I'm a hypnotist. Yes, really. A lot of people have a lot of misconceptions about hypnosis, so I thought I'd clear up a few things.
1. Hypnosis is a real thing. It has been extensively studied, documented, and scientifically verified. Do some Google searches for scientific papers about hypnosis, if you want more proof.
2. Most of what you've seen in movies and on TV about hypnosis is wrong. A hypnotist can't hypnotize you just by looking into your eyes, snapping his fingers, etc. You can't be hypnotized against your will. You can't use hypnosis to force someone to do something they don't want to do. Hypnosis is not about "taking control" of another person.
3. Hypnosis sounds like mystical, voodoo stuff, but it's not. A hypnotic trance is simply a state of deep, intense focus, similar to meditation. Nothing more, nothing less. That means that anyone can be hypnotized, including you.
4. Most people go into and out of light hypnotic trance every day. Have you ever had the experience of watching a good movie, or reading a good book, where you got "sucked in" and stopped noticing anything else going on in the room around you? And afterwards, you're surprised by how much time has passed, because it didn't feel like as long as it was? That's a hypnotic trance. That's not like a trance, that is a trance.
5. It's impossible to be "trapped" in a trance. When you are hypnotized, you can stop at any time, just like you can stop watching an engaging movie at any time. However, like watching an engaging movie, being hypnotized is a very relaxing and enjoyable experience, so unless something happens that makes you nervous or uncomfortable, you probably won't stop until you're done.
6. Like anything else, being hypnotized is a skill. As you get more practice with it, you'll be able to go into deeper trances, which can have stronger and more long-lasting effects. Even if you have a lot of practice going into trance, you'll only go as deep as you feel comfortable going -- if you're in an unfamiliar situation, or working with an unfamiliar hypnotist, you won't go as deep.
7. One of the properties of a trance state is "heightened suggestibility". This means that if an idea is suggested to you, you are far more likely to serious consider and potentially accept the idea, rather than just brushing it off and discarding it. This is why watching a good movie can provoke intense emotions. Intellectually, you know that you're watching actors on a set reading a script. But because of heightened suggestibility, you're willing to accept the idea that these characters are real, their struggles are real, and they deserve your sympathy and support. "Heightened suggestibility" does not mean that you will think or do whatever you're told: if a movie suggests that anyone watching it will murder their loved ones, you might get a bit creeped out, but you won't actually follow the suggestion.
8. I often get asked if you remember what happened after a hypnosis session. This forgetting is called "post-hypnotic amnesia", and it can happen, but it's rare. It only happens after a very deep hypnosis session, so it won't happen the first time you do it. It happens when the conscious mind doesn't want to hold onto what the subconscious mind is experiencing, similar to suppressing painful memories.
If you want to know more, search for my website: "Quiet Strength Hypnosis". I'm happy to chat and answer questions!