Have you ever been hypnotized?
June 22, 2005 8:40 PM   Subscribe

This falls under CuriosityFilter, rather than being a pressing personal issue, but I am genuinely curious about MeFite experiences.

Actually went home to teach a class on hypnosis at my old high school, but since results vary so radically (especially from therapy to police use to stage show) I'd like to know: who here has been hypnotized (if you know) and what were the results? What were you trying to achieve? Or did it not work?
posted by dreamsign to Grab Bag (14 answers total)
Well, hell, that went poorly. Didn't occur to me, even after preview, that the title would show only in the thread while I hadn't properly identified the topic until the inside of the post. Argh. Well, that will make for a good deal of confusion. Sorry, folks.
posted by dreamsign at 8:42 PM on June 22, 2005

Admins, feel free to delete and I'll repost another time, properly...
posted by dreamsign at 8:42 PM on June 22, 2005

I am a hypnotist. I don't practice professionally, but I have both hypnotized and been hypnotized many, many times. When working on myself I have accomplished a variety of things, including weight loss, pain control, elimination of depression, and a number of other changes relating to self-image and state of mind that I choose not to elaborate on here.

I am, obviously, an advocate of the process. I will also note that it's a profession with an appallingly low barrier to entry, and many hypnotists are poorly trained and of questionable competence. Even those get a certain degree of success in some areas, just because it's fairly difficult to screw up once you learn a few basic techniques, but I would nevertheless recommend choosing your hypnotist carefully.
posted by bac at 8:55 PM on June 22, 2005 [1 favorite]

About 20 years ago I was reading a lot about self-hypnosis, NLP, meditation, etc. and sort of created my own mish-mash of techniques. Basically I'd get myself into a relaxed state that felt trancelike to me and then I'd ask some inner part of me for help. In my one successful experience it was help to quit smoking. "I really need to quit smoking, it's bad for me, will you help me to quit smoking" I got a yes, (duh). The next day when I lit up after dinner I got violently ill, spent the night throwing up periodically & never smoked again. Even the thought of smoking made me feel queasy for months. Whether this was truly a result of self-hypnosis or coincidental food poisoning, I'm not sure, but whatever, I'll take it. Unfortunately the technique hasn't worked for anything else.
posted by BoscosMom at 8:58 PM on June 22, 2005

my previous answer.

I was amazed at the effect it had on me.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:01 PM on June 22, 2005

Learned self- hypnosis as a teenager because of chronic headaches. Worked well, but the most amazing experience was once when I had a vicious toothache (abscessed) I hypnotized myself into believing the pain was pressure, and the pressure was easing up and finally was gone. Even as it was happening, I couldn't believe it. I used to describe it to people as having a conversation within myself and paying very close attention. I can't do it anymore.
posted by puddinghead at 9:20 PM on June 22, 2005 [1 favorite]

I was taken to a hypnotherapist for my migranes. I was skeptical, but tried my best.

I don't remember more than half of the sessions, but I "came to" feeling refreshed but not at all groggy. It hasn't removed my migranes, but has helped me deal with them -- and not tensing up to fuel them .

The "reinforcement tapes" of the hypotist guy did nothing for me and the effectiveness seems to have "worn off" over the years.
posted by Gucky at 10:23 PM on June 22, 2005

I've been hypnotised on stage twice. Both times I woke myself up when I thought "I'm not going to do that!". So, did it work or didn't it?

Well, I'm sure some people who are convinced that a hypnotic suggestion is irresistable think I wasn't hypnotised, but I'm pretty sure I was. It took a definite deliberate effort to wake up, but not an effort that I could ever imagine being insurmountable, if you see what I mean. Sort of like having to push a wheelbarrow over a bump in a road. A bit of a shove and you're there.
posted by edd at 1:12 AM on June 23, 2005

I asked this a while ago: http://ask.metafilter.com/mefi/12657
posted by borkingchikapa at 4:31 AM on June 23, 2005

A hypnotists tried to hypnotise me on stage, but it didn't worked. Worked well on other people tho.
posted by stray at 5:44 AM on June 23, 2005

Ah, noted, borkingchikapa -- I ran a search to no avail.

I've heard a theory, mark-as-best, that a person can be convinced to do anything, so long as perception of the circumstances is sufficiently tweaked. Interesting that so many here have experiences with self-hypnosis. Not something I've tried.
posted by dreamsign at 5:46 AM on June 23, 2005

bac, how would you suggest one evaluate whether a given hypnotherapist is legit or not? Is there a professional association? Good schools to look for? Tell-tale signs that someone isn't doing things right?
posted by anastasiav at 8:39 AM on June 23, 2005

I would look for somebody trained/certified by the Society of Applied Hypnosis or the Omni Hypnosis Training Center. There are other good schools, but those are two I know well and trust.

A good heuristic is to ask "From the time you begin the induction, how long does it take a typical first-time client of yours to achieve somnambulism?" If they don't recognize the word "somnambulism" or give an answer of longer than 3-5 minutes (shorter is better), they probably have missed out on the last fifty years of developments in the field and I would recommend avoiding them.
posted by bac at 9:14 AM on June 23, 2005

The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis is an accrediting organization, and also has some answers to the question about finding a reputable hypnotist, and links to other organizations.
posted by jasper411 at 10:43 AM on June 23, 2005

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