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What are your thoughts on Hypnosis?

Is it an induced state of REM sleep? Is it a connection into the psyche itself? is it a quasi-religious trance? Or is it just hogwash? Or, perhaps, something else entirely....?

Kreig 7 Jan 7

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In all likelihood hypnosis is baloney. In my opinion, people participating in a hypnosis show are trying to please and not embarrass the hypnotist (and themselves) so they play along.

You're right. Hypnosis shows are not the real thing

Let me see if I understand, people have self-hypnotized and undergone major surgery without anesthetic ... but it's all baloney. Sorry, but the map is not the territory.

@Druvius I believe I wrote β€œhypnosis show” in entertainment. And - I would be interested to learn about anyone undergoing major surgery without some kind of medicinal pain blocker. I don't think I would like to try that lol


@LizBeth I stand corrected, never saw the show but everything on TV is dreck these days. Still, people have undergone surgery without anesthetic using self hypnosis. []

@Druvius Oh sorry - I was not referencing a particular TV show - I was talking about when I hypnotist gets up in front of an audience, asks for volunteers, puts them in a trance, and tells them to 'act like a dog' or whatever....

I read the story on the man in the article from cbs news from 2008 that you linked to and did a little more looking and found: []

I think I agree with Dr. Novella that "Hypothesis #2 – Local Anesthesia" probably explains this case.

@LizBeth Here's where I launch into irrelevant mansplaining, deflection, and name calling. No, I think you're right, there does not appear to be any good evidence supporting the idea that hypnosis can allow surgery without anesthesia. I apologize for going off half-cocked, something I need to be more aware of. The older I get the more I think I must really be an idiot.

@Druvius - I think the older we all get the more we all realize how much we don't know. The things I don not know are boundless. LOL. Even though I would not want to try to substitute hypnosis for anesthesia, I don't 'know' that hynosis has no value. One person here swears that hypnosis helped them quit smoking and that is a good thing. Perhaps the mind has a way of using hypnotic suggestions to facilitate reaching a goal that a person really wants to reach?? I am really glad to have polite conversation instead of mansplaining, defection, or name calling πŸ™‚ Thank you!

@LizBeth In theory that's why we are here. The internet's propensity for triggering arguments with strangers is legion though. Neurologica Blog is one of my favorite sites btw, I knew I was in trouble when I saw that. πŸ™‚

@Druvius - I learned about the β€œScience based medicine” blog fro The Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast.


There is truth to hypnotism but doesn't work exactly the way many people might think. It doesn't make you do anything. It just makes doing those things sound like a really good idea.

pretty noncontroversial statement Mr CONtroversy!


I've not had any experience with it. Went to a show once and saw some people act out of character but I suspect they were playing along. I don't know how believable or unbelievable it is, I would need more data. πŸ™‚

Betty Level 7 Jan 7, 2018

I always go back to Milton H. Erikson when the subject of hypnosis is brought up. I've experimented with self-hypnosis and meditation and can confirm that some of it is spooky and very real. The mind is a dangerous thing to play around with and should be treated with due respect.


THere are medical associations in the US and Britain dedicated to the use of hypnosis in medicine. A course I took was taught by dentists that used it to reduce fear and in the place of anesthesia. It is a little different in the realm of therapy. thanks for the link


It can work for you as long as you surrender to a relaxed state of mind.


Never worked on me. Even in my young impressionable years. I think one has to be gullible enough for it to work.


I have considered trying hypnosis, just time and money. There were/are times I seem to be my own worst enemy, it would be good to be able to avoid that. I'd be willing to give it a try.

Try it. Try a self hypnosis approach. It's worth the effort. Meditation is one form don't fall for the Hollywood image, that's not it.


Its definitely not hogwash. There are too many trustworthy people who have experienced it. I would say the first is probably the most likely. Which sort of ties it into the second tbh.


Growing up my family was heavy into woo and insisted that my cousin and I get hypnotized to learn of our past didn't work...shocking I know. So of course it was put fault that it didn't work...something about not being open. So we had cassette tapes we had to listen to every night to "open our hearts and show us our past selves" it really just made me sleep deprived to the point I made up a story so I could sleep. Now it is possible to get really really relaxed and focused but I think the whole "you now think you're a chicken after I count to 3" is complete shit


I've seen the stage shows, and even participated in one. I tried to be hypnotized the time I was in one. I listened to the words, and tried to let myself fall into it. I wanted to see what it felt like. It absolutely did not work, and I was let off stage. Others seemed to be under hypnosis and stayed on stage and did tricks like a dog. I can't believe they weren't faking. I can't know if it actually worked on them, and they said it did.

