hypnosis myths

“What does hypnosis feel like? I’m not sure that I can go under, I don’t think I was under last time.” I recently had a woman tell me this as we sat and discussed her previous experience and her goals.  I had taken the time to patiently explain to her during our first visit that hypnosis doesn’t “feel” like anything. Still, she wanted that “feely” experience.  We have several sessions mapped out as she has a sleeping disorder that spans 50+ years. She is not happy with the sleeping pills she was prescribed, but even more fearful of not having them. So, after a friend of hers suggested she try hypnosis with me, she decided to give it a go. She is highly motivated, willing to do the work I give her after our sessions. It was just that she was unsure she was going under.

I asked her what she had felt in the first session, she replied, “Very relaxed, is all.” When she got home and listened to the audios I had given her, she said she felt very relaxed again. I asked her what she thought she should be experiencing. She didn’t know, she just felt like this wasn’t it. After all, it was a familiar feeling. She could hear me during the trance portion of the session and felt as if she could open her eyes at any time.

Hypnosis is a natural state, one that we experience daily. So, while people are often wary of hypnosis, thinking that it is an altered state and one is out of control, quite the opposite is true. You are in control, in fact it it is an intense state of focus. Driving a familiar route to work is a common example of operating on autopilot, without thinking about it.

Although heart rate and respiration may slow down, this is due to the relaxation involved in the “induction”process,often used progressive relaxation. Those symptoms are not the hypnotic state itself. Research into the hypnotic state has shown that there are different brainwave levels that are involved.

According to science.howstuffworks.com, “The most notable data comes from electroencephalographs (EEGs), measurements of the electrical activity of the brain. Extensive EEG research has demonstrated that brains produce different brain waves, rhythms of electrical voltage, depending on their mental state. Deep sleep has a different rhythm than dreaming, for example, and full alertness has a different rhythm than relaxation.”

Understanding how natural hypnosis is

Understanding how natural hypnosis is

I frequently get questions about hypnosis and faith. In particular, I am asked about how hypnosis can relate to the Bible and Christianity. There are many times when someone will tell me that I am doing the “work of the devil”. I am not now, nor have I ever been a fan of the dark side. 

My father, who was an engineer by profession, was an ordained minister by avocation. If anyone was going to protest my career choice, it would be him. He did question me when I first took hypnosis courses. As I explained the science behind hypnosis, showing him that it is a natural state and showed him pictures graphics of brainwaves as they occur when under hypnosis, he was open to learning more. The more he understood, the more intrigued he became. When I told him that I could use the metaphors from the Bible and even specific scriptures, he wanted to try it out. Well, once in that chair, I thought he might never leave! It is how my audios Walks With Jesus were inspired.

One of my heroes in hypnosis was Chaplain Paul G. Durbin, Ph.D. Th.D. He was a Chaplain (Brigadier General) in the United States Army. He was interviewed by the International Association of Counselors and Therapists on this subject, here is what he said when asked, “Why do some Christians and member of other faiths view hypnosis as evil or as some say “The Work of the Devil”?”

“Hypnosis is condemned because of lack of understanding or misuses:  Hypnosis should not be condemned as anti-religious just because some people misuse it. Some oppose hypnosis because they say it is used by the occult, but do they condemn prayer because prayer is used for occultic purposes? Hypnosis can be a very helpful tool in counseling. Though many in various churches opposed to hypnosis are using the principles of hypnosis (relaxation, concentration, suggestion, repetition) in their healing services, they denounce hypnosis. I was channel surfing on my TV and this minister, by the last name of Crank was preaching against hypnosis. When he finished preaching, he had an Alter Call for those who wanted to be healed and proceeded to use hypnotic techniques. He would stand before the person wanting healing. Crank had some of the church leaders standing behind the worshiper. He stared into the eyes of the worshiper as he made suggestions and then taped them on the head and said, “Heal”. What a hypocrite.

For those who oppose hypnosis on religious grounds, I remind them of the words of Jon Baptist Van Helmont, “Hypnosis is a universal agent … and is a paradox only to those who are deposed to ridicule everything and who ascribe to Satan all phenomena which they cannot explain. ” Without apology and when appropriate, hypnosis can be used for growth, health and the benefit of people.”

