Anybody ever been hypnotized?

You know… I see this on TV once in awhile with a comedian or magician or more rarely a serious display.

I have SEEN lots of people be hypnotized, but I’ve never met anyone that HAS been. Whats up? Ever gone through it? Whats it like?

From what I understand you have to “want” to be hypnotized. What does that MEAN?!?! You’re just going along for the ride? Thats my prevailing thought. If you have to “want” to be hypnotized then I never will be because I sure as hell wouldn’t want anyone to be able to control me like that.

Whats up with this dopers?!?!

Are you uh, watching TLC right now? Funny shit, I must admit (and they say I’m not a poet).

I’ve never gone through it, but the whole experience seems kinda distressing. Being unconscious (on a pysche level at least) and being told to do potentially embarassing things doesn’t really sound like fun to me.

Whammo you’ve got a point, who’d actually WANT to be told to run out into the street naked holding a bag of snakes while singing the National Anthem. Not me.

I’ve been hypnotized a few times. To the extent that I understand it, you can’t be made to do anything that you would find deeply disturbing; it’s just a method of making you very VERY relaxed and hence much more open to suggestion. It actually feels quite pleasant and floaty.

Actually thats what prompted me to write this though I only watched it for a few moments, I’ve turned it back now though that you wrote that and its still on.

Matt… but were you AWARE of what you were doing?!?

That’s the scary thing. When I’m conscious I’m hardly aware of what I’m doing.

The people who have been hypnotized on the show say that they are aware of what they’re doing, but they can’t help themselves and can’t stop themselves from performing the suggestion.


I was hypnotized about 18 months ago. Pretty awesome experiance. A guy came to my school and you signed up to take this essay-test thing that lasted a half hour or so. Then, out of about 75 of us, he picked 12. Then he hypnotized us and did a past life regression. I was a nun named Sister Helena in my most recent past life.

The best thing I remember is that once we were hypnotized, he led us back through our childhoods. Sadly, I have a lot of lousy memories, but they moved aside and I remembered some very lovely, sweet moments. My earliest conscious memory is from when I was three, but he took us further and I had snap-shot-like memories from earlier ages.

I was extremely relaxed, calm and secure. I felt very restful, and I was somewhat aware of what was happening. I could hear his voice and we were told to always concentrate on it - it served as an anchor. But at the same time, I felt like I had an unbelievably open mind, that I could crawl back into my subconscious and see things that were previously hidden. My memories from early childhood were very crisp and clear, like photographs, as I said, but I was surprised also at the clarity of my memories from my past life.

Some people went further than one past life, but I only remembered the one. Overall, it was a very meaningful experiance. I meditate a lot, but during that period of time I felt as though the freedom of thought that meditation brings was amplified a thousand times.

From GQ:

Gee thanks audry

Um, you’re welcome? I’m not sure how to take that.

Based on what I’m reading here about the TLC program, it sounds like it’s only fueling the common misconceptions about hypnosis. matt_mcl’s description is accurate. Hypnosis relaxes you; whether it allows you or enhances your ability to do anything else is questionable.

What you see on TV or demonstrated in front of an audience is almost always entertainment disguised as hypnosis. If that’s the kind of hypnosis you’re asking about, Whammo, then the links won’t be of much use to you. I apologize.

A friend of mine was. The guy doing it told him to hate pizza, now he hates pizza. He doesn’t remember it at all.

Hehe… sorry if I sounded put off. I’ve just killed the only good idea i’ve had for a thread in a month or so due to the fact that I didn’t run a search first… sigh :wink:

Really I considered putting this in GQ first then thought it might get better (perhaps more personalized) responses in MPSMIS.

I was hypnotized at a festival (Beaufort Water Festival) and there were about 10 people on a stage (nobody was planted). I took the suggestions fairly well for a little while, then didn’t when the pink elephnat suggestion was put forth. But some took it in full stride, one girl I knew well was told she was the mayor of my town and had to convince the City Council to approve a measure, and she was VERY convincing. She was not a good public speaker in real life, but wowed the audience (I had been dismissed off the stage by this point, having rejected the pink elephant thing).

I have also been to Comedy Clubs when a member of my party was hypnotized and acted in a manner their spouse said was VERY different from their personality.

Some people are better at being hypnotized than others. I was a math and science fan then, studied Civil Engineering in college, and apparently the analytical types don’t go under very well.

Awww, Whammo, that’s quite all right. :slight_smile:

[sub]You are gettting sleeeeeeeepy… verrrrry sleeeeeeepy… now, at the count of three, you will think up good thread ideas… you will think of LOTS of good thread ideas… one… two… THREE! finger snap[/sub]

I am a big fan of self-hypnosis, if that counts at all. I have a tape that I use and the guy just walks you through what you’re supposed to do.

Its pretty creepy, actually, if you think about it, because as he walks you through the relaxation portion, you can literally feel parts of your body relaxing completely. By the time he’s done talking, your whole entire body feels like it has no tension anywhere, and this is all through the power of your own mind.