Stage shows are frauds.


I know a trained and credentialed hypnotherapist who has a successful practice helping people get over addictions, phobias, etc. It works. It's really just guided meditation, but with a goal. The person "hypnotized" is fully aware of what's going on in the room; they've let the therapist take them to an altered state where the subconscious is exposed, allowing suggestions to sink in.

She unfortunately can't help me too much because of the familiarity of her voice, and the fact that we're married. πŸ˜‰

Lol. Hominid you must have a very successful marriage if you believe that. Have you asked if she has ethical reasons for not helping you? Have you asked yourself why you will not let her help you? And what does that mean? ???? ????

@FrayedBear - The marriage is actually pretty good. She's never NOT wanted to help me; it's me that gets distracted by her voice. Besides, I don't have any glaring issues I need help with anyway.


You can only be if you are willing go I was told. The weak of mind are easily hypnotized. Brainwashing is different even in some cases intelligent people circum to that.

everyone has an innate level of suggestibility and the ability to enter a trance state, Driving home and not remembering the details of the ride is an example of a trance state.Hypnosis just takes advantage of these tendencies.


A group of us went to see a hypnotist's show and my bf went on stage. One suggestion was they were sitting next to their new spouse on the way to their honeymoon. The woman next to my bf kept putting her hand on his thigh and he kept removing it. That is something he would do because he didn't believe in PDA. It took a number of weeks, but he eventually got back his memory of that night. He said the memory was like a dream. They started about 5 days after that night. We who knew him well believed everything. Hypnosis is a state of mind. Like meditation.


I have never had much faith in Hypnosis but if it works for the individual why not.Just seems like a form of control or manipulation to me


You have to be suseptable to such things it definitely works.


its hogwash. weak minded suggestive minds coupled with wanting that 5 minutes of fame. like most things of this nature people will fake it and lie.

Actually it takes more will to succumb. As for 5 minutes of fame, I don't get that. If you're talking about the Hollywood version, where people bark like a dog, that is a fraud.


It's possible I've been under a trance my entire life


Mentalist Derren Brown agreed to an interview in his home, where the journalist could get a glimpse into the entertainer's daily life. The topic of hypnosis came up and the interviewer asked to be hypnotized, but DB refused because journalists are often difficult to hypnotize due to the nature of their work (skeptical, analytical). Eventually the interviewer convinced DB to try, but other than being out of it momentarily nothing happened β€” until after the interview when the journalist found something in his pocket he couldn't remember putting there (an empty juice box or something) and for a day or so he had unusually intense emotion surrounding the garbage item. I can't remember the details now, but it was interesting to read a first-hand account of how it felt. I've seen Derren Brown in his act hypnotize people, and I've seen him use it under controlled circumstances to condition people, both for benefit and harm. (I should qualify that last part, because it wasn't a case of malice. DB spent weeks with people to ostensibly increase their confidence, but what he was really doing was showing how someone under specific circumstances turn to crime (armed robbery). It wasn't traditional hypnosis, but rather weeks of conditioning and exploiting subconscious susceptibility, and the people involved we're given immediate treatment to deprogram them so there wouldn't be lasting effects.) The thing I like about DB is that, without entirely revealing his secrets, he pulls back the curtain on some things that seem spooky or mystical, like showing how faith healing works or setting up an atheist to experience religious fervor, illustrating that it's psychological rather than metaphysical, in the hopes that people watching will be less inclined to be taken advantage of by charlatans.


All I know of hypnosis is hollywood and fiction literature... not necessarily good sources.


My understanding is you have to believe that you can be hypnotized in order for hypnosis to work.


Its as much self induced as it is imposed. Practitioners of yoga and meditation are familiar with it.


I tried it once to quit good. It took Xanax and a Nicotrol inhaler to quit. I think I may be too damn stubborn for hypnosis to work for me!


Tried it for stopping smoking it worked for a month or two I should have gone back for a booster session finally quit 3 yrs later on my own . I did stop with out withdrawal for at least a full month .


No, for most under hypnosis REM is usually absent, unless the subject is asked to visualize.

It is considered to be a connection to the psyche.

While "a quasi-religious trance" is usually self induced, hypnosis is probably used for such purposes. This is not to say in any way it has religious connotations.

We're not sure (at least in my limited research) exactly what it is but its definitely not hogwash.

I love Wiki...


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