Hypnosis – Mind Miracles or Just Plain Quackery?

hypnosis san diego

Hypnosis – Mind Miracles or Just Plain Quackery?

As a hypnotherapist I often hear interesting ideas about what hypnosis is and what it can do. As I see clients in my San Diego office I often find the need to debunk some of the myths my clients have heard about hypnosis.

One of the biggest questions I get is “Does hypnosis work?”

When I hear this I want to blurt out, “No it’s just a big fake, that’s why I have invested so much time and money learning about it” but I don’t. I want them to understand what a powerful tool hypnosis can be for them and for overcoming the issue that is facing them.

Thoughts About Hypnosis

Way back in 2001 the well respected journal ‘Scientific American’ said, “Though often denigrated as fakery or wishful thinking, hypnosis has been shown to be a real phenomenon with a variety of therapeutic uses…”

Further back in 1991 Business Week wrote, “Hypnosis, once scorned as wizardry more appropriate for the stage than a doctor’s office, has gained respect among medical professionals. Many view it as an efficient tool for treating problems not caused by serious disorders.”

Even though science continues to present powerful evidence about hypnosis’ effective use, if you’re like most people, when you hear the word hypnosis the image of a dark figure with a goatee swinging a pocket watch back and forth in an attempt to take control over your mind appears. And this goateed man will soon have you doing his evil bidding for him.

These myths simply aren’t true.

The Truth about Hypnosis

While there has been much written about hypnosis, these might give you a better picture of the truth about hypnosis.

In 2004 Dr. David Spiegel, who was the Assoc. Chair of Psychiatry Stanford University School of Medicine at the time, was on the Jane Pauley show when he said, “…hypnosis is not mind control. It’s a naturally occurring state of concentration; it’s actually a means of enhancing your control over both your mind and your body.”

In the same year an article in ‘The Capital’ (Annapolis, MD) said, “Approved as a valid treatment by the American Medical Association in 1958, hypnotism has become increasingly accepted by the medical community. Its use for chronic pain was approved in 1996 by the National Institutes of Health.”

You’re Being Hypnotized Daily

Most people don’t realize it but you are being hypnotized daily. For example, have you ever been watching a movie and felt like you were actually there? That’s a form of hypnosis.

Have you ever been pulled into a good book by the way the author described a scene or a person? That’s a form of hypnosis.

Maybe you’ve driven somewhere in your car and arrived at your destination without even being what was going on around you. That’s a form of hypnosis.

Have you ever given up at succeeding at something and, as a result you didn’t succeed? That’s also a form of hypnosis.

The simple truth is you’re in going in and out of a state of hypnosis all the time. What you need to decide is whether or not you want to be in control of your hypnotic state.

Hypnosis Defined

A common definition of hypnosis is “a relaxed and focused state of concentration”.

When you were driving or watching the movie or reading your book or thinking of failure, you were relaxed and completely focused and concentrating on only one thing. That’s a form of hypnosis.

Common Misconceptions bout Hypnosis:

1. Under hypnosis the hypnotist can make you tell them your whole life’s story.

Rubbish. A hypnotic state merely opens you to positive suggestions. You still have complete control over your thoughts and actions and you won’t divulge anything you wouldn’t ordinarily divulge.

• While it won’t make you tell any “secrets” hypnosis can help you bring forward some inner truths or insights which can help you get over things that have held you back in the past. Hypnosis is generally used to help shed light on self-sabotaging behaviors or other situations you’re currently dealing with.

2. The hypnotist can make you do things against your will.

Again, rubbish. Back in 2009 ‘Business Week’ wrote, “A hypnotist can’t make you do anything you don’t really want to do. There’s nothing spooky about it.”

The truth is you will not do anything in a hypnotic state that you wouldn’t do in any other state, given the right set of circumstances.

This myth actually comes about as a result of people watching hypnosis “shows” where people do all kinds of comic behavior.

Are those shows real? Ted Benton of Winchester Hospital’s Community Health Institute in Woburn was quoted in 2002 in the Boston Globe, “Unfortunately, stage hypnosis is real hypnosis. It creates the illusion that there is a loss of control, which is not true. All of the people who are being hypnotized on stage are wide-awake. They know exactly what they are doing. But it’s usually done in poor taste, and it really scares people.”

The key to these shows is the people who are doing these outrageous behaviors know what they are doing and actually want to do them. That’s why certain suggestions work on them

They want to be part of the show so they go along with what they feel they are “supposed” to do. They absolutely won’t do anything against their morals and they are most certainly not doing anything against their will.

3. You Can Get Stuck in a Hypnotic State

Unlike the character in the movie “Office Space” you can’t become stuck in a permanent state of hypnosis. Since you’re merely in a relaxed and focused state it’s impossible to be any more “stuck” in a state of hypnosis than to be “stuck” in a state of constant ecstasy.

• Even if, like in the movie, the hypnotherapist had a heart attack one of two things would happen. Either you would fall asleep and wake up naturally or your mind would eventually realize that nothing was going on around you and bring you back to a fully wakened state.

Now the only real issue you’d have would be calling 911 for the poor hypnotherapist.

