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Are Stage Hypnosis Shows, Staged?

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

Stage hypnosis

Stage Hypnosis shows are popular entertainment events in which a Hypnotist puts a group of volunteers into a trance and performs various demonstrations or skits with them. Generally, there is an element of comedy and fun, making the experience enjoyable for both the volunteers and the audience. My very first experience with a Hypnosis show was when I was 9 years old in Ontario, Canada. Our school brought in a Hypnotist to amaze us all, and that it did. I had no idea that prior to watching this show, it was going to plant a seed, leading me to a career full of happiness, and healing many years later.

I remember watching, and wondering if Hypnosis was actually real. Was it all smoke and mirrors? Just an illusion? While these shows are often highly entertaining, they have also been the subject of criticism and skepticism, with some people claiming that they are staged or fake.

But what if it was real? If you can make people do all kinds of silly things on stage, why can't we use it to make people feel good? I am happy to say that my 9-year-old self was not left disappointed. Fast Forward years later when I went back to school to learn how to do just that.

Hypnosis is a real and scientifically recognized phenomenon. It is a state of deep relaxation and concentration that is induced by a Hypnotist, and it can be used for a variety of purposes, including therapeutic treatment and entertainment.

While Stage Hypnosis shows may involve some level of theatricality and showmanship, it is important to recognize that the individuals who participate in these shows are genuinely in a Hypnotic state. They are not acting or pretending to be Hypnotized, and they are not under the control of the Hypnotist in the way that some people may believe. In fact, the Hypnotic state is characterized by an increased ability to focus and an increased suggestibility, which allows individuals to respond to the suggestions of the Hypnotist in a more open and receptive way. This can lead to some interesting and entertaining demonstrations, but it is important to remember that the individuals participating in these shows are always in control of their own actions and behaviors.

When a stage show begins, the Hypnotist often asks for a number of volunteers. I am going to give away a trade secret here, they are looking for people who are bouncing out of their chairs in excitement to participate. The ones with smiles on their faces, a wonder in their eyes, and a desire to come up and be part of the show. The one's waving their arms in the air signaling, "pick me, pick me"! If you are sitting in the audience being pointed at by your friends, but don't show the desire to participate, you can rest easy knowing that you won't be chosen. Why? Simply because the resistance is already set. Hypnosis is a collaboration between Hypnotist and Participant, and if you don't really want to be Hypnotized, you won't be, because you are always the one in control. Alternatively, the ones who want to be will be. Of course, there is more to it than that. Once the group is selected, the group begins the first step of the Hypnosis process. Because there is an element of excitement, fear perhaps stage fright, fear of embarrassment, not all participants, despite their ability to be Hypnotized, can allow the process to happen in front of an audience in the short time allowed. This can result in volunteers being returned back to their seats with the unfortunate and untrue belief that they cannot be Hypnotized. Most people can be Hypnotized given enough time and in the right environment, however, for the purpose of a show that must go on, the Hypnotist is looking for the ones who can simply get there quicker than others, with the least amount of resistance, and with a strong desire to participate.

This sets the show up for success, fun, laughter, entertainment, and amazement. Despite each show having a basic structure, you never know what to expect. Hypnotists are always prepared for the unexpected. Participants react to suggestions in different ways and although some stage shows like to push things to see how far they can go for a laugh, it's also their number one job to make sure the participants are safe and the show remains ethical.

As the show continues, the suggestions can always be accepted or rejected by the participant. Some participants report that they were aware of each and every part of the show, while others find that the memories come back shortly after returning to their seats or after watching it back on video. There is no right or wrong way to experience Hypnosis, the way you experience it would be individual to you. If you have ever been a participant at a show, or have a personal story to share, we would love to hear about it. Leave a comment below and share your experience. The good, the bad, or even the embarrassing.

Note from Author, Jennifer Wood
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Director of Hypnosis Education & Consulting Hypnotist



Hi there! I'm Jennifer Wood, Director of Hypnosis Education and Consulting Hypnotist at Wellness Canada. It's great that you're looking into how Hypnosis can benefit you.

🔍 Personalized Hypnosis: Hypnosis works differently for everyone. Let's chat about your specific needs and how Hypnosis can help you. I'm here to answer your questions and explore your possibilities.

💬 Your Experiences Count: I want to hear your thoughts and experiences. Whether you're curious, ready to start, or want to share your experiences, I'm here to listen. Every step forward, no matter how small, is essential for a healthier and happier life.

📧 Connect With Me: Feel free to leave a comment, send an email, or book a free consultation. I'm looking forward to connecting with you!

      Jennifer Wood

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