The Student Voice of Coastal Carolina University



Hypnosis show review: Is it real?

A mental insight in its benefits and misconceptions

When a person is told to imagine what hypnosis is, there is often the image of a magical spiral or a pocket watch swinging back and forth repeatedly in front of their eyes. However, these are fictional examples coined in movies and the media and are nowhere close to its purpose and power. 

Hypnosis is more than a deep, relaxed state where subjects become highly suggestible. It is a concentration tool used like meditation to open the steel doors of the mind so new and old information can become known, like the brain turning into a selective magnet. It all dates to German physician Franz Mesmer, whose ideas of energy transference and animal magnetic fluid manipulation made way for therapeutic trance-like treatments in the 18th century. 

On Sept. 15, the Coastal Activities Board (CAB) held a live show with Comedic Hypnotist David Anthony, who mesmerized and entertained audience members who were willing to be a part of the experience. 

When hypnosis is viewed on stage, it becomes more than just a classic case of participants forgetting how to count or becoming completely relaxed and motionless, as the hilarious antics start to quickly escalate. During this show, volunteers started losing themselves in believing they were characters like “anti-laughing police” and “Spider-Man,” and had the unexplainable urge to dance. 

The show was hilarious to watch, but the real reason hypnosis was created from the beginning was to help people find the source of suppressed troubles through focus and concentration. Regardless, I would still give the performance and all future shows from CAB a standing ovation. 

Hypnosis can be extremely helpful for those who want to make a change to their lifestyle like quitting smoking, losing weight or facing whatever scares them most. However, it is also extremely eerie and unnerving to experience firsthand. 

I was once hypnotized myself. Just pretend you find yourself in complete darkness; it traps you within your own body, but a mysterious energy comes shining through, causing you to lose all sense of reality so the darkness can pull you deeper with its strong and vast invisible hands. To think this all started because I was messing around with some random YouTube video. 

There are dozens of videos and professionals out there in the world that hypnotize people with the intent to be helpful, hurtful, and in some cases, simply weird. 

It is extremely hard to avoid being hypnotized in this modern age, since all it takes is an attractive image and the right order of words before a person can become instantly hooked on something. 

Hypnosis only works if a person wants to be hypnotized, no matter how deep into the hypnotic state they go, and it does not go against your will. A few deep breaths in and out are followed by a few repeated verbal cues and imagery to start the trance, but what happens next is up to the participant. If someone follows these principles, the amount of time it takes to snap your fingers is as easy as one, two, three—and sleep. 

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  • K

    Kenzie ScottApr 19, 2024 at 1:18 am

    I found this review really interesting! I’ve always been curious about hypnosis shows and I attend a called hyprov. It’s fascinating to hear about the different experiences people have and how they interpret the hypnotic suggestions. Thanks for sharing your insights!

  • S

    Sean PierceSep 30, 2023 at 4:17 am

    Well said ! I’m a hypnotherapist and worked at Coastal for 16 years . It’s a great tool for change and growth. The mind is the most powerful tool we have . Stage hypnosis is fun and can be a great powerful illustration of what people are willing to do when they are in a trance , but like you said it’s for entertainment and hypnosis can and is so much more .