May 2008

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Jake Rhodes

Hypnosis can be an incredibly powerful tool in helping you achieve whatever you want to do.

At we have several free hypnosis mp3's which can help you decide if hypnosis is for you without having to risk a large sum of money.


Learning to utilize one's own subconscious mind (in a conscious way) can be a very powerful tool for self-change. Self-Hypnosis helps to integrate and focus both the conscious and subconscious levels of the mind at the same time--creating an optimal state of mind for effective change. Great post, Scott


Great hypnosis article! I have found hypnosis a great help in my own life :) I got a giggle out of this!

Milos Pesic

I really enjoyed this post, though it took me a couple of hours to go through it :)

Watch the master perform...


Richard Blumenthal, MS, NCC, LMHC

Just a word about suggestibility. I'm not sure when you studied hypnosis, but there's a lot of science to understanding it nowadays. With the advent of brain imaging, activity in the brain of the hypnotized person can be fairly well identified. What appears to happen is not so much that imagination is enhanced, but that the critical thinking part of the brain is placed at rest. It yields a sort of infantile state of mind, like when you completely believed and lived by whatever your trusted infancy caregiver communicated to you, without question. Admittedly, it's kind of easy to confuse the hypnotic state with imagination because hypnotic induction often uses imagination. There are other methods of induction, though, that use little or no imagination. When it comes to hypnotic suggestions themselves, they can even be simple commands with no scenario per se. By the way, animals can be induced into an extremely relaxed state and offered the ealiest form of stage hypnosis for entertainment. I give a fuller explanation of hypnosis here

sharon fisher

I really enjoy hypnosis though the standard eye fixation progressive relaxation technique you describe here doesn't work well with me. With other techniques, though, I can be a "lucky bastard."

And good heavens, what's with this "That's so long!" complaints? What's the matter, people? Your lips get tired? (Scott, did you ever imagine you'd hear people say "That's so long!" and think it *wasn't* a compliment? :) )


Very interesting but I disagree about the people participating in a stage show being the ones with the phenomena, as you put it. Every stage show I've been to, 90 to 95% that volunteer to go on stage, and in some cases, run to get on stage, stay there for the entire show and are deeply hypnotized and all of them act on the hypnotist's suggestions. So this means that a very high percentage of people "have the phenomena', much more than 1 in 5. Unfortunately, I have been one of those who have been very eager to volunteer and unfortunately, despite wanting it to happen to me, I have been unaffected each time. Hypnosis is something I badly want to experience because I am so curious about it and after seeing it done to others, I can't seem to function well for the next day or two because all I think about is "Why didn't it happen to me" and "What are those people really experiencing?". It really eats at me. I've also watched internet videos and listened to audio on the internet and nothing has ever happened. I can easily unlock my hands, my arm doesn't float, etc. etc. The only thing I haven't tried is a one on one session, but I finally have one scheduled very soon, so we will see if I truly can be hypnotized. I've noticed that there is some different opinions on whether or not everyone can be hypnotized. You say that everyone can. I saw a program on tv where a hypnotherapist from Montreal said that 10 to 12% of people cannot be hypnotized at all, period (his words). When I called the Ontario Hypnosis Clinic, the gentleman I spoke with on the phone told me that 1% of people can't be hypnotized, and another hypnotist agreed with you. So there are some disagreements among professionals, right. I can assume we just don't know the truth. I am really hoping some day soon to finally experience hypnosis. Not knowing what it's like is killing me!!!


damn, i was just falling asleep while reading your post... creepy dude!


The process described is incredibly similar to the technique of 'Yoganidra' that people practising Yoga can use for relaxation. The way relaxation is achieved as described by you is very similar to 'Shavasana', or the 'corpse posture'- this is done lying down on your back, however. I have never been hypnotised before, but I feel that the some of the methods followed in Yoga are similar, if not the same, to hypnotism. But of course, this is only a small part of Yoga, and there is much more to it than what you have described under hypnotism.


Well, about your assertion that you've never known anyone who didn't enjoy the experience of being hypnotized, meet my wife.

Some years ago, her therapist thought it would be helpful to hypnotize her, to help her get past some stuff in her past. I don't know what was triggered, but when they got into a third-grade memory, my wife completely dissociated. And stayed that way, out of hypnosis, for a couple of days. I mean, she didn't even know where she worked, or a bunch of other stuff, for days.

Ever since this experience, I've looked at hypnosis as misunderstood, and potentially dangerous.


About hypnosis helping with dates is really really true.

Weirdly, on few occasions just mentioning some interest in hypnosis has some insecure women hanging on your words as if they already chose to be hypnotized, while you really haven't done anything yet to make it happen.. or I'm that good looking, who knows..


good article. thank's.


You are Damn good.I am not even getting words for my comment on this post.How could you put it so beautifully about a topic like hypnosis.


