Stage Hypnosis: How do they get people to do those crazy things?

Have you ever seen a stage hypnosis show? The hypnotist has volunteers up on stage acting silly, dancing and singing (impersonating famous singers), believing they have won the lottery or that they’re stuck to the chair, etc. How does the hypnotist get them to do those crazy things? 

You can’t make anyone do what they don’t want to do while in hypnosis. This is a myth that originated from and is perpetuated by stage hypnosis shows. The reality is that those volunteers are doing what they want to do, not what they don’t want to do.

Everyone knows that a stage show is for the purpose of entertainment. Usually the people who volunteer are those who like to act silly or to be the center of attention. We all have a wild side, so even if someone more reserved volunteers, when they’re on stage and relaxed that part of them comes out. There is also the phenomenon of crowd psychology: humans like to follow the pack. If everyone else is doing it (or if it’s expected of them) they will feel persuaded to follow along.

You may be thinking that YOU would never do those things in front of an audience. If you are right, then a hypnotist would never choose you to stay on stage (chances are you wouldn’t volunteer in the first place.) After hypnotizing the volunteers, the hypnotist does a series of tests to see who will comply with what he or she suggests will happen. He/she sends back to their seats those who do not comply. The others are using their imagination and having fun.

This is not to say that none of the volunteers are hypnotized. The ones still onstage are in at least in a light trance. A deep state of hypnosis is not necessary for them to enjoy what they’re doing.  As for the people sent back to their seats, they may have been hypnotized but not wanted to do the things suggested to them, or they might not have been hypnotized enough at that moment to add to a great show.

If this happened to you know that this doesn’t mean that you can’t be hypnotized. Everyone of normal intelligence can be hypnotized. We all go in and out of hypnosis every day. Hypnotherapy could still help you make incredible changes in your life. The hypnotherapist uses your suggestions. It’s the most powerful way to get you to do what you want to do and it’s the fastest way to learn or unlearn something. It’s also very relaxing–try it sometime!