Maybe you have already seen in films or in circus shows a stage hypnotist performing their so-called “mind hypnosis.”
For some, this is just a little funny trick performed to please the audience while some believe that hypnosis works on stage. But the truth is, stage hypnosis can’t really be considered as real hypnotism though there are claims that real hypnotism on the stage is real. So, which is which?
The First Sighting of Stage Hypnosis
It was in the 18th and 19th centuries when the so-called mesmerism was seen performing stage hypnotism. Then, this performance is simply called as mesmerism.
James Braid, one of the founders of hypnotism, has developed this field after seeing mesmerism performing their mind hypnosis on stage. Braid thought that the same techniques used by the mesmerism are similar to the real hypnosis works, then called as electro-biology.
Electro-biology is defined as using the electrons of the subject’s body to control him or her while he or she is still in the waking state.
After that, many other occurrences were reported where stage hypnotists were seen performing. Mark Twain has recounted similar performance in his autobiography. Other famous scientists like Ormond McGill have also recounted stage hypnosis.
Although many have seen hypnosis works in stage hypnosis, many are still sceptic about mind hypnosis done on stage.
Stage Hypnosis is Not the Real Mind Hypnosis
Every stage hypnotist claimed that what they do on a stage is the same with the real mind hypnosis. They said that they use animal magnetism and telepathy to send messages and commands to the subject.
However, many are sceptics about this stage hypnotist claim. Even the famous stage hypnotist, Kreskin, has been a sceptic of stage hypnotism. He said that there are many reasons why the stage hypnotist seems to have a mind control over the subject. He said that stage hypnosis is merely a use of some strategies.
Kreskin even promised a monetary reward amounting to $25,000 to any stage hypnotist or hypnotherapist to prove that hypnotic trance exists. This was challenged for three times but all the attempts failed.
Experts like Andre Weitzenhoffer and Theodore Barber believe that there are three reasons why stage hypnosis seems working. First is the participant’s compliance. Due to peer pressure or social pressure, the participant has no choice but to play along with the stage hypnotist.
Another strategy used by a stage hypnotist is selecting the participant. By asking who would like to volunteer for hypnosis works is a good way of telling who among the audience is an extrovert or the one who believes in hypnotism. Meanwhile, other stage hypnotists deceive the audience through the dramatic effects of their hands that are actually not doing any of their magic or hypnosis works.
What’s the Real Deal?
Hypnotism on stage may or may not be real. But what remains true is the existence of hypnotherapy and the idea that every man can control his own mind. Besides, stage hypnotism is only done to entertain people and so, this is expected to be funny and entertaining. The basic purpose of a stage hypnotist is achieved if the audience is entertained.
But the real deal in hypnotism and hypnotherapy is different. Hypnosis works for the subject’s benefit. Controlling the mind through mind hypnosis has been proven to help the subjects be free from their physical, psychological, and emotional problems. That creates the big difference between the two—certified hypnotherapists are for medical purposes while stage hypnotists are for entertainment.