Fact vs. fiction: Busting 6 popular myths about hypnosis
Although hypnosis is slowly becoming more accepted in traditional medical practices, many myths about hypnosis persist. Here, we separate reality from falsehoods.
Myth: Everyone can be hypnotized
Not everyone can be hypnotized. One study suggests that about 10 percent of the population is highly hypnotizable. Although it’s possible that the rest of the population could be hypnotized, they’re less likely to be receptive to the practice.
Myth: People aren’t in control of their body when they’re hypnotized
You’re absolutely in control of your body during hypnosis. Despite what you see with stage hypnosis, you’ll remain aware of what you’re doing and what’s being asked of you. If you don’t want to do something you’re asked to do under hypnosis, you won’t do it.
Myth: Hypnosis is the same thing as sleep
You may look like you’re sleeping, but you’re awake during hypnosis. You’re just in a deeply relaxed state. Your muscles will become limp, your breathing rate will slow, and you may become drowsy.
Myth: People can’t lie when they’re hypnotized
Hypnotism isn’t a truth serum. Although you’re more open to suggestion during hypnotism, you still have free will and moral judgment. No one can make you say anything — lie or not — that you don’t want to say.
Myth: You can be hypnotized over the INTERNET
Many smartphone apps and Internet videos promote self-hypnosis, but they’re likely ineffective.
Researchers in one 2013 review – Trusted Source found that these tools typically aren’t created by a certified hypnotist or hypnosis organization. For that reason, doctors and hypnotists advise against using these.
Probably a myth: Hypnosis can help you “uncover” lost memories
Although it may be possible to retrieve memories during hypnosis, you may be more likely to create false memories while in a trance-like state. Because of this, many hypnotists remain skeptical about using hypnosis for memory retrieval.
The bottom line
Hypnosis carries the stereotypes of stage performances, complete with clucking chickens and daring dancers.
However, hypnosis is a genuine therapeutic tool, and it can be used as an alternative medical treatment for several conditions. This includes insomnia, depression, and pain management.