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Evelyn_475's avatar

Is hypnosis real?

Asked by Evelyn_475 (792points) August 29th, 2010
22 responses
“Great Question” (5points)

Is it? Have you been hypnotized before? What did you feel/ think/ remember?

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DominicX's avatar

Yes, it is.

I’ve been hypnotized before. It was in my psych class in high school; a professional hypnotist came and hypnotized a group of volunteers (I was one of them). For me, it was like going to sleep and waking up from a dream. When I became unhypnotized, it’s as if no time had passed, but I had vague memories of having done something during that time. In other words, it was like I had dozed off and was trying to remember a dream I just had. People had to tell me what I had done (embarrassing things like pick up my shoe and act like it was a telephone). It was very real, though. Some people have different experiences; that’s just how it felt to me.

anartist's avatar

If you are willing to make it so. Some hypnotists are better than others and some subjects are naturally more resistant than others. For the hard-to-hypnotize there has to be a desire to achieve the results the hypnosis is targeting, plus a trust in the hypnotist/therapist and a conscious effort to let go control. Hypnosis can fail with resistant subjects and/or poor hypnotists. I have, with moderate success by a therapist I trusted, and with no success by an unknown hypnotist. I am a resistant subject.

Jeruba's avatar

I believe it is. I have seen it demonstrated convincingly with people I knew, whose reports afterward were credible. Also one of my best friends is a therapist, and she speaks well of its use therapeutically.

As a prospective subject, I am resistant in the same way that I am resistant to eye drops and to tongue depressors. It’s such a strong reflex that I can’t seem to override it even when I try.

DominicX's avatar


The interesting thing is that I was a little afraid to be hypnotized at first, but it still ended up working on me. (As for tongue depressors, I hate those. The last time I had to have that done, it took almost 10 tries).

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Yes, it is a real phenomenon, but it has nothing to do with the mysterious/supernatural element that some showmen like to add for effect.

YARNLADY's avatar

Hypnosis gives the average person a better grasp of the focus necessary to use the tools that are available to everyone.Self discipline, will power, prayer and, sometimes, magic, are other tools that access the same ability.

DrBill's avatar

yes, it is. because the subject is under control, make sure it is done by someone trustworthy.

serafina's avatar

Done by a professional in the right environment, i believe it is real.

As part of a paid freak show for entertainment purposes, then i doubt very much if it’s real.

Never experienced it myself.

Ben_Dover's avatar

Yes, but it does not work on everyone. Many of us simply laugh at ludicrous attempts to plant post-hypnotic suggestions and attempts at past life regressions…

LostInParadise's avatar

Assuming that it is real, and I do believe it is, it is odd how little there is in the way of scientific research regarding hypnosis. What does hypnosis tell us about how our minds work?

Cruiser's avatar

Yes it is. Hypnosis as far as I can tell is a trance state that the person conducting the hypnosis can illicit a certain suggestive state of mind and explore the know realm of the person hypnotized. I had a fraternity bother who was and is a magician and I watched him many times hypnotize complete strangers and he did tell me not all people can be hypnotized and you can not suggest the person hypnotized to do anything they would not normally do awake. But some of the things he could get people to do was interesting even humorous. And everybody who was did not remember a thing and were very relaxed when woken. Fascinating to me!

Austinlad's avatar

I have seen several people hypnotized and have been put into a trance myself, and I can assure you it’s real and quite amazing.

phoebusg's avatar

To add to the thread. Due to the gate-design of the pain system you can actually turn off the gates of pain (nodes that control ascending information to the brain), through either self-suggestion or hypnosis. In the case that hypnosis works on the patient, he can have full surgery simply under it and with no anesthesia. Lots of cases to back that up. So, yes, it works – for some :)

chocolatechip's avatar

Here’s what I don’t understand about hypnotism. If you have to allow yourself to be hypnotized in order to become hypnotized, how is a state of hypnosis anything other than a state of mind that you have induced in yourself? If that’s exactly what it is, how is it any different than any other state of mind?

phoebusg's avatar

@chocolatechip you have less control over what suggestions actually get processed. But suggestions that clash with your experiences will still get discarded. You’re still yourself – just more susceptible to deliberate suggestion.

Cruiser's avatar

@chocolatechip I don’t have a pat answer to your question and would be asking the same thing if I did not see it many times with my own eyes. I am sure there are explanations but watching grown people do quite unusual things I am sure they would have issues doing even in private was amazing to me.

chocolatechip's avatar


Based on the fact that you must be willing to be hypnotized in order to reach a state of hypnosis, it would seem that in a hypnotized state, your susceptibility to suggestion is not due to anything the hypnotist did, but only due to your own willingness to comply to suggestion in the first place. The only part the hypnotist is involved in is asking whether or not you want to be hypnotized, but of course, you have already decided this.

phoebusg's avatar

@chocolatechip exactly, hence why many are not susceptible. They do not let themselves be. But to be fair, you only need that if you can’t hypnotize yourself. Masters of meditation don’t need a hypnotist’s help – they do it themselves. It just makes it easier – without years of practice by yourself to get some result. I’m fine with both routes, but do support the latter slightly more.

chocolatechip's avatar


But it would seem that, even with a hypnotist’s help, you are really only “hypnotizing” yourself. For example, if I were to think, “I think I’m going to exhibit all the behaviours of a hypnotized state”, am I then hypnotized?

phoebusg's avatar

@chocolatechip yes, sorry that bit was self-explanatory to me. You have to go through oneself, the senses (first barrier), the perception (brain barrier), associations, deeper neural structures (where the work usually needs to be done, memory or actual specific systems controlling something: ex pain center). There is no other way in – yet.

Depends on what you consider to be a hypnotized state – assuming you’re in the presence of a hypnotists – depends on the range of suggestion he offers. And what you choose to let through.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I believe it’s real and I’ve never been hypnotized.

wilma's avatar

Yes I know it is real, I have been hypnotized.

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