I’m sure you’ve heard of the mysteries of hypnosis. Maybe you’ve seen a hypnotist on TV hypnotising volunteers from the audience, making them do funny things that make everybody laugh.
Hypnosis is a kind of wide-awake sleep. Your eyes are wide open or closed while it’s happening. You may also have heard of people being hypnotised before an operation. They feel no pain during or after the operation and can actually stay awake while its happening, despite using no pain killing drug (anaesthetic). They even go home much quicker after the operation.
Hypnosis and hypnotism come from the ancient Greek word ‘Hypnos’, meaning sleep. In ancient Egypt, there were Sleep Temples for people who weren’t feeling well. The temple priest would hypnotise them into a deep sleep lasting many days, waking them up only to eat and have bathroom breaks, before putting them back into hypnosis. They would be woken properly after a few days feeling amazing and ready to go home. A person who is hypnotised is said to be in a trance.
What’s interesting is that everybody can go into a trance without realising it. Like, when you put a pen or pencil down, then a moment later, you’re wondering where you put it! Day-dreaming is like the trance during hypnosis. You can be so wrapped up in a day-dream that someone could be talking to you, standing right in front of you, and you honestly don’t hear them because you’re in a world of your own. Yes, we can have a lot of fun with hypnosis.
In the children’s book, ‘Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism’, Molly is in an orphanage run by a very cruel, hairy-faced lady called Miss Adderstone. She is also tormented by a bully called Hazel Hackersley. But everything changes when Molly discovers an old book on Hypnotism. She learns how to hypnotise herself and others and wins a talent contest with her new hypnotic skills. Children actually make exceptional hypnotic subjects because they have a rich imagination and are very good at playing make believe.
The Hypnotherapist says really encouraging things to help the person being hypnotised feel confident, safe and happy. These are called hypnotic suggestions. Do you know someone who is terrified of needles? Or someone that panics when they see a spider, or a cute little mouse? These reactions are all examples of phobias, which are very strong reactions or fears of something that don’t seem to make a lot of sense. Some children even have a phobia of school Hypnosis can help to get rid of phobias and fears, just by using the power of the imagination.
Jimi Sayo has been a hypnotist for eight years. She works with both adults, teenagers and children. She grew up with her two brothers and a sister in Cardiff, Birmingham and a Nigerian town called Ile-Ife. She likes bike-riding, baking cakes, and long lazy naps. She collects marionette puppets, and fridge magnets.