Is Instant Hypnosis Possible?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2019
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Instant hypnosis is possible, but it is not as common as stage hypnotists would have one think. Although it is possible in some cases to hypnotize people very quickly, it is not likely to occur with most individuals. The majority of people who are successfully hypnotized are with someone for awhile before the hypnosis techniques begin to take effect.

The type of instant hypnosis which does exist does not refer to cases where a person is hypnotized within a split second. Even rapid procedures generally take several minutes to work. This is not necessarily 100% true for all cases, but the likelihood of a rapid procedure being done within a few short seconds unlikely to occur.

When most people think of “instant hypnosis” they think of a stage performer who snaps his fingers and hypnotized his subjects instantly. This is possible to some extent. Before these shows take place, participants are generally carefully screened to determine which ones are most susceptible to hypnosis. These people are few and far between and most individuals require a much longer period of time before hypnosis begins to work.

In most cases, instant hypnosis is not commonly used in the treatment of most patients. The majority of individuals who use hypnosis do so for medical or emotional reasons. Since most people cannot be instantly hypnotized, this tactic would prove ineffective in their treatment. Most typical hypnosis treatments last an hour or more, so there is no need to move quickly.


Instant hypnosis is also typically not as powerful as techniques which take longer to accomplish. It is primarily used for entertainment purposes. In some situations, the people who are “hypnotized” on a stage are actually actors. Although not necessarily impossible, hypnotizing someone within a few short seconds is highly unlikely to occur. Very few people are susceptible enough for that to work.

Hypnosis is a technique used to delve into the subconscious of patients and other participants. When one is hypnotized, he or she enters a trance or sleep-like state. While in this state, one is open to the power of suggestion. This can be used for entertainment purposes, as in the case of a performer having participants dance around, and for medical reasons. For instance, smokers often uses hypnosis to overcome their addictions.

There is much debate on whether or not hypnosis is an actual science. Some believe that it doesn’t work and that any positive results are due to a placebo effect. Others believe it works but that it shouldn’t be used for certain purposes. For example, sometimes individuals confess to having been harmed to abused while under hypnosis. These confessions are not always true, since the powers of suggestion may put ideas in one’s head.


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