3 Things Hypnosis Cannot Do, a Million Things

7 min read
3 things hypnosis cannot do

While these are 3 things hypnosis cannot do, there are plenty of things it can help accomplish. If you want to lose weight, ...

Hypnosis has long been a subject of fascination and intrigue, often shrouded in mystery and misconceptions. While it has been utilized for various purposes, from entertainment to therapeutic interventions, there are certain limitations and boundaries that must be recognized.

In this article, we delve into three key aspects of hypnosis that shed light on what this practice cannot achieve. By understanding these constraints, we can gain a deeper insight into the true nature of hypnosis and its applications.

You’ve woken up ready to change your life. You want to kick the habit, challenge the pain, or shift those negative thought patterns. Today is the day you’re going to try hypnosis—but you aren’t sure if it will work for you. 

Everyone is capable of experiencing hypnosis, and the mental and physical benefits are endless. Even so, there are 3 things hypnosis cannot do, no matter how skilled the hypnotherapist or suggestible the mind. Entering the process with realistic expectations and a willingness to change is key to making hypnotherapy work for you.  

We’ve described and debunked three of the most common hypnosis myths below. Read on to learn the limits of this powerful therapeutic modality so you can begin to reap the life-changing benefits. 

Introduction to Hypnosis

Are you feeling sleepy? Just kidding! Hypnosis is a fascinating state of focused attention and heightened suggestibility, often used for therapeutic purposes or entertainment. Let’s dive into what hypnosis is all about.

Defining Hypnosis

Simply put, hypnosis is a trance-like state where a person’s attention is intensely focused, allowing them to be more open to suggestions. It’s like being in a daydream, where you’re highly relaxed and receptive to positive changes.

It can be helpful to understand what hypnotism is before deconstructing what it can’t do.  

In essence, hypnosis works by harnessing the power of hyper suggestion. You will enter a relaxed “trance” state, freeing you to focus on your thoughts and actions. In this hypnotic state, your mind will be more open to suggestions, allowing you to actively choose to change your habits, behavior, or thought patterns.  

Many people wonder, “Why can’t I be hypnotized?” In truth, everyone is capable of entering such a state. If you’ve ever experienced immersion while reading a book or watching a film, you’ve been in a suggestible state! 

A Brief History of Hypnosis

Hypnosis has a long and colorful history, dating back to ancient civilizations. From Mesmer and his mesmerism to modern hypnotherapy techniques, hypnosis has evolved over the centuries into a respected tool for personal development and behavior change.

Hypnosis Cannot Cure Serious Illnesses

You might have seen a popular movie like Man on the Moon, about the life and death of comedian Andy Kaufman. In the film, he receives psychic surgery from a practitioner in the Philippines. Ultimately, it’s proven to be a hoax, and the power of suggestion is not enough to cure Kaufman’s cancer.

There are many positive benefits of hypnosis. Even so, it is not a cure for physical or terminal illnesses. Unfortunately, your will alone is not enough to evict disease or tumorous growths from the body.

Limitations of Hypnosis

While hypnosis is a powerful tool, there are certain things it cannot do. Let’s explore the boundaries of hypnosis and what it can’t achieve.

Hypnosis and Physical Health

That’s not to say that there is no link between hypnosis and health. For example, we’ve seen fantastic results in clients seeking help with smoking cessation. Individuals with years-long smoking habits have gone on to live healthier lives without the influence of nicotine addiction and its side effects.

Hypnosis can also be a tool for those who need help pursuing weight loss for health reasons. A hypnotist can use the power of suggestion to help you make positive dietary choices. It can be the boost clients need to lose weight and lead a significantly healthier lifestyle.

Obesity and smoking are both linked to long-term negative health consequences. While hypnosis can’t cure your disease, it can be an effective preventative measure. If you stop smoking or lose weight before you experience health effects, you won’t need to worry about a cure!

Physical Limitations

Despite what you may have seen in movies, hypnosis cannot make you do something against your will or go against your morals. You won’t suddenly start clucking like a chicken or rob a bank under hypnosis. Your ethical compass remains intact.

Hypnosis and Mental Health

Hypnosis is often effective in patients with chronic pain. A hypnotherapist can help patients rewire their comprehension of and reaction to physical sensations in the body. While it won’t cure the underlying illness, it can provide relief.

