There are basically four different elements that allows hypnosis to take place whether it is in a therapy session or a stage show.
The first important element is BELIEF. Over the years every hypnotist has heard the statement, I don't believe in hypnosis". In reality what the individual is actually sayings is, "I have a fear of hypnosis. Anything that we have a fear of it is easier to pretend that it does not exit, rather than verbally admitting that we are afraid.
The hypnotist creates the belief simply by appearing on stage. How many people would appear on stage in front of hundreds of individuals to perform a show using hypnosis if hypnosis was not real" You can be sure not to many.
From your audience stand point, How many people would pay to see a show that they really, believed would never take place
Once again we see that the belief is present throughout your audience.
The second important mechanism is CONCENTRATION. Although the hypnotist can not give concentration to a person that has none, he can help increase an individuals ability to concentrate.
As was discussed earlier with suggestibility test, we show the subjects their ability to concentrate. The hypnotist further reinforces the idea of concentration through his opening statements by giving examples of times where each and every subject has demonstrated their ability to concentrate. Examples of driving a car and not recalling the last few streets that were past.
The concentration is also enhanced with the suggestions to the audience to remain quiet for the first few moments of the show.
Finally the last element that the hypnotist has working for him is that everyone else on stage is concentrating I should do the same.
In a show or presentation we are working under the thought of "mob psychology". This is where a person gets so wrapped up into what the other people are doing that they tend to automatically follow suite.
Another very powerful mechanism of hypnosis is EXPECTATION. Expectation is the easiest of all of the hypnotic mechanism to implement during a stage show. For most people this may be the first time in their life that they have ever been on a stage in front of an audience. With this being a new experience there is no way to have any preconceived ideas or expectations. The individuals will expect the type of sensation and feelings that the hypnotist described during his opening statement.
The expectation is even higher for members of the audience that has watched a successful hypnosis show in the past.
It does not matter if the show was live or broadcasted on television.
The individuals will have a tendency to expect to behave the way that they have seen others respond.
The negative side of the expectations is when an individual has seen a hypnotic demonstration that was not successful. This person may be going into the show expecting to fail. Normally the person that has seen a negative response with hypnosis would not volunteer as one of your subjects. He or she would prefer to watch the show from the audience.
A successful show could change the view point of hypnosis entertainment.
The last, but by no means the least important mechanism of hypnosis is the IMAGINATION. The imagination is the most powerful element that we have working for us in a hypnosis show. There is hardly a person around that at one time in their life their imagination played tricks on them. It may have been after watching a horror movie and we started to hear sounds in the house. It could have been something that we thought we saw or simply a feeling that we had.
Children are born with a wonderful imagination. They can hear, see, and experience things that most adults would have problems with.
It is important to keep in mind that adults are simply children grown tall. There is still a lot of child in all of us.
The imagination that we had as children has not vanished, it simple has laid dormant, not in use. With hypnosis we can begin to excite the imagination. Once we have use of the imagination we can do almost anything.
Five (5) levels of hypnosis:
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Hypnosis has been defined as a state of heightened suggestibility in which the subject is able to uncritically accept ideas for self-improvement and act on them appropriately. When a hypnotist hypnotizes his subject, it is known as hetero-hypnosis. When an individual puts himself into a state of hypnosis, it is known as self-hypnosis.