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Are Stage Acts Discrediting Hypnotism?



Hypnotism has been around for hundreds of years but is only recently being classed as a viable option for curing things such as phobias and helping to be to break bad habits like smoking and overeating. Obviously there are still plenty of skeptics to this form of holistic treatment but their point of view is not being helped by the stage shows that tour up and down the country.

As science begins to take hypnotherapy seriously and has taken more time to explore what it is capable of, are these stage hypnotists discrediting what could become a valued form of treatment by constantly reinforcing people’s opinions that it is nothing more than an act?

The Lure Of The Stage

The lure of these stage hypnotist shows is obvious. They are often great nights out and a bit of light entertainment where everybody gets to share in the occasion. However, are the people that are making their living this way damaging the reputation of the people that are using hypnotism in a more helpful manner?

When we go and see one of these shows, the smoke and mirrors and the overacting of the hypnotist usually help to make up our mind that this is nothing more than a way of poking fun at people as they walk around like a chicken when hearing a bell or become convinced that they are in love with an invisible dog.

These shows are great for what they are, a piece of light-hearted fun but hypnotism has many more functions than just making people laugh. It’s not a mystical art like it is made out to be and there are no special powers involved like these hypnotists like to believe there is.

A Viable Option

Hypnotherapy is quickly becoming a more mainstream form of treatment and it is important that people begin to take it seriously if it is going to continue its progress. Proven results have shown that it can be much more effective than will power for things such as losing weight and curing insomnia, and hypnotherapy for smoking has also increased due to its prolonged success. It has also been known to help a patient get over their phobia in just one session as opposed to the long period of time it could take using other methods.

Scientists have recently conducted experiments that involved people having their brains scanned while they were under hypnosis. This brought about results to help prove its legitimacy and which may stop people regarding it as something they only want to see on a stage.

It was discovered that the brain movements happening when the person was hypnotized were totally different to ones that they would expect to see if the person was merely ‘going along with it’. This could help to prove that hypnotism really does take someone to a different state and is an effective way of accessing the subconscious.

Obviously stage hypnotists are very good at what they do and they should be able to continue entertaining large groups of people at their volunteers’ expense. Everybody loves to see that. But this shouldn’t be used to fuel an opinion that is ignorant of the healing functions of such an important form of treatment.