How does stage hypnosis work?

September 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Frequently Asked Questions, Uncategorized

Most of us become acquainted with hypnosis from seeing a stage hypnosis act. I took a special course to become certified in Stage Hypnosis to understand this subject. It’s quite interesting.

Stage hypnosis is for entertainment purposes, rather than to work on a serious issue. The stage hypnotist will invite the audience to participate in a suggestibility test. It is designed to identify “somnambulists” who respond to both direct (literal) and indirect (inferred) suggestions.

Finding somnambulists makes group hypnosis easier, since the hypnotist doesn’t need to structure suggestions for each individual. They respond equally well to both direct and indirect suggestions, so they are easier to work with in a group setting. The somnambulists are then invited to compete for a limited number of seats on stage. The most eager somnambulists are, by definition, those who end up on stage.

This process selects somnambulists eager to do wild and crazy things on stage. When that happens, it is because they want to participate — a consensual act.

One of my favorite stage hypnosis acts is performed by world renowned hypnotist Paul McKenn and involves a police detective scenario . It’s a really funny illustration of how hypnosis can selectively suspend reality.

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