessions. It's a great learning experience. With that... although I highly, highly, highly recommend a live course, it's not completely necessary to learn the fundamentals of hypnosis at all. If all you want to do is learn how to perform an induction and wake-up, then books and DVDs will adequately teach you to do that.

    2. There are some great quality books and DVDs on the market these days. Based upon the opinions I've heard from other qualified hypnotists, these products have improved dramatically in the past decade. Anthony Jacquin's and Richard Nongard's works, particularly, are of great value and I recommend them wholly to serious aspiring hypnotists. Both these individuals are very approachable and helpful and will answer any questions and respond to any concerns you have if you send them a simple e-mail. I highly recommend Richard Nongard's Stage Hypnosis Training Course. It's a multi-DVD set, filmed at one of his live courses. He thoroughly covers the nuances of inductions, suggestions, safety precautions, etc. In my experience, it's the closest thing to a live course one can aqcuire off the market. I'm confident that students will be able to safely hypnotise and handle themselves in the stage environment with this resource. It's very comprehensive and it covers everything that is typically taught in a live course. It also comes with a workbook to ensure the student understands and appreciates what hypnosis is and how it should be performed. So yes-- certain DVD projects and books will suffice to become a stage hypnotist, however I still strongly urge people to attend a no-sh*t live course to supplement what they learn.

    3. Honestly, I only have about a year of experience in hypnosis under my belt, and I've been relatively successful with it. I've been very lucky to not have seen any of the dangers inherent with it. I personally find that the horror stories are the result of careless, inexperienced hypnotists-- NOT dangerous hypnosis. As a hypnotist, you should be in full control of the subject's experience, guiding them through the series of suggestions with reassurance and proper management. As long as you do your job as a hypnotist and care for the well-being of the subject, I honestly don't see how such horror stories can even come true. But evidently, the threat obviously exists so it needs to be adequately addressed.


  8. If you read Reality is Plastic and take everything into consideration then you should be fine for the most part. Ant talks about calming people down and when you bring them out to tell them they will feel relaxed, calm, and completely full of energy.

    I have no idea about these abreactions, however you could simply ask if you felt the need to. Have you ever had a bad experience in your past that you believe could cause some discomfort if you were put in hypnosis, question asked and if you were doing hypnotherapy you could even work on getting that past experience out of their life or w/e the hypnotherapist decides to do.

    I read some things on the site and it seems some of it is highly exaggerated. If the person has some sort of rejection because they were asked to sit back down because they weren't in a deep enough trance. If this was true then they would get the same type of rejection somewhere else and could be even worse.

    I plan on going to school for psychology and training in full fledge hypnotherapy later on in my life. However I am already equipped with the skills to put someone safely in and out of hypnotic trance.
  9. haha I use zap rarely, I normaly use the methods taught in reality is plastic, one hell of a book, it also tells you that a subject in hypnosis CAN NOT get stuck in trance, that is a misconception, at least from what I read. I cant say im a pro hypnotist, but I do perform hypnosis often, its one of my fav things to do when im out performing, and I think if you read reality is plastic or a book simmilar with all the saftey guides, you should be fine. Even ZAP goes over safety.
  10. well the times are changing. not everybody has the luxury of going to a college for Hypnotherapy. Some people here live out in the boondocks. So them learning from whatever book or DVD set is really all they have at the moment.

    It's also dangerous if you are an idiot, but so is Rocky the Raccoon. i recall a story that Adam Grace said when he saw a kid perform the bit at the magic castle. He said that the kid ended up sending the Raccoon flying into the audience and it ended up breaking a girls nose.
  11. I have studied some of Hypnosis, i cant call me a master or an expert but there are some basics.

    - The people that is hypnotized cant keep in trance, the will wake up in any moment. It can take from 10 minutes to 2 hours (Aprox).
    - Hypnosis is Safe to some point, the hypnotist can make anything he wants to person that will be hypnotized, from making him to a funny thing to make him or her to take out all clothes. Anything the hypnotist wants.
    - Hypnosis wont be dangerous if you have care, the only problem is if u do regresions maybe the person that is in trance can remember a hard problem he had. But Away from that, i dont know about any problem.
    - Hypnosis can be very helpful in teating an illness.

    Another thing is that Zap is very good, You can go from a light trance to a very deep trance, all hypnosis techniques are how you do after he is in trance. Thats what matter to how deep is the trance

  12. i think when it comes to magic....its not really hypnosis as such as a Dr. would use....magic is more stage signals.....its not the same to me....
  13. Antonio, I'm really sorry to call you out, but almost everything you mentioned in that post was pretty inaccurate. Although it's true that people do not remain in trance, your time frame of ten minutes to 2 hours is completely arbitrary. There is no such time frame determining when a person will 'wake up' from trance, because a hypnotic trance isn't what laypeople believe it to be. Subjects are fully coherent and awake during the process of hypnosis. Depending on the process, an individual may come to immediately or further fade to a full sleep. Also, if a subject doesn't want to follow a suggestion given by the hypnotist, they have the complete ability to disregard that suggestion/command. In other words, a hypnotist doesn't have complete control over a subject's own free will. Period. And although I don't have the product, it appears as though Zap is nothing more than a laughable (and rude) handshake induction. With that, it's not possible to control how deep a trance will go with JUST an induction alone.

    I honestly cannot elaborate on the therapeutic benefits of hypnosis, but if your assessments are as inaccurate as your knowledge in hypnosis for entertainment, I'd be hesitant to drink the Kool-Aid.


