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[Inneresting Scientific American article about Hypnosis]
June 27, 2001 6:37 AM   Subscribe

[Inneresting Scientific American article about Hypnosis] including video of a real-live scientific hypnosis session. Have you ever been hypnotized? Has your sister? If not, would you like to be? If so, was it cool? Did it help you control your insatiable craving for prawns?
posted by davidchess (20 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Yes, yes, yes, and absolutely, thank god.
posted by tweebiscuit at 6:46 AM on June 27, 2001


(goddamn prawns.)
posted by tweebiscuit at 6:46 AM on June 27, 2001


I've tried to be hypnotized many times, and it's always failed. I'd love to know what it's like-
Buck-caw
!
-but I'm just not the type. I feel left out.
posted by dong_resin at 6:48 AM on June 27, 2001


My father is a dentist, and he learned hypnosis in order to provide a means of pain relief for those patients allergic to novacaine and opposed to laughing gas. Pretty cool.
In high school, he hypnotized me in order to find out where I had misplaced my eyeglasses. He neglected to take the opportunity to persuade me to stop driving his car to so damn fast.
posted by machaus at 6:50 AM on June 27, 2001


Great article. It was even better than 'Cats.' I am going to read it again and again.
posted by chino at 7:02 AM on June 27, 2001


I know sciam is a bit behind the times but this article is just too much. Doctors and dentists have been using hypnosis for ages to not only counter pain but to control bleeding. Next week they'll have "Heavier than Air Flight, Possible?"

I learned hypnosis late in high school from a one page text file off a BBS and managed to deeply hypnotize a handful of people. Anyone can get into a light trance but its really fun when you get a susceptible person going.

I had varying amounts of success with post hypnotic suggestions. I once convinced a friend that when I said a certain word her right hand would go limp, which was great when she was walking with a glass of water in her hand, but then her hand was sore for a couple days after. Another friend was convinced that all sorts of celebrities were walking into the room and it was pretty amusing to see her get shy around a non-existent David Bowie.

Unfortunately at every party I went to around that time someone managed to mention that I can hypnotize people and it becomes a big deal. Usually I can't pull off anything interesting because you can't get someone in a deep trance until the 3rd or 4th session unless they're susceptible, drugged, practice meditation, etc.

The only thing I didn't get to try was group hypnosis. I really wanted to get some RPGamers and make them think they were their characters. Why wait for VR?
posted by skallas at 7:13 AM on June 27, 2001


I really wanted to get some RPGamers and make them think they were their characters.

"Feel the edge of Orcslasher, puny mortal!"

That's a news report about maimed and mutilated gamers just waiting to happen.
posted by Grangousier at 7:18 AM on June 27, 2001


That's a news report about maimed and mutilated gamers just waiting to happen


... followed by a flurry of state laws banning the sale of unregistered kitchen knives and the possession of dice...
posted by Vetinari at 7:43 AM on June 27, 2001


let's leave my sister out of this, okay?


... oh wait. I don't have a sister. that's crazy talk!
posted by chrisege at 7:52 AM on June 27, 2001


I've never been hypnotised - I'd rather not go up on stage at the several comedy hypnosis events I've been to, after seeing the stuff people do! I would like to be hypnotised though, if only to experience it.
posted by emc at 7:53 AM on June 27, 2001


I was hypnotized on stage once at college. I "knew" I wasn't really hypnotized, you know, I was just going along with the demonstration to humor the presenter (who was a pediatric nurse, by the way, and used it in the treatment of children facing extended treatment and surgery). Of the maybe 10 of us on stage, I was at the lower end of suggestibility. Nevertheless, I was left with the post-hypnotic suggestion that I had a helium balloon tied to my wrist, and I had to hold my hand down the rest of the day.
posted by dhartung at 8:18 AM on June 27, 2001


For some reason, I am getting very sleepy...
posted by kindall at 8:18 AM on June 27, 2001


Muchaus, did it actually help you find your glasses? One of the things the article seemed to be saying is that it's not really all that good at recovering actual memories.

Skallas, good point that it's been around for a long time, but it's not nearly as well known as airplanes. *8) If many / most people still thought airplanes were a myth, SciAm might be doing a service by running "Heavier than Air Flight, Possible?"...
posted by davidchess at 9:16 AM on June 27, 2001


I've never been hypnotized, what a crazy notion! I'm a dog, and everyone knows dogs can't be hypnotized.

woof!
posted by mcsweetie at 9:29 AM on June 27, 2001


My dentist also offers hypnosis as a method of anesthesia...I've been too chicken to try it, opting for a combo of Novocaine and nitrous oxide each time. Has anyone here been hypnotised prior to dental work? Do you feel any pain while in your trance?
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:31 AM on June 27, 2001


) If many / most people still thought airplanes were a myth, SciAm might be doing a service by running "Heavier than Air Flight, Possible?"...


Actually I was making a snide comment on an infamous sciam or Nature paper claiming that H.T.A. flight was impossible. Seriously, I don't see how hypnosis can be much of a myth today. This is just a bait/fluff article to sell more magazines. You have to get a little suspicious when they quote research from the 60's and 70's.
posted by skallas at 9:43 AM on June 27, 2001


Seriously, I don't see how hypnosis can be much of a myth today

I'd be interested in the results of a poll on the question "Is hypnosis a useful medical technique?". I wonder if more than 50% of the public (or even of SciAm's readers, before this issue) would say Yes. I'm not sure what I would have said! I've never had a doctor mention it that I can recall. I wouldn't be surprised if it was still a myth in most people's minds (on the other hand I wouldn't be all that surprised if I was wrong!).
posted by davidchess at 10:13 AM on June 27, 2001


davidchess, in hindsight it may have been more of just an exercise in visualization than hypnosis, but yes it did work.
a calming voice can do wonders when it comes to achieving focus, mental gymnastics aside
posted by machaus at 10:26 AM on June 27, 2001


From past experience, it's fun but can easily get out of hand when you're joking around... I was hypnotized at a college social once by one of those cheesy Fox Special hypnotists, and it actually worked! One girl up there with me still hasn't a clue what happened to her.

After that a friend and I read up on it and he learned to actually do it. Now he performs at parties all the time, and I just scream like a monkey when he says "Cheesy poofs!". Why?!?!?
posted by prototype_octavius at 10:34 AM on June 27, 2001


A guy tried to hypnotize me and my brother at a company party. It didn't work. We played along because we felt sorry for the guy. He was fat and sweaty and it looked like the only gig he'd had in months. Ever since I've wondered: how many other people just play along, too?
posted by Mo Nickels at 11:29 AM on June 27, 2001


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