To understand the position of self-hypnosis in popular culture, we must first examine the position of hypnosis in popular culture. The persistent image of hypnotism is of a mysterious conjurer swinging a pocket watch or transfixing someone with a gaze. In movies and television shows, dramatic story lines unfold as one person leads another into a hypnotic state, and then something evil happens like in the movie “Get Out,” or something hilarious like the movie “Office Space.”While these fictionalized portrayals do lend to mainstream awareness of hypnotism, they hinder the mainstream acceptance of hypnosis. It is still labeled a pseudo-science by many, despite numerous studies that show hypnosis to be effective for a host of issues. With this being the case, the position of self-hypnosis in mainstream culture is even more tenuous.
Because people are limited in their awareness of hypnotism to the general image of one person hypnotizing another person, many people are completely unaware that you can hypnotize yourself, but here’s the key that you must understand: hypnosis is hypnosis. Whether you get hypnotized by another person, or you hypnotized yourself, the hypnosis takes place in your brain. So the same research that supports the efficacy of hypnosis also stands in support of self-hypnosis.
All the way back in the 1800’s Dr. James Braid saw what others seemed to miss when it came to hypnosis (Which wasn’t even called hypnosis at the time. The term hadn’t been invented yet.) His predecessors, namely Franz Anton Mezmer, promoted the idea that they had the ability to manipulate the energy of others and create a special state. Braid, on the other hand, put forth the idea the state was created within the self, and he experimented by practicing on his own to produce the same results others were getting by working on people.
Nearly two hundred years later, there are more hypnotists around the world than at any time in human history, and yet still we are asked the question regularly: is self-hypnosis a real thing? It most certainly is, and you would be well-served to learn this skill. Here is a short list of the benefits one can reap through self-hypnosis:
- Improved sleep
- Weight reduction
- Stress management
- Quit smoking/vaping
- Removal of excessive fear (fear of flying, fear of heights, etc.)
- Pain management
- Sexual enhancement
- Reduction of menopause symptoms
We’ll continue to provide follow-up articles about these specific applications of hypnosis, and we’ll also have podcast episodes that focus on these topics. Keep coming back to learn more about how hypnosis and self-hypnosis can improve the quality of your life. It’s real, and it works.