The history of hypnosis: a practice that has been around for centuries

Lily Stanton

Junior Digital Editor

   From its presence in television shows, movies, and many other performances, the power of hypnosis has left people skeptical for hundreds of years. Some say hypnosis is all an act, but many, including those who have experienced its possibilities, say it is perfectly plausible as long as the subject is willing to give up their free will.

   Hypnosis is a state of being in which subconscious suggestion overrules conscious decisions. Some people who are willing to go under the subconscious suggestions of hypnotists see it as something fun.

   “It’s like an experience you know, you’re not in control of what you’re doing,” said Bradley Edmonds, a member of the Technical Theater program at Douglas Anderson, on why he would be willing to be hypnotized. He believes it would be an interesting method to relieve negativity within oneself.

   It is a practice that has been used across the globe for centuries as a show or type of entertainment, but as of recently, a form of therapy as well.

   Hypnotherapists are known for using their suggestions to persuade the subconscious mind into focusing on a goal, forgetting past trauma, or even helping with weight loss. Despite its firm backing in psychological research, many still question its capabilities.

  Some people point to stage hypnotism and the many occasions in which a person is not truly hypnotized during a performance, or word gets out that it was entirely scripted as a way to prove that hypnotism is not real. While it is true that these things occur, it does not mean that all hypnosis is faked. Despite this, most who haven’t personally experienced hypnotism would agree it is a hoax. Even Anthony Galie, a trained psychotherapist who has been using hypnotism for years says it is extremely easy to fake. He claims attempting to figure out if someone is truly hypnotized takes very keen observational skills

   While it can be much harder for some people to become hypnotized, most people can fall into this state of trance if practiced enough. After all, it is a state of vulnerability to suggestion, and for some that type of vulnerability is hard.

   Being hypnotized is not for everyone. Many people are too strong willed to wonder into a hypnotist’s office and suddenly have their problems solved. It takes years sometimes to train a mind into listening to a specific hypnotist’s suggestions, but once one is accustomed with it, the possibilities are endless.

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