Does Hypnosis Actually Work?

Have you seen this episode of “America’s Got Talent“, where Judge Howie Mandel, known for his phobia of germs was hypnotized by a stage hypnotist?

After it aired, many people called me with lots of questions about the show, so let me give you my opinion as a professional hypnotist…

  1. Yes, Howie was deeply hypnotized.
  2. Yes, it was all real, no tricks, what you see is as it happened, but there was editing, the hypnotist took longer than the 2 minutes on the video to get Howie into hypnosis. But it was very real.
  3. Yes he was really shaking peoples hands without latex gloves.
  4. Howie was NOT playing along, he was in an extremely deep state of hypnosis known as "Somnambulism".
  5. NO, the effects were neither permanent nor long-lasting and from what you see below, Howie needed to see his therapist afterward.
  6. YES, the girl that they show in the audience was hypnotized, just sitting in her seat, watching the live show.

Howie didn’t seem amused at all nor should he have been!

Which is why I have always said that stage hypnosis is a “Doubled Edged Sword”. It shows the power of hypnosis but it can also turn people away from hypnotherapy and the therapeutic benefit of hypnosis. Hypnosis is not a parlor trick and stage hypnosis can make someone “bark like a dog” but if it turns one person off who coild be benefited by hypnosis; well I have a big problem with that. I've said that I was concerned for the girl in the audience because she was hypnotized and without someone making sure she was completely out of hypnosis, she would be very confused sitting in the audience. I feel that hypnosis is not a fun thing to play with or a game, it is a very beneficial tool to help people like Howie Mandel eliminate his phobia not to be used for laughs at the expense of another.

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