Okay, I'm back! Front page? Wow! I am honored. Let's go for another half hour!!!

Thank you all for all the great questions!!! As you could probably tell, this is my favorite subject so I had a wonderful time answering your questions. I know the mods like us to keep these AMAs to once per quarter, but if you liked this, please tell them if you want more. I'd be happy to do this again in a couple of weeks Thank you, and goodnight!

Mid-America Hypnosis Conference 2013 “Hypnotist of the Year” Sean Michael Andrews is a certified hypnotist currently doing hypnosis research in Heidelberg, Germany. He is the Supervising Instructor for the Dave Elman Hypnosis Institute. Sean teaches the nurse anesthetist course for the American School of Clinical Hypnosis International. He is also the Director and Senior Instructor for the Atlantic Hypnosis Institute. Sean has taught in 17 different countries on five continents. He is a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and he holds a black belt in Taijutsu Karate. Many consider him to be “The World's Fastest Hypnotist.”

He is certified with: • National Guild of Hypnotists • National Board of Hypnosis Education and Certification • International Medical & Dental Hypnotherapy Association • Society of Neuro-Linguistic Programming Website: www.WorldsFastestHypnotist.com Youtube Link: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGlaCPCnLyRqXTdgT3tpuNA


Comments: 857 • Responses: 68  • Date: 

Danielhelle547 karma

Are you feeling sleepy ?

SeanMichaelAndrews332 karma

A little!

JarkAttack212 karma

Hi, thanks for taking the time do the AMA, first off, what im sure many users here would like to know, is how exactly does hypnotism work? What are the neurological processes involved, and what are some public misconceptions about the nature of hypnosis that you as an expert would like to dispel?


SeanMichaelAndrews184 karma

First of all, neuroscience is not my field. I'm more of a liberal arts guy.

SeanMichaelAndrews146 karma

But the three most common misconceptions are...

SeanMichaelAndrews287 karma

  1. You will lose control
  2. You will tell secrets
  3. You can get stuck in hypnosis. All are UNTRUE

JarkAttack89 karma

Haha, im a liberal arts guy too, so if none of the above can happen during hypnosis, what is the strongest affect hypnosis can have on people?

SeanMichaelAndrews323 karma

When in a trance, your subconscious mind will accept suggestions better. True story... a client came back yesterday. Lost about 20 pounds in the past 3 months. My suggestions about making pasta unappetizing are still strong!

couturenallure33 karma

A boy who went to high school with my boyfriend revealed to the entire school who he had a crush on. The hypnotist asked him on stage who his celebrity crush was and he said her name. I'm sure that probably doesn't happen a lot, but it convinces me to stay in the audience next time I see a hypnotist show.

SeanMichaelAndrews46 karma

Yeah! That's a dangerous skit! I would never do that one!

danisnotfunny12 karma

Can anyone be hypnotized? I have tried it twice (as in those fun hypnotists shows at school events) and it never worked.

SeanMichaelAndrews18 karma

It took me many tries before I went into hypnosis. Don't give up!

featured_spectre177 karma

How effective is hypnosis. Does it require a willing participant or can it be done on unwilling people?

SeanMichaelAndrews199 karma

Technically possible (although improbable) to hypnotize an unwilling person. Anyway, they're not going to do anything against their will, so it would be pretty pointless!

featured_spectre109 karma

Have you ever used it for people to quit smoking or lose weight?

SeanMichaelAndrews288 karma

Those are the hypnotherapist's bread and butter!

nopes_alot31 karma

Does it work? Specifically I mean, what is the percentage of patients that stay smoke-free or fat-free two years after the therapy?

SeanMichaelAndrews66 karma

As far as smoking is concerned, scientific, peer reviewed studies have shown hypnosis beats nicotine replacement therapy, hands down. Sorry I can't cite my favorite study. It was a hospital in Mass. where they worked with well-motivated smokers. Hypnosis won! A careful google search will find it.

USAMcK170 karma

I would love to be hypnotized but I think it is absolute bullshit. Do I have any chance?

Also, what are the cultural implications for hypnosis? Are some cultures more hypnotizable than others? Do you think it has something to do with how willing a group is to follow the masses, not question how/why, and just adhere to tradition?

SeanMichaelAndrews112 karma

Great question!! Hypnotizability is one of the things I am researching. Interesting fact...

SeanMichaelAndrews168 karma

Some ethnic groups tend to be better at going into hypnosis. People from Indian subcontinent are especially good at it. Don't know why. James Esdaile (Look him up) found this out during the mid 1800's. When he returned to the UK, he found it was much harder to hypnotize Northern Europeans!

