In a word, no! But, if you’ve ever been to Las Vegas or Atlantic City, you know that there is no shortage of famous hypnotists doing two shows a night at celebrated venues.
In fact, you may even have paid good money to attend one or two of these shows. Stage hypnosis is a form of entertainment where the celebrity hypnotist brings audience members up on stage and hypnotizes them to do all manner of silly things from quacking like a duck on command, to believe that their sister (sitting with them in the audience) is actually a ten-foot-tall giant bird.
Often the subjects have had a few drinks and eagerly jump at the chance to participate in front of their friends under the direction of the stage hypnotist. Now some of these hypnoses are actually quite skilled and can induce a hypnotic state quickly and effectively with participants truly being in a trace. This makes for great entertainment and a fun show.  
There are some audience members that participate and with some power of suggestion, they go along with the show because they think that is how the show is supposed to work. They are not necessarily faking it because some actually believe they are hypnotized, but they are not all truly hypnotized, either. They are simply complying with or bending to friendly social pressure from their supporters in the audience.
Many of the people who volunteer are already predisposed to doing silly things or maybe just acting a little silly, so getting them up on stage is not a difficult task. That said, as mentioned previously, there are some audience members who do indeed get hypnotized and can be a great source of entertainment.
There have been reports of some celebrity hypnotist that may have actors at these shows that are a part of the show (“shills” as they are referred to), and they are planted in the audience by the celebrity hypnotist.
Stage hypnotists want volunteers who are eager to act in a ridiculous manner and amuse the crowd and at times, the hypnotist may want some participants that are part of the show for the comedy effect. This is because stage hypnosis is all about the entertainment factor.
The type of hypnosis used in these shows on-stage is totally real and easily achieved, but that doesn’t mean it bears any resemblance to a private or group hypnosis therapy session. Let’s make that clear. Stage hypnosis is a lot of fun and should be viewed as pure entertainment.  
It is used to get a laugh, but at times it can undermine the credibility of clinical hypnotists because some people actually believe all hypnosis is similar to stage hypnosis. That is that even in a clinical setting people frequently ask if they will go home and act out in some silly way if they hear a certain trigger word the hypnotist used on stage.
Clinical hypnosis works exactly the same way as stage hypnosis, where suggestions are entered at the same level of the subconscious mind.
The big difference is that clinical hypnosis therapy allows the patient to remember a suggestion, and gives them the opportunity to change the way they remember an experience or change a behavior. Stage or comedy hypnosis is short lived and quickly forgotten, with no lasting effects. This is good in that you can rest assured you won’t act out in any strange or silly way once the show is over.
It is important to know that with clinical hypnosis, you cannot be made to do anything you do not want to do, and you will remain in full control of yourself at all times.
A clinical hypnotherapist will only work within the sphere of your beliefs, values, and morals, and will never do anything to compromise you in any way. You hold the power to control your mind, not the hypnotist. It’s about willpower. We all have it, and it’s an important component to successful hypnosis.
With clinical hypnosis, you have to be willing to make a change. You have to want it. If you want to stop overeating, you don’t necessarily need to know how you are going to do it, but you have to want to stop.
The same is true if you want to stop eating junk foods if you need motivation for something, or even if you want to give up chocolate. If you are only approaching the idea of hypnotherapy because you have been pushed into it by someone, then hypnosis won’t have the desired effect. You have to want it.
Stage hypnosis makes people feel relaxed and more confident in themselves, taking away the inhibitions that normally hold people back from reaching outside their usual comfort zone.
Audience volunteers who are chosen to participate will gleefully do whatever they are asked to do. It’s difficult to know if those individuals would perform these acts while in a normal alert waking state because they might be reserved or introverted, but inherently, almost everyone has undisclosed or purposely hidden secret wishes. Audience volunteers agree to participate fully knowing what is likely to happen.
Hypnosis helps to lower the conscious guard, thereby allowing those hidden desires to participate in the show to surface. It should be noted that these folks are not being made to do these things, but rather, are being allowed to do these things.
There is a morality to hypnosis. If individuals know the difference between right and wrong, then they will not cross those moral lines while hypnotized. So it is reassuring to know that no matter what a hypnotist suggest to you, you will never do anything against your morals or ethics while in a hypnotic state.
The power of suggestion is at the heart of hypnosis, whether on-stage or in a private setting. But there is a very big difference between the stage hypnotist and the clinical hypnotherapist, besides their job description. The stage hypnotist is a capable performer, who understands how to identify participants whom he or she think will be the most entertaining on-stage and be most susceptible to the silly suggestions that will provide an entertaining show and amuse the audience.
The clinical hypnotherapist relies on their knowledge of the human subconscious and does so using a kind and thoughtful method, helping individuals to achieve the changes they want to make in their lives.
There is no entertainment component here, and there is no audience. There is only a calm, peaceful, supportive interaction.
Milton H. Erikson, a revered American psychiatrist and medical hypnotist once said: “Allow yourself to see what you don’t allow yourself to see”. Think about that. And John Grinder, co-founder of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) said: “The unconscious mind records 1001 little details the conscious mind neglects”.
At this point, you should be seeing the obvious pattern – that the key to hypnosis lies in unlocking the power of the subconscious mind, giving individuals the ability to make the necessary changes in their lives, and gain control of their own destiny.
Seeking out hypnosis is not about changing the past, but rather about changing the future. It’s about restoring your relationship with your unconscious mind. Hypnosis can help fix the inside of your head, so that things on the outside become easier, allowing you to set your own direction. Become the master of your own thoughts with hypnosis.
So, our program is not at all like stage hypnosis and even the most reserved person can be assured they won’t have to act or even speak at all in front of anyone. Our program is a small group hypnosis setting where clients simply sit back in a recliner chair and “listen” to the hypnosis session. Some people hear every word and others feel like they ‘zone out’ or almost fall asleep.
Either way is fine because the subconscious mind picks up every word and uses it to help change your thoughts about food, your habits, and actions around meals, snacks, grocery shopping, and food choices. Just as important, it helps change any limiting beliefs you have about yourself. You leave the program knowing you are strong enough to achieve any goal you have for yourself and you will not have the ability to follow through and make changes that last
We schedule hypnosis for weight loss sessions in CT every month. Contact us if you’d like to learn more or if you have any questions regarding our weight loss hypnosis program.