The Chaplain, who worked in a hospital setting in his later years told the story of a woman who requested his assistance in pain management through hypnosis. She was worried her daughter (a devout Christian) might object. The woman responded wonderfully to the hypnosis. The daughter was aghast and ready to raise havoc until Paul Durbin was able to explain that he too was a Christian and how well the mother responded. 

Although there are no direct references to hypnosis in the Bible, that is because it wasn’t called that during the time that the Bible was written, there are hypnotic like examples sprinkled through out it.  The first written recorded use of hypnosis is found in the book of Genesis 2:21-22, “So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon man, and while he slept, took one of his ribs and closed up in its place with flesh, and the rib which God took from man, He made woman and brought her to the man.” In this incident, God used hypnosis as an anesthesia so that Adam felt no pain during the removal of his rib. Paul speaks of going into a trance while praying in the temple (Acts 22:17).  Peter “fell into a trance” and from that experience came to see that God loved all people and accepts all people who come to him. Peter had been invited to the home of a centurion who was devout in his faith, but was not Jewish. At that time, it was religiously unlawful for Peter to visit the centurion’s house.  After the dream, Peter went to visit the centurion and accepted him as a man of faith. (Acts 10:1-48).  Elsewhere in the book of Acts, there is a reference to an apostle looking into the eyes or gazing into the eyes of a person that resulted in the person being healed. “This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, who when he had fixed his gaze upon him, and had seen that he had faith to be made well, said with a loud voice, ‘Stand upright on your feet.’ And he leaped up and began to walk.” (Acts 14:9-10)

Hypnosis is merely one more means of helping an individual reach his/her goals. Can hypnosis be used for bad? All things can be used for good or evil. Hypnosis is neither anti-religious nor pro-religious. Hypnosis can be used to ease or eliminate pain, overcome fears and phobias, smoking addictions released, weight management and more. It can be used for good or bad depending on the hypnotist and the client. Religion can be used to promote the Spiritual or to control and manipulate the masses. So,if we are using the ability/gift of our own God given mind to help us improve,how can that be a sin?

Hypnosis has made the headlines again. The people want to know if it is safe. Well, Palm Harbor hypnotherapist Debbie Lane is giving a hypnosis seminar on Wednesday, May 25th, at 7:00 p.m. It will be a two hour session that will explain all about hypnosis. After finally putting the myths to bed, Debbie will lead a group hypnosis that will help smokers quit. 
The event will be hosted by the Tarpon Springs Elks, 1719.  The Elks Lodge is located at 237 S Pinellas Ave, Tarpon Springs.  The suggested donation is only $55.00 and 100% of the proceeds from the door will be donated to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. Team Rose Buds will be present to help ensure all smokers are comfortable and ready to quit. Team Rose Buds will be walking for the 3 day, 60 miles.

Lane states, “I have a very high success rate with smokers quitting through my sessions. My clients often call me after they have tried every other method and are feeling like a failure.” Lane continues, “Hypnosis is used widely by licensed medical professionals and also is emerging as a recognized distinct profession with a rigorous code of ethics.  She promises that no one will replace smoking with quacking like a duck, although they may experience the best night’s sleep they have had in a very long time. Lane will explain in depth what hypnosis is and what it is not.

Anyone interested in attending the event should contact Lane as seating is limited.  She can be reached at 727-781-8483

This week I had a gentleman come into my office to quit smoking. Now, this is someone whom I know from another aspect of my life. He has known me for many years and we have always been cordial. He has never known me to harm anyone. Yet, his hands shook as he filled out the paperwork. He was terrified of what he was about to experience.

I am not quite sure what he thought I could/would do to him, but it sure was evident that he was giving me all the power over him. So, we spent some time discussing hypnosis and all the myths surrounding it. I was able to explain to him that he was in control, not me. Eventually, he relaxed and took back his power. After our time together, he left my office, smoke free and very happy.

His first comment as he came out of trance was how different it felt, how time seemed to change. He wasn’t sure how long he had been in my office, it felt like forever and then again like he had just walked in. Either way, he was hooked! I was happy to give him the audio I have for my smokers and promised him the audio of our session as well.