SeanMichaelAndrews114 karma

Maybe genetic, maybe cultural. Anyway, when somebody from the Indian subcontinent comes in, I KNOW he/she will do well!

USAMcK18 karma

Thanks for answering my question.

SeanMichaelAndrews27 karma

Happy to!

SeanMichaelAndrews29 karma

Anybody who wants to be hypnotized can do it. It's just that some are better than others! (edit spelling)

IOU-an-upvote132 karma

How far can you go with hypnotism? Like you can't really make anyone do anything right?

Wow... this AMA was awesome, better than Cats. I'm going to read it again and again!

SeanMichaelAndrews135 karma

People really won't do anything against their best interests!

USAMcK92 karma

Why not? Because they're not actually hypnotized?

SeanMichaelAndrews119 karma

Oops! I completely misunderstood your question! They ARE hypnotized, but they THINK they are not! (edited due to misunderstanding)

SeanMichaelAndrews125 karma

One of my students got on stage for a Vegas show and did some WILD stuff. It was only later that he came to the realization that he must have been hypnotized to do that really silly stuff!

SeanMichaelAndrews56 karma

But if they feel like showing off on stage and having some fun... they might do some pretty interesting things!

USAMcK40 karma

So, you just bank on people "playing along"?

SeanMichaelAndrews74 karma

No! Most of the time they are not playing along. It is their reality. Funny thing... some think they are playing along, but they are NOT!

USAMcK126 karma

I find that so hard to believe. I guess I'm too much of a skeptic.

SeanMichaelAndrews39 karma

I found it hard to believe myself. Took me several years before I was able to go into trance myself. Most people find it very easy though.

sporite120 karma

Penn and Teller once did hypnotism on their show Bullshit. A show where they investigate multiple acts and themes.

What do you think of them?

SeanMichaelAndrews157 karma

Guys! I have no idea how to end this AMA. I don't want to just stop answering. Does anyone know the proper procedure?

sporite177 karma

Sure! Just edit your post at the top there where it says "IamA Hypnotist AMA!", and click the edit button. From there just type in something generic saying that it was a pleasure answering questions, and you've had fun answering them, but I must really go now.

Something like that!

SeanMichaelAndrews96 karma

Thank you!!

SeanMichaelAndrews128 karma

I don't know what Penn and Teller really think about hypnosis. The premise of the show was P&T come on and make fun of (trash) a particular group/topic etc. So you can look at the show through that lens. I know some of the people who were included in that show. It's just entertainment. If they went on air and gave a thoughtful evaluation of hypnosis, I don't think many people would have watched it. It's all entertainment, right?

sporite41 karma

Correct me if I'm wrong, I'm going on a limb here. But is Hypnotism exploiting people's stage-freight infront of a large crowd and making them submissive?

I'd imagine it'll be very embarrassing if you find your way up onto the stage just to awkwardly sit there while someone commands you to sleep and stuff.

SeanMichaelAndrews77 karma

Actually, this isn't really a problem. If you volunteer and decide that you're not really interested, the hypnotist will shake your hand and invite you to to back to the audience. Most good hypnotists are pretty good at figuring out who doesn't want to be up on stage! Just open yours eyes and look at the hypnotist. He'll get the idea!

Rob_T_Firefly7 karma

Does it affect the show if the opposite is true, and the subject is already quite comfortable on stage? I regularly do standup and other performing and even if I don't want to screw with another entertainer's show, if brought up on stage I'd worry that not being as uneasy in front of the crowd as expected would interfere somehow.

SeanMichaelAndrews10 karma

Nah! A pro will know how to handle it. Go for it!

StaticTaco79 karma

How much does it pay?

SeanMichaelAndrews103 karma

Depends on your demographic/income in your area of the world. Cheapest in the US would be around $75.00. It can go up into a few hundreds in super prime areas with very affluent clients.

SeanMichaelAndrews63 karma

Understand I was quoting the average amount the hypnotist is paid for an appointment.

StaticTaco46 karma

What exactly do you hypnotise people to do?

SeanMichaelAndrews153 karma

Weight loss mostly. But for entertainment, I do sketches. Forget your name, recognize a famous actress in the audience and get her autograph. Stuff like that.

AnyOneImportant48 karma

What is the most ethically dubious thing you've ever heard of anyone doing to someone under hypnosis?

SeanMichaelAndrews57 karma

You hear lots of stories, but mostly they are just stories. Some adult shows are extremely risque. Sometimes people get embarrassed. My shows are family friendly so nobody gets mad at me!

