One of the most asked questions hypnotists get in their line of work is, “Does hypnosis really work?” While we’re not here to try and make you a devout believer, we do want to help you understand that hypnosis is, in fact, very real. Not only is it real in hypnosis shows, but the science behind hypnosis has been used since prehistoric times to help heal the mind, body and soul.
Are dreams real or is everyone faking it?
Convincing someone hypnosis is real is like convincing someone that dreaming is a phenomenon that truly exists. The thought of your subconscious working while your conscious mind is in a sleep state can be difficult to wrap your brain around.
Let’s say someone came up to you and told you that they don’t dream and they think that people are making up this nightly activity. How would you explain to this non-dreamer that not only do you dream every night but you also remember your dreams when fully conscious?
For the most part, it’s widely accepted that we dream every night. Why we dream and how we dream are still highly debated subjects but we’re pretty much all in agreement, dreaming happens. So when pressed to prove that dreaming occurs while we sleep, how would you explain this concept to a non-believer?
There are a few ways you might go about convincing someone that while our conscious minds sleep at night, our unconscious minds are still active and producing brain activity.
The Historical Approach
To convince someone that dreaming exists, you may turn to historical proof that cements the idea that humans have been dreaming and documenting those dreams since the beginning of time.
Ancient Times: “The recorded history of dream interpretation dates back over 5,000 years to 3100 B.C. with the Sumerians in Mesopotamia. Both gods and kings paid close attention to their dreams and recorded them on clay tablets.”
Using the historical approach, the use of hypnosis can be traced back over 4,000 years ago to Ancient Egypt. The Ancient Egyptians used “Sleep or Dream Temples” to heal people suffering from psychological problems rooted in the brain. In these temples, “the sick person was put in to a trance like sleep; priests and priestesses then interpreted the person’s dreams to gain knowledge about the illnesses and to find a cure for the illnesses.”
The Scientific Approach
There have been countless scientific studies surrounding dreams and the term for such exploration is categorized as oneirology aka the scientific study of dreaming. Scientists are in agreement that, “A dream is a succession of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that usually occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep.”
Likewise, scientists continue to conduct numerous studies on the effectiveness and benefits of hypnosis. The focus of scientific studies into hypnosis and hypnotherapy varies:
Dr. Ilyess Zemmoura of Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Tours and his colleagues have been evaluating the effects of using anesthesia since 2011. Focusing primarily on brain cancer patients, he and his team have been conducting awake operations to remove brain cancer tumors; 37 of the 48 patients studied underwent brain surgery using hypnosis sedation.
Harvard Magazine highlights a study performed by Dr. Carol Ginandes that focuses on whether hypnosis could accelerate the healing of broken bones. Her findings concluded that when a radiologist studied the X-rays of patients who received hypnotherapeutic care on top of standard orthopedic care, “The hypnotized patients showed more rapid healing. Six weeks after fracture, the hypnosis group had healed to an extent that would normally take eight and a half weeks.”
When he’s not entertaining, and making spectators laugh out loud during his hypnosis shows, Richard Barker also provides hypnotherapy to individuals looking to overcome a traumatic phobia. These real-life case studies can be seen on his YouTube Channel.
Click here to watch as The Incredible Hypnotist Richard Barker helps someone overcome their fear of heights. In this video, you’ll see a before and after interview with the hypnosis subject and watch him climb a high ladder.
Click here to watch as Richard Barker hypnotizes a woman on daytime television and helps her tackle her fears of spiders. As you’ll see, by the end of the session, the once scared woman holds a tarantula in her hands.
Click here to watch the hypnotist, Richard Barker, work his science on a woman that is deathly afraid of palmetto bugs. Watch as she runs out of the room when the bugs are placed near her and by the end of her session, she boldly holds them in her hands.
The Religious Approach
If you’re a pious person, you may try to convince the non-believer that dreams are real because they’re referenced in the Bible. As seen in the New Testament, Joseph receives a message in his dreams that Mary is pregnant:
“But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.’” Matthew 1:20
The Roman Catholic Church has issued statements as early as 1847 that hypnosis, with strict guidelines, is permitted in the religion. The late Pope Pius has even given his approval of hypnosis. He stated that the use of hypnosis by health care professionals for diagnosis and treatment is permitted.
In 1956, in an address from the Vatican on hypnosis in childbirth, the Pope gave these guidelines:
- Hypnotism is a serious matter, and not something to be dabbled in.
- In its scientific use, the precautions dictated by both science and morality are to be used.
- Under the aspect of anesthesia, it is governed by the same principles as other forms of anesthesia.
- This is to say that the rules of good medicine apply to the use of hypnosis.
So Does Hypnosis Really Work in Hypnosis Shows?
We hope that this brief article has showcased some of the arguments that show how hypnosis is not only really, but how -over the years- it’s been widely adopted, practiced and perfected.
Our hypnotist comedy shows are 100% real and authentic. The hypnotist Richard Barker doesn’t employ participants or hire actors to appear in his world comedy hypnotist shows. The Incredible Hypnotist has worked with well-respected and trusted media sources and individuals. Take a look at some of the celebrities that have genuinely been hypnotized in this short clip and determine for yourself if “everyone” is faking the effects of hypnosis.
Want to learn more about hypnosis and how it works on a deeper level? Richard Barker has wrote a book, “Selling Hypnotically,” that dives deep into the inner workings and modern uses of hypnosis. You can view a sample of the book here on Amazon or just marvel at the phenomenon from afar watching Richard’s many publicized hypnotist comedy shows.