Benefits of Hypnosis

In 2004 ‘Better Homes and Gardens’ reported, “Today, hypnosis–or hypnotherapy–is becoming a respected alternative for an array of conditions. It has long been used to help people quit smoking and overcome fears, such as the fear of public speaking, but now the practice is branching out into new areas.”

Although most of my hypnosis clients come to my San Diego Office to either quit smoking or lose weight, hypnosis can be helpful in many ways, from learning how to manage stress to developing the type of confidence needed to find a new person in your life.

National Public Radio reported in ‘All Things Considered “ in 2000, “Now a new study in the current issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry offers evidence that hypnotized individuals do, indeed, experience distinct changes in brain function that mere role-playing would not account for.”

Some research has even suggested that hypnotherapy may be able to make your body look younger. It’s speculated it does this by reprogramming your new cells and instructing them to find the healthiest blueprint to develop.

How You Can Use Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

In 2002 Dr. David Spiegel, psychiatry professor and medical director of the Complementary Medicine Clinic at Stanford University, was asked by ‘Washingtonian’ magazine, “Why does hypnosis work?” He answered, “Because the patients are in an altered state, solely focused on the message, soaking it up, rather than in a psychological mode in which they can trivialize or ignore it.”

While there are many uses for hypnosis, there are 2 generally accepted ways to induce hypnosis. They are self-hypnosis and hypnotherapy or seeing a specialist often called a hypnotherapist.

Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both of them:


The biggest advantage of self-hypnosis is you can use CDs and MP3 downloads to practice self-hypnosis in the comfort of your own home. Many people find that because you’re in a very safe place they can get into a comfortable and relaxed state more quickly and remain there for extended periods of time.

Relaxation or the induction is a key part of being hypnotized. There are many programs that can help take you through the induction process which will allow your mind and body to become totally relaxed. Once your mind and body are relaxed you are well on your way to accomplishing the changes you wish to make.

A big advantage of self-hypnosis is the cost. While seeing a hypnotherapist can be very powerful the cost can be a giant hurdle for some people.


When people ask me about using self-hypnosis recordings I tell them that for the best results, seeing a hypnotherapist is the best way to start your hypnosis regimen. Just as having a coach in any area can shortcut your success, so does having a hypnotherapist to guide you in the beginning a great way to begin your use of hypnosis as a tool for change.

Another advantage of using a hypnotherapist is they may see something that you are overlooking. This help with uncovering some of your innermost issues might lead to a quicker and more permanent fix of your issue.

If you have any questions about hypnotherapy, most hypnotherapists will allow a free phone consultation (just as I do). This allows you to get a feel for them and their abilities. If you would like a phone consultation with me, call my office at (619) 293-3255 and we’ll set something up for you.

Using a Hypnosis for Change

In 2002 the National Women’s Health Resource Center said, “As a relaxation technique, hypnosis can help reduce your stress. It’s also used to relieve phobias, lessen anxiety, break addictions and to ease symptoms of conditions such as asthma or allergy. Using hypnosis can help patients control nausea and vomiting from cancer medications and morning sickness, reduce bleeding during surgery, steady the heartbeat and bring down blood pressure.”

Over the years I have helped people using hypnotherapy on many issues. You notice I said I helped them, I didn’t make them. Since nobody can make you do anything you need to remember that you must feel comfortable and be open to hypnotherapy if you want to make a change.

The effectiveness of hypnosis and hypnotherapy depends totally on you. If your mind resists the idea of being hypnotized then you won’t be hypnotized, it’s that simple. If you’re not comfortable and willing to make a change, hypnosis will not work, nor will anything else.


In order to make any significant changes in your life you have to WANT them. If you have the desire and make the commitment then hypnosis can be a very powerful tool to help you make those changes you seek.

So if you’re serious, what are you waiting for? Why not start taking the action you need to make those changes today?


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Interested in Hypnosis, NLP and the Power of Your Subconscious Mind?

Would you like to develop a better understanding of the power of your subconscious mind? Hypnosis and Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques have been found as powerful and effective methods to tap into the power of your subconscious mind.

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About the Author

Wil Dieck is America’s #1 Mental Fitness Coach©. He is also the founder of Total Mind Therapy©, a system that uses Neuro Emotional Conditioning (NEC)©.

NEC is a system that uses the best of three highly effective processes, Advanced Hypnosis, Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques (NLP) and meditative breathing techniques from Qigong, a Chinese Martial Art, and combines them into one powerful system that you can use to alter your thinking patterns that allow you to make quick and lasting shifts in your behavior.

Wil is a Master Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner (NLP) hypnotherapist and Qigong Practitioner. His office is located in San Diego, CA.

He has taught hundreds of people in individual and business settings how to use Neuro Emotional Conditioning (NEC)© techniques to tap into the power of your subconscious mind.

Wil is available for individual coaching sessions and group presentations in using NEC or hypnosis and Neuro Linguistic Programming as well as using meditation techniques from Qigong for tapping into the power of your subconscious mind.

If you are interested in learning more about using Neuro Emotional Conditioning (NEC)© techniques to tap into the power of your subconscious mind, then call (619) 293-3255 for your complimentary personalized assessment and action plan.

In this session we’ll discuss the goals you wish to achieve and you’ll go away with an action plan packed with information on how to achieve those goals.