• Poonam Dutta (Satyamshakti)

Debunking popular myths about Hypnotherapy or Hypnosis




There is no shortage of fake news, superstitions and myths in the world and the art of Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy is also a victim to the same. Hypnosis is shrouded in myths and is often described with words like mysterious, black magic and controlling- not the words that should be used for healing therapy.


However, things are changing now more and more people are studying and discovering the intricacies of psychology. People are becoming more aware of their mental health and using psychotherapy to heal themselves. With that, we have also learned a great deal about hypnosis in the past century, but the phenomenon is still a mystery of sorts

People still believe a lot of made-up tales about hypnosis without double-checking it.


Being a psychologist and hypnotherapist myself, I have decided to bust the top five myths about hypnosis that have been floating around for quite some time now.


Before we get into that, let's first discuss what is hypnosis?

Also referred to as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion, hypnosis is a trance-like state of mind in which a person experiences a heightened sense of concentration. The process of hypnosis is usually carried out in the presence of a therapist with the help of repeated audio or visual images, not by a goateed man dangling pocket watch.


The word 'hypnosis' comes from the Greek word 'Hypnos" which means to sleep. The person under hypnosis usually feels calm and relaxed, and is thus more open and accepting to the suggestions laid out by the hypnotist. In no stage, do they lose control over their thoughts, or behavior nor do they start chanting yes master to anyone.


Why are people drawn to hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis can be an effective tool to deal with the traumas of stress and anxiety. It can also be studied for other conditions, including:


  • Hypnosis may relieve the pain caused by burns, cancer, childbirth, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, temporomandibular joint problems, dental procedures, and headaches.

  • It can also cure the discomfort of menopause including hot flashes

  • Hypnosis has also successfully cured insomnia, bed-wetting, smoking, and overeating for a lot of people.

  • Some people swear by it that hypnosis helped them ease the side effects of chemotherapy as well as radiation treatment.

  • The most important condition treated through hypnosis would be anxiety, phobias, and post-traumatic stress.


Now that you have the basis of hypnosis cleared, let’s start busting some age-old myths about hypnosis


  • Hypnosis is a form of dark magic or is unnatural

One of the most common misconceptions about hypnosis is that it is unnatural and involves magic. This theory came about thanks to the whole ‘look into my eyes’ nonsense and low whispers of 'you'll do exactly what I say'. The hypnotist murmurs some spells and takes control of the subject's mind.

Some skeptics say that hypnosis is a trick while most don't believe hypnosis to be real at all. However, people who believe that hypnosis is a supernatural manifestation are missing the point. They are simply not able to accept that the human mind can be persuaded enough to incite a spiritual happening.

The person undergoing hypnosis can exit from that state whenever they want. A hypnotist can NOT put someone in a trance without the subject being aware of nor can they control their minds. They can mildly suggest encouraging thoughts for the subconscious mind to grab. Another important thing to understand is that hypnotism can not work without absolute cooperation between hypnotist and subject.


  • A hypnotist can control your mind

No hypnotists have the magical powers to control someone's mind. They are not any sort of gurus nor has God gifted them mind-controlling powers. This belief was motivated by a few bad eggs (the bad hypnotist) who claim to control minds in exchange for a quick buck.


Let's get one thing straight - all that happens during hypnosis is that the hypnotist moves the subject verbally into a trance-like state which technically is created by the subject himself. What the hypnotist suggests is the subject, are the suggestions that the subject themselves have requested.

The hypnotist can not alter the subject's moral compass and thus, cannot ask the subject in a trance state to commit a crime or anything that they don't want to do.


  • Hypnosis will help you remember things that you have long forgotten

You need to watch better movies if you still believe that hypnosis can help you remember long lost memories. Nope, no, that's not gonna happen.

While hypnosis can help you remember certain details, it will only help you remember things that already remember. With extra concentration, you might be able to retrieve minute details of your memory, not how you felt the first time you walked as a toddler.

So adjust your expectations accordingly.


  • Only “weak” people can be hypnotized


A lot of people believe that only weak people get hypnotized and for some reason, hypnosis won't work on them. Or maybe they believe that because they know the tricks on hypnotherapy, they can't be influenced by hypnosis.

Contrary to their belief, almost everybody can yield positive results through hypnosis. Even if you believe that you are completely conscious and the hearing the hypnotherapy chants are not working, a properly trained hypnotherapist can still bring about positive results as your subconscious will still be absorbing things without your conscious self revealing it.


  • Hypnosis is a truth serum

This myth is an all-time hit- that you can use hypnosis as a truth serum - aka- people under hypnosis can not lie.

I said this earlier in this article that the subject under hypnosis acts according to their moral company. Hypnosis doesn't force the subject to tell the truth. Not only can the subject withhold information, but they can also lie during hypnosis.


  • You can be stuck in hypnosis forever


No, it is almost impossible to be stuck in the hypnosis - trance-like state forever. Even if the hypnotist who you were working with is an amateur and goofs up while bringing you back in the conscious state, you will return to your normal self in a few hours.


There you go, I have successfully debunked top 5 plus 1 one more myth about hypnotherapy. Most of these myths spread due to a lack of knowledge about psychology and ill-informed pop culture movies.

I can honestly and without a doubt say that hypnotherapy is one of the safest ways for you to get in touch with yourself and if needed heal yourself through your subconscious. If you have more questions, feel free to put them in the comment section and I will try my best to answer all of them.

Or you can contact me directly with more questions or if you would like to book a hypnotherapy session with me.


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