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Under What Circumstances Should a Person be Hypnotized?

Updated on November 14, 2009

For entertainment on stage, of course! Just kidding. Hypnosis can be used to reveal or help solve problems that lie in the subconscious mind, such as addictive habits, anxiety, or deeply-rooted mental issues. It can even reduce your awareness of pain during a not so pleasant visit to the dentist.

The power of suggestion even has the potential to reduce chronic pain and a person can be taught to self-hypnotize in such situations. A pregnant woman going through labour can be hypnotized as an effective alternative to painkillers.

Hypnosis is a popular tool for Hollywood bad guys and businessmen to manipulate their enemies. Many people are wary of hypnosis for that very idea; that they could be secretly manipulated or even taken advantage of while they are 'under'. These concerns are not based on truth, however. The reality is that a person can not be hypnotized against their will. And you can't force someone to do things they would never do while awake.

Let me repeat that last statement: You can't force someone to do things they would never do while awake. Ever seen Paul Anthony or Scott Ward or any other stage hypnotists? They put a group of people into a trance and have them perform hilarious, and sometimes very humiliating acts in front of the audience. And I don't mean flapping their arms like chickens. It's hugely entertaining for a crowd to see ten people up on a stage dancing like Elvis, humping chairs or even stripping down to their undergarments and running half-naked through the audience giving lap dances.

So does good-natured entertainment count as a circumstance under which a person should be hypnotized? Well given the fact that they can't be manipulated against their will, it's all in good fun. Maybe it's an excuse for people to act even wilder than they do while they're drunk, because they can claim (maybe it's true) that they didn't remember a thing.

Hypnosis Stage Show

When do People Use Hypnosis?

Many people have found the benefits of hypnotherapy to reach far beyond the scope of manipulation and the "hilarious" factor.

Hypnotic treatment can be used for:

  • Changing behavioural tendencies or habits, ie. Smoking, overeating, other addictions
  • Reducing anxiety or panic attacks
  • Relaxation and meditation
  • Improving personal success, is. business, career, life in general, through the use of adjusting your habits which may be hindering you. (An example is procrastination)
  • Helping people cope with and fight chronic pain
  • When the use of painkillers is a concern, such as in the case of a pregnant woman giving birth
  • Phobias and OCD

It's not fully understood how or why hypnosis works, and the success of the therapy depends largely on the expertise of the therapist, and the willingness of the patient. It is believed that hypnotherapy puts the mind into an deep state of relaxation that allows the brain wave patterns to be altered by suggestions, which alter your behaviour.


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    • Katelyn Weel profile imageAUTHOR

      Katelyn Weel 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I was just generalizing based on the hypnosis shows I've seen in the past... I haven't seen his show specifically, no. By humiliating I mean funny or entertaining. Sorry for the confusion!

      Thanks for reading

    • profile image

      Carole Martin 

      9 years ago

      Hmmm ... when was the last time you saw Paul Anthony's show? We had him at our company party recently (2009) and he was fantastic. There was absolutely nothing "humiliating" in the way the volunteers were treated or in the scenarios he orchestrated and in the way they responded. You must have him confused with someone else, or saw his show many many years ago before he cracked the corporate market.

    • Katelyn Weel profile imageAUTHOR

      Katelyn Weel 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Well, he invented psychoanalysis, which is more or less the same thing. Apparently he sucked at it though, because he didn't think much of the subconscious. For hypnosis to work you have to kind of believe that the subconscious mind is more than primitive sexual impulses and aggression.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Interesting subject and hub. I wonder if Freud was ever hypnotized....

    • Katelyn Weel profile imageAUTHOR

      Katelyn Weel 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for the comment, Lady_E. I agree, I'll enjoy watching it happen to someone else, but you'll never catch me up there!

    • Lady_E profile image


      9 years ago from London, UK

      A very insightful article and I have learnt a lot. It can be used positively, but it looks like some people abuse it.

      Many thanks for writing a Hub in response to my Question in Q & A. I will definitely not volunteer to be hypnotized on a show and will start reading about Self Hypnosis.

      Best Wishes :)

    • Katelyn Weel profile imageAUTHOR

      Katelyn Weel 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi Creativeone, thanks for reading and commenting

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 

      9 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you for a very interesting hub on hypnotizing, thank you for sharing it. creatvieone59


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