Posted in: Hypnosis, Musings

What You Didn’t Know About Stage Hypnosis

Michael Brannan, Master Hypnotist & Licensed Trainer of NLP (tm)
Michael Brannan, Master Hypnotist & Licensed Trainer of NLP (tm)

by Guest Blogger, C. Michael Brannan, Master Hypnotist & Licensed Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming ™.

Stage hypnosis shows have always been an important way to introduce hypnosis to the general public. Many hypnotherapists, if not most, received their first introduction to hypnosis through a stage hypnosis show. Connie herself was first introduced to hypnosis through a stage hypnosis show.

Connie’s initial reaction, like that of many, was “this can’t be real,” and “they’re all plants.”  That reaction is common because most of us are truly unaware of the power and role our unconscious minds play in each and every thing we do. In some cases, stage hypnotism evokes fear!

What’s really going on in a stage hypnosis show? How does what we see in a show relate to hypnotherapy? How does it relate to what we experience in ordinary life? Most people, including most hypnotherapists, haven’t realized yet that every phenomena experienced in hypnosis is experienced by everyone in their ordinary “waking” state!

I went to a hypnosis show yesterday presented as part of World Hypnotism Day (an event sponsored by the National Guild of Hypnotists, Washington State chapter). The response of most of the audience who were not hypnotherapists was one of fascination and interest. And the hypnotic phenomena are truly that.

The hypnotist performed a lot of skits, all displaying the power of the unconscious mind to control our bodies, to enter imaginative realms of fantasy and to access our minds in ways we perhaps didn’t know we could. Stage hypnosis shows are a powerful presentation of the power of the unconscious mind!

In one skit, the hypnotist created amnesia for the number 7, and had the participant then count the number of his fingers. The participant counted..1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9,10,11….have you always had 11 fingers? No, I only have 10 fingers. Anmesia can often be important. What if each time you wanted a cigarette, you simply forgot that you wanted one and continued with whatever you were doing? What if you simply forgot to eat all those unhealthy things that are keeping on those unwanted pounds?

And this experience is something we have in our ordinary life. You know that “tip of the tongue” phenomena? We know something, we know it perfectly, but just can’t get access to it at the moment. Students who study for tests and then “forget” what they learn during the test is common. They haven’t “forgotten” at all; they are just too nervous, anxious or something else to get access to the information. It’s easy to deal with: just give yourself a suggestion to remember, relax, and let your unconscious mind do its work.

xrayglassessmallThe unconscious mind is extraordinarily powerful. It can give or withhold conscious access to information at a mere suggestion. Suggest the number 7 is gone, and, boom, it’s gone. Suggest it’s back, and, boom, it’s back.

The flip side is that the unconscious mind can give access to much more information as well. Suggest to yourself that you will remember more, remember more clearly and you will.  In trance, people can recall vivid details and details thought long forgotten. With hypnosis, you can create states where that vivid recollection comes more quickly and more easily than you ever thought possible. And that can carry into your everyday life, allowing you to learn more, learn faster and remember what you’ve learned here. 

When we say to ourselves things like “I can’t learn,” “I can’t remember” we are sabotaging ourselves. We are giving ourselves a suggestion, we are telling our unconscious minds to fail at learning, and to “forget.” And those suggestions can be just as effective as the hypnostist’s suggestion to “forget” the number 7. The unconscious is a humble servant–it will do what it is asked to do, so ask it to do things you want it to do.


Hi, guys!  Connie here.  Learn more about this fun side of hypnosis here:

As always, we’d love it if you’d sign up for our FREE e-newsletter, “The Monthly Trance.”  Form below!  It comes out (approximately) monthly, and lets you know what’s going on, hypnotically speaking.  For instance, yesterday was our free World Hypnotism Day Event in Bellevue.  The Seattle Times NW weekender publication declared it a “best bet” for the weekend, and yes, it was.  Thank you to all who came out and participated.  We’re so glad you’re getting to know hypnosis.

Warm Regards, Connie

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