I can’t answer your questions about life, but I can answer most of your questions about hypnosis! Let’s get started! I’ve listed a few of the common questions that people have with brief explanations. If you have any others that I may have overlooked, head over to the contact page. I’m happy to hear from you!
Question 1: What is Hypnosis?
Question 2: What is the subconscious part of our mind?
Question 3: Who can be hypnotized?
Question 4: What is Waking Hypnosis?
Question 5: Will I remember things that happen during hypnosis?
Question 6: Can I get stuck in hypnosis?
Question 7: Will I tell my darkest secrets in hypnosis?
Question 8: Can I hear other things going on in the room while I am hypnotized?
Question 9: Can you make me do something I don’t want to do?
Question 10: During a show, how long will it feel like I’ve been under?

Question 1: What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a very focused state of concentration. Many people think a hypnotized person is asleep because of the visible relaxation but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. As a person goes deeper and deeper into hypnosis the concentration gets more and more pronounced and the person focuses more and more on the hypnotist, or something else the hypnotist may direct them toward such as an object on stage or something imagined. A person can be very active while hypnotized! (e.g. stage hypnosis)

Question 2: What is the subconscious part of our mind?
Our subconscious mind is like a computer. Once it is programmed it works on its own. (e.g. walking and chewing gum) In order to change the activity and the habits, you must change the program. The hypnotist is successful to the degree he can temporarily change the program (i.e. stage hypnosis) or help a client permanently affect the program (i.e hypnotherapy). In all cases, the person must want to by hypnotized (and change)

Question 3: Who can be hypnotized?
The truth is that anyone can be hypnotized. In fact, we are all hypnotized every day as part of our ordinary routines. The requirements to achieve a hypnotic state are the ability to concentrate and follow simple instructions. Children (e.g. < 13 years old) can be hypnotized but different techniques are typically used to match their abilities to concentrate.
Yes, even people with ADHD can be hypnotized. If you have a child with ADHD, I’m sure you’ve seen how focused they can become while reading a book or playing a video game. That concentration is very similar or identical to that required for hypnosis. Skilled hypnotherapists will use techniques to achieve such deep concentration.
“I’m too smart to be hypnotized!” – No, you’re not. Those most easily hypnotized are those that are intelligent with a good ability to concentrate. Recall when you studied for school or read a good book. As you concentrated more and more on the words, it was as if the room around you faded away.

Question 4: What is waking hypnosis?
Waking hypnosis is what we experience daily. Our mind is wandering to some particular thought while our body, hands, feet are doing something unrelated. Common examples are:
  • Driving a car and not remembering the last few streets that you passed
  • Watching television and ignoring outside voices etc.
  • Playing catch while having a conversation

Question 5: Will I remember things that happen during hypnosis?
YES: You will remember anything you wish to remember and forget anything you wish to forget. Sometimes hypnotists tell clients and stage volunteers to forget things that happened to them. The primary reason for doing this is to convince the person they were actually hypnotized. (more on convincers in another article!) But if something significant happens while you are hypnotized, your conscious mind will be aware of it when you are awakened.
Because hypnosis is basically a long daydream, you may naturally forget what happened in the same way you sometimes forget the details of a familiar drive home. “Hey, how did I get to my neighborhood? I don’t even remember stopping for that stop sign back there!”

Question 6: Can I get stuck in hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a state of awareness and a state of total concentration. It takes a great deal of effort to concentrate intently. It is physically impossible to keep that concentration up for a very long time.

Question 7: Will I tell you something I don’t want to tell you about my past?
You will not reveal anything to me that you don’t wish to reveal.
In hypnosis you always retain the freedom of choice.

Question 8: Can I hear other things going on in the room while I am hypnotized?
Many hypnotic subjects will hear every sound that is going on since hypnosis is a heightened state of consciousness. Other people will only hear my voice. They will tune out the normal sounds going on around them.

Question 9: Can you make me do something I don’t want to do?
No. You always do what you wish to do. I may ask you to do 10 things and you only do 8. You may do all 10 things. You determine how deeply and to what degree you will be hypnotized. A hypnotist cannot make you violate your morals, ethics, or beliefs. Routinely you’ll see a person who doesn’t drink or smoke turn down a pretend alcoholic drink or cigarette in a show. Oftentimes this actually makes the show funnier and truly demonstrates the depth of a person’s hypnosis.

Question 10: During a show, how long will it feel like I’ve been under?
This answer varies with different people. We experience time distortion (dilation or contraction) during hypnosis most often. Time dilations means that it feels like you’ve been hypnotized for much longer than you really have. Your body is very relaxed and refreshed when you emerge from hypnosis as though you took a short nap and this often makes us think we’ve been under longer than we really have.
With other people, they feel like it’s been a very short time with a similar feeling to when we sleep naturally. When we lay in bed and sleep, we are unaware of the passage of time. Hypnosis can feel similar to some people.
A typical comedy hypnosis show is approximately 1 to 1-1/2 hours depending on the number of volunteers. A typical hypnosis therapy session is about 45 minutes depending on the purpose of the session.