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Entertainment vs safety

3 Feb

Recently I have been on the look out for new types of hypnotic inductions. Although the ones in the past have worked fine, as they are classics, I feel as  a constant student of hypnosis you can always learn and push the limits with hypnosis and never reach an end.

To be honest I feel as though they are not 100% with everyone and I am OK with that. I have heard EVERYONE is hypnotizable but the METHODS vary from person to person. If you think about it, everyone goes into trance multiple times a day. Don’t believe me, look around your office or library and see people dozing in and out… but don’t laugh! Better yet, have you ever driven somewhere and when you get there… don’t remember driving there??? You were in a “driving trance”.

As an entertainer I am concerned with how it looks to the audience. I have seen many hypnotists do crazy phenomenon that I am not convinced is worth the risk. To give you an example, there is an induction called Zap. Now this induction works but at a steep price in my opinion. No I’m not saying because it is $150+ dollars but because of the audience management.

I have seen many performers not do the proper pre talk. By that I mean they do not fully describe hypnosis to the subject or see if they are 18 years or older or ask if they have any medical conditions. These seem like simple things but can make a world of difference, especially if you don’t want to get sued!

I personally don’t hypnotize people under the age of 18 (unless their guardian is right there next to us the whole time) and I always make sure they don’t have a serious medical condition or better yet, ask before I do something that could be even remotely strenuis.

In the induction mentioned above, Zap, it is done with an arm pull technique that off sets their balance both physically and mentally. Although done properly can be highly effective but if someone who saw it on YouTube tries it, can be extremely harmful. You may not know if they slept on their arm weird that night and it has been tense all day. Just got a cast removed from their arm. Have extremely painful arthritis in the wrist and hand.

These little questions that go unnoticed by the audience but truly separates the men from the boys in my opinion. It keeps the professionals working and the amateurs in trouble or worse yet, sued.

Finally, in my humble opinion, out of all the inductions and hypnosis sessions I have done I find 4 out of 5 times when you tell someone to sleep and they “drop” the audience is far more impressed with the least amount of physical contact to that person. To have control over them without touching them, that is magical!

If you do want to learn more about hypnosis a few sites worth checking out are:
Head Hacking
Street Hypnosis


A quick linguistic trick

2 Feb

As both a student of magic and hypnosis I learn a broad range of manipulations from verbal to visual and of course most go under the radar. I want to share with you a simple way to give people options yet at the same time EVERYTHING is under your complete control. Don’t worry there is no hypnotic trance goig on, in fact you don’t even say the word SLEEP! It is far easier than that.

The best way to explain it is to give an example. Say you are a parent and you have a child, we’ll go with the name Luke. You want Luke to be in bed by 8pm. You say to Luke, “You know Luke, you have been really good today, I will let you stay up to either 7:30 or 8pm. Since you have been extra good, you can decide which time you want.”

Keep in mind it seems simple but remember its the SIMPLE suggestions and influences that go under the radar.  Luke thinks he is deciding when he goes to bed and he feels rewarded, so it’s a positive experience for him. Meanwhile, both times are before the parent wants him in bed so the parent is winning as well. All you are doing, as they say in the hypnotic world is framing the situation to what you want.

This doesn’t just have to be with kids. If a group of people from work are all going out to lunch and you feel like a certain type of food you can say, “Since ___, is the leader of this next project you decide whether we get Italian or Mexican food!”

It’s a simple twist in the language that can ultimately have a huge impact. Chances are it has been done to you and you may not have even realized it. Maybe a car salesmen saw you looking at a car and said, “Would you like this car better in red or grey?” Either way you answer it shows him you want to get that car.

**If you wish to learn more about linguistic effects a great place to start is with Wonder Words by my friend Kenton Knepper.

Common Myths About Hypnosis

1 Feb

Hypnotized people will do something they don’t want to do!

A great example of this that has gained massive popularity over the past ten years is how hypnotized people will commit crimes, like robbing a bank, or even worse acts!
To see it in action click here!

This is bogus because when a person is hypnotized they still won’t do things they wouldn’t do normally, they will adhere to their core values. Now this stretches past classical hypnosis routines such as acting like a celebrity, forgetting their name, walking on the moon and imagining they are on a beach. A person might not do those things in everyday life but there is a limit, their ethical and moral code.

It has been shown in studies, especially by Milton Erickson that while hypnotized people would not even hit another person if there were no reason to.

Keep in mind even though a hypnotist says the word “SLEEP” it is not actual sleep. You may not be able to remember anything afterwards but you are aware of everything during the process.

You can get stuck in Hypnosis!

This is completely false as well. People drift in and out of hypnosis all day long. They just don’t know it! It is a natural state to go in and out of. Have you ever driven a car and once you got to your destination you don’t remember driving there! That was a state of hypnosis usually referred to as a “driving trance”.

Have you ever got lost in a book or been to a movie theater and when you got done it seemed like a different day or you don’t remember the time passing by? You were in an altered state. Shocking I know!

Hypnosis is different for everybody but the worst that could happen to you is that you drift away and actually sleep and wake up a few minutes later feeling bright and refreshed.

Hypnosis only works for certain people or “I can’t be hypnotized!”

Again, this is wrong. If you can dream, sleep, concentrate and relax… guess what? You can be hypnotized, as all humans can.

As I said before, hypnosis is a natural state to drift in and out of. People do it throughout the day. To be honest, I believe I have drifted in and out a few times while writing this blog!

The bottom line is that everyone is suggestible to a degree, everyone can relax, sleep and concentrate so in turn, everyone can be hypnotized if THEY WANT TO BE.
For those who insist they cannot or flat out don’t want to be, they are the ones missing out on an enjoyable experience.

Our biggest influence… ourselves?

31 Jan

Today I took an interesting trip to the dentist. Now if you are like me, I am not freaked out by the dentist except for the little pick, scraping tool. It’s not the feelings behind it, it’s the SOUND! That screeching sound is like nails on a chalk board to me!

Every time I hear that scraping sound I SQUEEZE and white knuckle the leather armrests of that chair that sits below that Belmont light that much tighter. Today as my hands and forearms start to stick to the chair from the sweat that is oozing out of my pores, I realized that WE are our own biggest influences.

I know this sounds weird to some of you and may register right away to some others but think about it. We dictate our own outlook on every situaton we come across. Whether something is difficult or easy, it is the way we precieve it, it is our mind set.

Even Henry Ford said decades ago, “Whether you think you can or your can’t, either way you’re right.” This could not be more true today.

I used to think doctors, as a group, had the biggest influence on people. If someone was just diagnosed with a terminal disease, doesn’t the doctor usually say, “I give them ___ months to live.” These are just merely suggestions given to someone in a highly suggestable and emototional state of mind.

Who are they to say how long someone will live? We see survivors everyday and I bet none of them had the attitude, well… yeah, I should get over this… probably. It is the survivor’s mind set that will dictate the attitude.

On a more positive note, one way you can help others by influencing them, without them knowing it in a non-magical way if they are feeling down, is to NEVER ask the questions:
“Why are you so sad?”
“Why are you so down?”

The reason this will trigger a worse feeling in that person’s mindset because when you use the word WHY you are secretly asking them to justify their state of being. Whether or not their aware of it, you are cementing WHY they feel down. This will confirm to them how bad they feel and give them an excuse to feel that way.

Instead ask them, “What can I do to cheer you up?” or make them laugh or even make them see something different and fascinate their conscious mind and critical faculty with something like a magic trick or puzzle to get their mind off of whatever is bringing them down.