Individuals who experience mental illness also find relief from hypnotherapy. Clients with depression and anxiety have improved their quality of life by addressing their behavior and mental state during sessions. We recommend that individuals with diagnosed conditions continue to work with their psychiatric practitioners for the best results.

Mental and Emotional Limitations

Hypnosis is not a magic wand that can erase all your mental and emotional issues in one session. While it can be a helpful tool for managing stress, anxiety, and phobias, it’s not a cure-all for deep-seated psychological issues that may require a more comprehensive approach.

Hypnosis Cannot Force Behavior 

Many people have their first experience with hypnosis in a theatre. A performer, calling themselves a hypnotist, calls a group of willing participants up on stage. For an hour or two, they perform ridiculous stunts, tell deep secrets, eat raw onions, and do celebrity impersonations.

If that is your only exposure to hypnosis, we understand why you’d have concerns! From your seat in the mezzanine, hypnosis probably looks a lot like mind control.

We assure you that there is no such thing as mind control, even in a deep trance state. Your conscious mind is always present, even under deep hypnosis, and will reject suggestions that don’t make sense.

Understanding the Boundaries of Hypnosis

It’s crucial to have realistic expectations when it comes to hypnosis. Understanding its limitations can help you make the most out of this tool for personal growth and self-improvement.

Hypnosis Creates Control

During sessions, you will be in control of your mind and body at all times. There will never be a moment when you’re “lost” or “stuck in a trance.”

While you will be very relaxed and may not remember everything, you will not lose your memory. Free will is a constant, and you will never do or say anything you don’t want to.

With that said, hypnosis is not a magic wand. If you begin hypnotherapy to lose weight or quit smoking, you must want those things. Hypnosis works best when you are eager to change your habits but need additional support.

Debunking Misconceptions about Hypnosis

Let’s set the record straight on some common misconceptions about hypnosis that have been perpetuated by pop culture and myths.

Hypnosis Cannot Change Your Personality 

One of the most pervasive myths about hypnosis is that it can change your personality without your consent. That is not how hypnosis works.

The person you think of as your “self” is a unique combination of genetic material and life experience. While we can alter the things you do with hyper suggestion, hypnotherapy cannot fundamentally change who you are. It can, however, provide you with a more solid understanding of yourself.

Hypnosis as Mind Control

Contrary to popular belief, hypnosis cannot control your mind or make you do anything you wouldn’t do in a fully conscious state. You’re always in control during hypnosis and can reject any suggestions that go against your values or beliefs.

The Trance State 

A hypnotic trance is a heightened state of awareness, not a diminished one. When put into a hypnotic state, you will become intimately acquainted with your thoughts and habits. It’s the awareness that leads to change.

You will always leave a hypnosis session with the same morals you had when you started. Your conscious mind will never allow you to blindly accept suggestions, especially if they don’t make sense. The most skilled hypnotist on earth could not force a moral individual to commit a crime, for example.

Some clients find they’re more open to discussion while in a trance state. They might notice or mention something about their thoughts that wasn’t obvious before. Candor during sessions is due to relaxation and hyperfocus, not coercion or personality changes.

Hypnosis as Truth Serum

While hypnosis can enhance recall and help you access buried memories, it’s not a guaranteed truth serum. Memory is fallible, and suggestions made during hypnosis can influence the information retrieved. It’s important to approach hypnosis as a tool for self-discovery rather than a foolproof way to uncover the truth.

Things Hypnosis Cannot Do, a Million Things It Can 

Hypnosis cannot cure your disease or mental illness and can’t force you to do anything you don’t already want to do. While these are 3 things hypnosis cannot do, there are plenty of things it can help accomplish. If you want to lose weight, quit smoking, or conquer anxiety, it’s a powerful tool for suggestible individuals.

Hypnotist Janet Goldman with Health by Hypnosis is eager to help you achieve your goals. She offers many types of hypnosis, ranging from stress reduction to hypnotherapy. Schedule your first appointment and see the power of suggestion for yourself. 

Medical Conditions

Despite its intriguing allure, hypnosis isn’t a magical cure-all for medical conditions. While it may assist in managing some symptoms or improving overall well-being, it’s crucial to recognize its limitations. Hypnosis cannot miraculously heal physical ailments such as broken bones, cancer, or infectious diseases. Always consult with medical professionals for appropriate treatment of such conditions.

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