Important: Before you are hypnotized--

People often have difficulty being hypnotized because of pre-conceptions they have.

* For example, the hypnotist does not control you. If you read some of the other articles here, you will see examples of that.

* Secondly, there is usually no "feeling" connected with hypnosis. It's not like getting high on alcohol or a drug. Normally a person feels like they were simply sitting there and listening. They can hear everything going on around them. Maybe 10% say they felt differently. A few say they felt heavier, and a few say they felt lighter.

* A person doesn't need to "try" to be hypnotized. All s/he has to do is to just listen, and "let it happen" on its own.

* When a hypnotic suggestion works, a person doesn't feel like anything is making him/her do it. S/He just feels like s/he just decided to do it. That is normal.

* There is no special type of person who can be hypnotized. Some people who are mentally retarded, or mentally ill such as schizophrenic, can't be hypnotized. Hypnotism isn't fooling a person, or tricking him. Being hypnotized does not mean you are weak-willed. You do the hypnotizing, simply by cooperating with the hypnotist. You can change your mind any time you want. See "Stories of Hypnotism" for examples.

* You can't get "locked in" to hypnosis. The California legislature appointed investigators to track down stories of that happening, but could not locate their origins. They were just "urban legends." If you were hypnotized, and for some reason the hypnotist just left, eventually you would simply awaken, as if from a nap.

* Hypnosis is not something "wierd" or mystical. It is natural. You are hypnotized several times a day, including just before you fall asleep, and just after you wake up. If you are driving and on "automatic pilot," and do not remember some places you passed, and maybe even miss your exit, you were hypnotized then.

If you are concentrating on something you are doing, and are startled when somebody approaches you or you don't hear them speaking to you at first, you are hypnotized at that moment. If you wake up in the middle of the night and your hands are numb, you are hypnotized (and might as well as give yourself some constructive suggestions.)

Hypnosis is perfectly normal. If nature had not created you to make it possible, it would not be possible.

* Do not confuse clinical hypnotism with entertainment hypnotism. The stage hypnotist makes it look like magic. It is not magic, or anything close to it.

With clinical hypnotism, a problem is nudged in a direction until you reach your goal. You should expect some movement toward your goal each time, but completely losing the problem after one session is rare. All hypnotic subjects are different from one another. One may make greater progress than another in a given length of time. It is typical that smoking takes a half dozen sessions, and weight reduction takes more.

* Any hypnotist who guarantees success in one session is pulling your leg. Often the "guarantee" is a free session the next time he is in town. But that assumes he will be in town, that it is any time soon, and that you can prove you were there before.

Relaxation is a common technique of hypnotism, but it is not the only technique. The last person who hypnotized you may have done it a certain way, but the next one need not do it just as s/he did. Some clients may believe one must have a recliner, because another hypnotist did. Others may believe one must make a black spot on the ceiling with a burning candle, because another hypnotist did. None of this is necessary.

If you have any questions or reservations about hypnotism, please ask the hypnotist about it.