Hypnosis is becoming mainstream. The days of carnival sideshows and hypnotism for entertainment are nearly gone, while seminars encouraging the use of hypnosis for self-improvement, smoking cessation and weight loss are increasingly popular.
Throughout the years, hypnosis has been used in dentistry and in medicine, where it is noted for its use in brain surgeries (where anesthesia could be dangerous) and in the field at wartime. In 1981, self-hypnosis was introduced to the national school curriculum in Sweden. In 1993, New Scientist reported that the largest survey ever recorded of stopping smoking methods, spanning several continents, found that hypnotism exceeded other methods in successfully helping smokers end the habit.
The Executive Committee of the American Psychological Association (Division of Psychological Hypnosis) explains that “contrary to some depictions of hypnosis in books, movies or on television, people who have been hypnotized do not lose control over their behavior. They typically remain aware of who they are and where they are, and unless amnesia has been specifically suggested, they usually remember what transpired…hypnosis makes it easier for people to experience suggestions, but it does not force them to have these experiences.”
According to Alexander Goen, licensed hypnotherapist and CEO of Goen Seminars, Inc., a leader in hypnosis seminars that help people stop smoking and lose weight, “Studies reveal that hypnosis is very effective against smoking, overeating, stress, and personal challenges such as procrastination, low self esteem and poor memory. It helps to remove emotional triggers that set off our bad habits. We all have a critical/analytical process that our conscious minds use to screen ideas. When the conscious mind accepts a message, it puts it away and saves it, much like a file drawer. A professional hypnotist can help you choose the right words and phrasing to get past the critical/analytical screen and into the subconscious, helping you achieve your goal.
Well-known subjects of hypnotism include Kevin Costner, Mark Knopfler, Henry Ford, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Wolfgang Mozart, Benjamin Franklin, and Sigmund Freud.
There are accounts of hypnotism in the Bible, the Talmud and the Hindu Vedas. In fact, the name ‘hypnotism’ is derived from the Greek ‘hypnos’ for sleep. Hypnosis, however, is not sleep, but a state of intense relaxation and concentration when the subconscious is better able to absorb information, similar to a daydream. Many people are unable to tell that they have been in a hypnotic state, it is such a natural and comfortable feeling.