    Hypnosis is in a league of its own. It's much more intangible than the study of magic and sleight-of-hand. Unfortunately, there are so many misconceptions about it, that it's difficult for anyone to really pursue it in a safe, comprehensive manner. Too many people think they know what hypnosis is, when in actuality they have no substantial grounds to even offer a qualified opinion on the topic. As a studied (amateur) hypnotist myself, it's frustrating to see so many off-center thoughts and opinions regarding hypnosis from people who obviously don't know anything about it. They're just spreading bad gouge and furthering the myths behind what hypnosis really is.

    I suppose that kind of problem's inherent with a public access forum. Everyone wants to be a contributing factor. But the fact of the matter is that unqualified opinions generally lead to misguided performances. I just wanted to clear up any misconceptions regarding hypnosis here, because I know how difficult it can be to separate good gouge from bad gouge sometimes.

  14. Cedric, they are the same thing... The process of hypnosis is generally pretty universal. In fact, many hypnotherapists double their income by also working as entertaining stage hypnotists as well. After a suggestibility analysis, a subject is induced into trance and that trance is deepened. You'll find that hypnotic language is almost verbatim across the board to induce this trance. The only difference between a hypnotherapist and a stage hypnotist is that they use the trance for different objectives.

    I'm unaware of many magicians who legitimately use hypnosis in their repertoire, so I unfortunately cannot reply directly to your post. However, genuine stage hypnosis is essentially the use of "stage signals" as well. The hypnotist merely guides the subjects through an experience and tells them what to feel, what to see, how to behave, etc. It's admittedly a peculiar phenomenon but very legitimate and practical.

  15. #16 TeeDee, Sep 23, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2009
    Well, you've convinced me...all this time I thought I (and Milton Erickson, Richard Bandler, Ormond McGill, David Berglas etc.) was hypnotising people and it turns out I wasn't, it's all bull****.

    Penn and Teller make a valid point, in that the word "hypnosis" can describe a multitude of phenomena, Phenomena. Also, there are people who take advantage of people's misunderstanding of what's going on for their own profit. Disregarding what Penn and Teller spoon fed you, however, maybe you could expand on exactly what you mean by your terse dismissal of decades of research?

    EDIT: Just finished watching that whole Penn and Teller show. It's about Wendi Friesen, not about hypnosis. Extrapolating what she does to all of hypnosis and all of its practitioners is, to put it mildly, pushing it. Also, Penn makes a big point of dissing her for saying "It's said..." without citing any other backup. Then a couple of minutes later he uses "Research shows..." before making a sweeping statement. Even if we accept this uncredited research (which he cites as demonstrating that hypnosis can't make someone relive their childhood) as fact, he then makes a massive leap of logic, saying that this proves that hypnosis "in no way changes your ability to remember past events". I would go so far to say, that this show, if it's actually intended to debunk hypnosis, is bull****.
  16. Ok, the frame i say from 10 minutes to 2 hours is just an aproximation, do you know what really happen if you keep them in trance they will pass to a normal dream, and they will wake up when they need to. So maybe if they are tired it can take 2 hours, you can never know but they will always wake up, they wont stay in trance.
    As having complete control over the subject, they have, i proved this with my aunt(she is hypnoterapist) and infront of my sister(she is studiying comunications so he did like a work of hypnosis). We applied hypnosis on 10 people, 5 women and 5 men. I used Zap on 2 women and 2 men and i used Relajation Step by Step and 2 women and 2 men. And my Aunt maade on 1 woman and 1 men an Digipuntura(dont know the name in english but is similiar to the "shiatsu") mixed with some great PNL With a Relajation Step by Step.

    And the object of this was to try to make them to do anything I wanted.
    First of all, they made all i wanted.
    They people that i used Zap was a bit harder, i took me more to take them on a Deep Trance.
    But i said to the 8 people and my aunt to the other 2 people to do: from writing lots of pages, an excersice that they will be loosing their voice gradually, i dont remember the other one, and the last was to take out all their clothes in less than 1 minute and then to call their mom or father and say them mom i am gay and today i want to have sex with someone of the family.
    And everyone did this.
    How i thought about doing this? When i learnt to do Hypnosis, she said me to be careful because you can do what i wanted and i said her no thats not true, When i learnt the hypnosis Relajation Step by Step my teacher said me i can´t do what i wanted, that i dont have complete control on the subject, that they will obey me if they wanted. and then like 3 or 4 months after i learnt Zap i said her the Master hypnotist said you dont have the complete control. And after that she said me want to try something? Your sister called me she wanted to do something about hypnosis(my sister asked my aunt because my aunt is an Hypnoterapist). And then we proved that.

    Well that was my expirience.

  17. What you claim to have done is so incredibly unethical that I'm forced to either assume that you are now destitute because of multiple lawsuits (how are you on the computer, by the way? Public library?) or that it is a lie.
  18. I didnt do something to be unethical, know why? We asked them to do something strange with them, and they signed a paper where it said we would do that. They were agree, and were we did it one of the guys took video on what was going on, and they saw it and obiously it has a porpouse. I am an ethical person.

  19. Yeah, I didn't want to say it but I'm glad you did...

    Just based off what I know hypnosis is, I highly, highly, highly doubt there's any truth to what Antonio shared. I'm going to call bullsh*t. I'm sorry-- I honestly don't do that often, but hypnosis is a field which already has enough misconceptions about it that I don't believe it needs anymore clutter of exaggerated claims or bold-faced lies.


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