In honor of this gentleman, the writing I am doing on fears and the fact that it is Friday, I leave you with a video that I just love.

With increased interest and awareness surrounding hypnosis among the general public, eight professional hypnotists have shared their insights in the newly published book Real World Hypnosis: Insider Tips from Leading Hypnotists. I am pleased to announce that I was invited to participate in this project. My experience working with a rather infamous case of hiccups is what first attracted the attention of the editor to my practice. However, there is more to my practice than hiccups. I explain in the book what lies behind the bodies signals or dis-ease.

The other contributing authors are: Celeste Hackett, Wendy Merron, Robert Dunscomb, Marc Carlin, Deborah Yaffee, Garrett Buttel, and Tobin Slaven. In my profession, that is an impressive line up, I am proud to be counted amongst them.

Editor Steve Roh, owner of Center City Hypnosis in Philadelphia, PA, says that the book is intended to give people a glimpse into the practical application and uses of hypnosis.

Steve says, “Hypnosis is often misunderstood because of sensationalism and melodrama coming out of Hollywood and especially nowadays on the internet. The contributors to this book are working hypnotists with years of experience. I am grateful to Debbie Lane (owner of Wisdom Hypnosis) for having shared her knowledge and expertise in this book.”

Real World Hypnosis is published by Autarch Publishing and available through major online retailers. Further information can be found online at RealWorldHypnosisBook.com.

To purchase this book go here:

Often I am asked about hypnosis. Just this weekend with the college kids, they wanted to know all about what I do. These were bright kids. They all held majors like, math, physics and organic chemistry. Still, they thought of hypnosis the way it is presented in many movies. They thought of it as if it were mind control and very mysterious. (It is neither.)

I had a conversation with a buddy who wants to quit smoking. His wife is due with a baby soon, he has another child and he wants to be around to enjoy them. Plus, the first born is getting to the age where he will figure out why Daddy sneaks out of the house and returns smelling of smoke. This friend is well educated and well read, a bright man. Still, he mentioned concerns about hypnosis, based on misunderstandings about how he would feel and whether he would be safe.

Then I received an email from a reader of this blog, wanting to know how to use self hypnosis to improve her life. Without an understanding first of what hypnosis is and is not, it is hard for me to explain how to use it. So, today I am providing a link to my website. There is a short video my web master and I produced that explains hypnosis better. Please, if you want to learn about hypnosis, watch it, then send me your questions. Perhaps this can create a better understanding for each of my readers and a chance to learn how to make use of this powerful tool in your life.

So, here is the link:

watch video

Enjoy and let me know what questions I can answer for you!

I went to bed last night with visions of hypnotherapy dancing in my head! I awoke brighter and sharper than I can ever remember. Finally, my favorite day of the year is here, World Hypnotism Day. My husband laughed at me while I danced about the bedroom, getting dressed and singing. When I went to my trusted (at times beloved) computer, I even had e-cards and messages wishing me a Happy World Hypnotism Day!

Off to a breakfast meeting, where I stood up to introduce my self and started dancing around again! I had stopped by a news stand and picked up a copy of the TBT ( a paper published by the St Petersburg Times and there on page 47 was a full page article and even a picture of a session I had done a few days prior with the journalist. I beamed as I shared it with the other attendees.

After the meeting, back at my office, a reporter from the local CBS affiliate met me with his camera man along for the fun. A client of mine willingly spoke about her experiences with hypnosis and the reporter asked her if she would go under right then. She agreed and we had a blast! She wanted to work on getting the right and perfect agent for her new book Spiritual Geography. (Her first book, Writing Down The Soul, is about to go to press with Conari Press.) She went into trance and did the work. When she emerged, she was so thrilled, she was fighting tears, she saw the contract, felt the pen and knew it is a reality. (I will post the link to the interview as soon as it is up.) The reporter and I discussed and dispelled common hypnosis myths.

Tonight I speak at Up Hypnosis Institute with several of my colleagues. My talk is on Love Potion Number 9, a fun workshop I give around the end of January each year. Tomorrow I speak at Oak Trail Books on Creating Wealth in 2008. All day I have the opportunity to share hypnosis with everyone I meet. How lucky am I?

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