I can still think, although I try not to, because the idea is to get a stillness of thought. However, if at any time you feel upset with what is going on, or scared at the lack of control, its very easy to pull yourself out of it. The first couple of times I tried self-hypnosis I didn’t make it all the way through the tape because I got scared that I wouldn’t be able to wake up. So I woke myself up, and once I realized it was possible, I was able to make it all the way through.

Its sort of like the feeling right before you drift off to sleep, or right as you are waking up in the morning. You are conscious, you have control, but its not quite like being awake. When things are suggested to you, you do them, just because. My tape is a goal setting tape, and at the very end of it, the guy on it suggests that “there is a peaceful happiness flowing through your body. You are at peace with the world, and everything in it.”

It amazing, because you can actually feel happiness and peace filling you, and its real. Self-hypnosis, at least, is less losing control, more gaining total control over yourself.

no, this daze is natural…

I was “hypnotized” at school once. On the one hand, I was just going through the motions, I was fully conscious. But on the other hand, I felt very compelled to do what he said. I knew I could refuse to go along with some of the stuff, but it felt like I would have to put up an effort to do so.
However, it was hardly a life-changing experience, and I always felt gyped. Shouldn’t it have been more than that?

As for entertainment hypnotism in shows, I’m sure that there are some instances out there that are fake, and some are not. For a good example of a fake one, check out the Bob Zmuda book “Andy Kaufman Revealed” and look for the section where they did the “Masked Hypnotist” show. THAT one went quite a bit beyond the “can’t make you do something that you would be totally against” thing – although that is, admittedly, a pretty extreme example…

As for tamer shows, we had a couple at my college. The first was a small hypnotist show that was put on for a fraternity rush event. One of the small group of volunteers variety. Some of the people in the audience went with it, too, and a friend who was sitting next to me was totally zonked out by the time he got the volunteers under. He was slumped over in his seat, as if he had fallen asleep in class. The hypnotist brought him up on stage to replace one of the volunteers that it didn’t work on.

That show was so well liked and talked about that the Student Government Assoc. booked a hypnotist show later in the year for one of their events. I volunteered on this one, because I wanted to see what it was like… and if it would work. And although I was curious and wanted it to work, and I wanted to see what it was like, I didn’t really feel anything different, and I just played along. (Yep, I faked it… Ladies, you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?)

Most of the things he had everybody do were in a group, so I didn’t mind going along with that. I think if he had singled me out for anything particularly embarrassing, I probably would have blown it… (Although it would have given me a nice excuse to do something goofy on stage… )

So, some of you are probably thinking – maybe you WERE hypnotized, and just didn’t realize that was why you were playing along, and didn’t realize it would feel like normal consciousness, just more relaxed. I don’t think so, and here are a few reasons why:

  1. I saw the effects of it on some other people (like Mr. Zonk-out) and I certainly didn’t feel anything like that.
  2. I do remember consciously thinking “This isn’t working” during much of it, and like I said, he didn’t make everybody as a group do too much that was embarrassing.
  3. One of the “gags” was along the lines of “When I say the phrase ‘yadda yadda yadda’ (I don’t remember the phrase) your seat will feel burning hot, so much that you will not be able to stay seated” – one of the post-hypnotic suggestions for use once the volunteers had returned back to the audience. When this phrase came up, my seat felt no different to me – but yes, I jumped up when everybody else did, so as not to blow it. It was a good chance to practice my acting abilities (leaping up, feigning a shocked expression, etc). But I was consciously thinking at the time “The seat doesn’t feel any different”.

Uncle Bill:
*I have also been to Comedy Clubs when a member of my party was hypnotized and acted in a manner their spouse said was VERY different from their personality. *

I think this is a little different from the claim that hypnotism can’t make you do something you are opposed to. One of the other incidents at that last show was another post-hypnotic suggestion – which had a girl running back up on stage and dancing and lip-synching to Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”. The girl was a person who would not have done this normally, because she was normally more reserved and introverted. I think the suggestion just loosened that up a bit, but she didn’t do anything that she would be totally against. A few beers might have the same effect – make her a little more outgoing.

However, I agree with the thought that hypnotism can’t make you suddenly do things that you would totally disagree with, like throwing off your clothes and letting the hypnotist fondle you onstage, or something… :wink:

Vaguely, but I don’t remember it clearly at all. The guy who was hypnotizing me tells me that he told me to forget it.

I was hypnotized during psychology class in high school. I was picked because I had just been diagnosed with migraines and he had a method that he used for relief of migraines. So I definitely wanted to try it. It was very relaxing. I’d do it again in a minute if I felt I was in a safe place to relax enough. It did help with the migraines too.

I was aware of everything that was going on. Like when he said that my arms were weightless I had to think for a minute “Would that be ok if my arms were weightless? Sure, no harm in that” and then up the arms went. Am I explaining that very well?