This sounds like a great tool for helping to treat autism; being hypnotised with more obvious benefits, and acting as the hypnotist to teach slightly less severe cases how to observe and note expressions and other nonvocal communication. Has any research been done in this area?

Johnny Ouais

Hey Scott, guess what?!

Assuming that "Never lie to a trained hypnotist." is true for you.

Then you might be UNBEATABLE in a Poker tournament!!!


With money, who cares about charms to help dating.


No offense but u called yur mom a lucky bastard! :D


One of your umpteen mentions of being a certified hypnotist got me to searching around the net, and becoming a certified hypnotist. I don't know if this makes me the first member of the Scott Adams hypnosis cult. I'm sure there are others.

It was really surprising how different the process works from how pop culture leads you to believe it would. But work it does. I'm not in practice, but I've hypnotized a few co-workers and the hardest part is keeping from shaking your head and exclaiming, "Holy cow! It really works!" Which is why, yeah, I don't think a book can make you a hypnotist. Until you've seen someone go under, then done it yourself, it is all just a show. Then, it's something else.

One note for anybody still visiting: In the course I took, a big theme was that hypnotizing people is easy; it's figuring out what to do with them once they're under that's hard - and the difference between hypnotism and hypnotherapy. If you want to astound your friends and help aspiring non-smokers make it over the last hump, a short hypnotism course is great. But if you want to do more than that, you'd best prepare for serious long-term study: while a hypnotist can't take over an unwilling subject, he or she could screw up someone who's decided willingly to entrust his or her mental health with another person, same as with any other therapist.


Thank you, I enjoyed this post thoroughly.


That was a fascinating read. Thanks for sharing it, Scott.


Perhaps your extensive knowledge of the human mind can help me with a problem I'm having.. I hope you're willing.

A few years ago I ate a whole lot of acid and had a REALLY bad trip. After that, I wasn't myself. I began to have panic attacks, I was nervous all the time, jumpy. I lost all self confidence. People around me noticed too, I just wasn't me. A few months go by (almost a year) and I was terrified of acid. I hadn't touched it. I succumbed to peer pressure and tripped again. This time was good. I had an enjoyable time..and the next morning I woke up my good old self. Cool, calm, collected. No more anxiety, no more nervousness. It was the strangest thing.

I didn't learn my lesson. I spent the next several months doing lots of drugs..until last halloween. I did a hole bunch of acid that I'd never done before and had the worst experience of my life. Thank god I called the police on myself because if I didn't leave in an ambulance I think I most certainly would've died. ((I vaguely remember someone telling me I was close in the ambulance)). Since then I've been anxious again. I get panic attacks. I'm nervous, no self confidence.

Now.. I HAVE learned my lesson. I am TERRIFIED of drugs. I will never touch them again. It's unfortunate that it took something so drastic to set me straight, but it finally happened.

So I guess my question for you is if you've ever heard of anything like this, and could suggest something. My first reaction is to just trip again because that's what fixed me before. But I'm terrified and won't do it..but I want to be myself again. Does this make any sense?


My shrink (a psychologist) uses hypnosis - and it's great! We started off using it for relaxation and help with anxiety, and it was so successful that now we use it to help me with my sport, motorcycle racing. I just won for the first time yesterday! When done on stage in front of an audience, it seems to be some sort of hoax or carnival side show trick, but when done by a trained mental health professional, it's anything but. It's a very powerful tool for focusing and training your mind, and you would never do something that was suggested under hypnosis that you weren't already open to.

Adrian D.

"My cousin remembered a trip to Austria she took with her parents as a little child. She remembered this under hypnosis, and of course if it were a memory that was 'planted' there by the hypnotist then the illusion of 'remembering' it would only last until her parents told her that they had never been to Austria."

Incorrect. False memories can be so vivid that the subject would decide her parents were lying to her. I have read about instances where people continued to "remember" events that were established as inconsistent with the physical evidence. There have been studies (from what I have read) that induced memories seem very real.

"A trained hypnotist can ..."

I have not heard of any study that backs this claim.


[You can’t hypnotize someone to kill himself, because he would reject that suggestion.]

But for the really susceptible people, couldn't you hypnotize them to believe that a suicidal action action is safe? Maybe convince them that they are bulletproof or can fly? That there is a bridge over this hole here? That the bottle of bleach under the sink is a delicious ice cream?


Scott, you write like someone that has an inmense confidence in yourself. You write about the inners of what makes you a great cartoonist. You open your heart to your readers in this blog, or at least is seams like. I believe only really great people can do this. Congratulations.

Donald Patterson

I am a certified instructor with the National Guild of Hypnotists. You say that you only completed the basic course, but your knowledge of the subject is VERY extensive. It's refreshing to have someone present such a balanced, accurate article on hypnosis. I like your induction. Do you ever use the Elman induction?
or how about instant inductions?

Keep up the good work!
Donald Patterson

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