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Can anyone be hypnotized?


The notion of hypnotizability is based on the theory that not everyone can be hypnotized. Estimates range from as low as 20% of the population to almost everyone. For those of us who deal in self-hypnosis, a natural state, it is clear that anyone with a normal ability to concentrate can be hypnotized if they want to be. Even children can be hypnotized.

You may have seen a stage hypnotist at work and thought you would never do what his subjects were doing. Remember, these are volunteers who want to be hypnotized, and the hypnotist knows how to choose the best potential subjects. Also, the subjects may have been drinking a bit, which lowers inhibitions. This is ok if you want to quack like a duck but not if you want to learn to be less nervous when taking exams. Do self-hypnosis when you're sober and not too tired.

Try this. Sitting or standing, extend your arms in front of you, parallel to the floor. Turn your right palm up and your left palm down. Close your eyes and imagine a pail full of sand in your right hand, so the handle is in your palm and the pail hangs down. Look at the pail and imagine its shape and color. Now imagine there is a string attached to your left wrist, and on the other end is a big red helium-filled balloon. Concentrate on the pail as it gets heavier and heavier, and on your left arm being lifted by the bright red balloon. Do not deliberately move your hands.

After a few minutes, open your eyes and see where your hands are. Typically, you will see your right hand has dropped and your left hand lifted. A big gap shows your imagination is working well. If your hands haven't moved, you are puttting up some resistance and should spend more time with the relaxation exercise you will learn. In either case, you're hypnotizable.



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