A great many people see hypnosis stage shows and come to the conclusion that the hypnotist is controlling the minds of the participants. And, that’s a scary thought for many people. So scary in fact, that they are unable to allow themselves to experience the benefits of hypnotherapy.
Some years ago I was a participant in a hypnosis stage show. The hypnotist had about 15 volunteers on stage. Early on in the show he hypnotized all of us while we were sitting in chairs on the stage. And then he told us, in his best hypnotic voice, that he was going to count to three and snap his fingers, which would be a hypnotic suggestion to start laughing uncontrollably. It was to be the very best laughter of our lives. We were to continue laughing until he snapped his fingers again.
I thought to myself, “I’ll do that”.
So, when the hypnotist counting to three and snapped his fingers we all laughed, and we laughed hard and we laughed until he snapped his fingers the second time. So to the people in the audience it probably appeared that he was controlling our minds.
Around 20 minutes later, he singled me out for a suggestion. He told me, in his best hypnotic voice, that he was going to count to three and snap his fingers, and that it would seem to me as if I had itching powder down my back. I was pleasantly hypnotized. I felt relaxed, comfortable, and was really enjoying those sensations.
So, when the hypnotist suggested that he would snap his fingers and that it would seem like I had itching powder down the back of my neck, I thought to myself, “I don’t think so”.
So the hypnotist counting to three snapped his fingers looking at me intently. And, nothing happened. I felt perfectly comfortable and relaxed and continued enjoying being in hypnosis.
I was perfectly in control of whether or not I accepted a hypnotic suggestion. When it felt good, I went along with the suggestions. When it was going to be uncomfortable, I rejected the suggestions.