AnyOneImportant38 karma

Come onnnnn.... Let's hear the "stories", it's what we're here for!

SeanMichaelAndrews25 karma

Hmm. First of all, I missed your follow-up question until just now. How do I make sure I get all the questions?

SeanMichaelAndrews98 karma

One guy I know says he used to go to bars at closing time and hypnotize people to get sober so they could drive home. How's that for dubious?

AnyOneImportant27 karma

Wow, that is unbelievably dubious, and surely that doesn't work?!

SeanMichaelAndrews68 karma

It actually can happen. I did an experiment in my office this year with six subjects. Three drank alcohol and three drank water. Of the three who drank alcohol, (and they were very tipsy) I was able to make one completely sober! Now I doubt it would have done anything with her BAC, but she seemed stone cold sober when I gave her the suggestion. When I took it away, she could barely walk or talk. I truly amazed me!!! But I never would let them get behind the wheel. We kept them around until the sobered up enough to take the train home.

AnyOneImportant28 karma

That's really interesting! Surely there's a point where the physical effects of alcohol can no longer be negated by the power of hypnotic persuasion?

SeanMichaelAndrews46 karma

Probably. It was really amazing that the one girl sobered up so completely. I've only done this experiment once.

SeanMichaelAndrews44 karma

Another thing to consider is that although alcohol can make a person more hypnotizable, at some point they have trouble focusing. That is another issue.

AnyOneImportant9 karma

I've only ever used reddit on redditisfun mobile app (which I am currently using) but I get a little message notification when someone replies to me. Hope that helps?!

SeanMichaelAndrews17 karma

I'm on my laptop. Hate to admit, but I'm really tech-nonsavy. So I don't understand. Thank you for trying to help this hopeless hypnotist!!!

AnyOneImportant5 karma

No problem, thanks for doing the AmA! Also, I'd advise you to keep your answers in one comment. At the moment your replies to people are being split into lots of different comments. Maybe don't send your reply until it's fully written out? Good luck!

SeanMichaelAndrews8 karma

Thank you! I JUST found this page. Looks like I was on the wrong page to answer questions.

SeanMichaelAndrews23 karma

One guy has a video out where he "gets out of a speeding ticket." Hmm.

Manfrenjensenjen43 karma

I read a story recently about a principal hypnotizing some students, and then several of them ended up committing suicide. The details were sketchy to say the least. Are you aware of this? Any ideas what really happened?

SeanMichaelAndrews65 karma

I have been reading about this since it first came out. I have no first hand knowledge, but I know the training the fellow had taken was top-notch... one of the schools I attended years ago. From all accounts he was really caring person, concerned with helping his students. Tragic.

thekingearl30 karma

So I've been dealing with insomnia for most of my life. I've never even considered hypnotism before but I just happened to see your post - any chance hypnotism can help with insomnia?

SeanMichaelAndrews45 karma

Yes. I have treated many people for this (with doctor's note, of course) and it is very effective. There are many ways to go with this. Sometimes it is advisable to do age regression (not talking about past lives regression) to find out the cause of the stress that is keeping you awake. This is a very powerful technique but you need somebody experienced to do it. Sometimes it's just a matter of teaching stress reduction techniques and that's all you need. Some people do really well with a hypnosis MP3. I prefer a one-on -one session though.

sidgupta23422 karma

What are the prime uses of hypnotism?

SeanMichaelAndrews60 karma

The three biggies for hypnotherapy are weight loss, smoking cessation and stress reduction. There is much more that it's good for, but most people don't know much about it. We call it the "three S's Slimming Smoking Stress

That's what most hypnotherapists make their living on.

SirPuggleton21 karma

What's inside the realm of possibility for hypnotism? For instance I have a phobia of needles and have a panic attack if a doctor/nurse comes at me with one, even though logically I know it's important. Is this an issue hypnotism might be able to solve?

SeanMichaelAndrews47 karma

ABSOLUTELY! This is one of my favorite success stories. 18-yr-old girl is about to start college. She is the worst needle phobe ever!!! Attendants need to hold her down for shots or blood samples while she thrashes about an screams. One session and cured. Her mom emailed me six months later and said daughter is participating in study at school that requires a blood draw every week!!! Find somebody good in your area and get this fixed!

Important note: The hypnotist should require you to bring a referral from your physician. Hypnotists are not medical practitioners. We help, but we only do medical stuff with a medical referral. Otherwise that would be practicing medicine without a license. I think that is still frowned upon in most countries. :-)

SirPuggleton15 karma

That's good to hear! When looking for a hypnotist, are there any specific accreditations that you should look for to make sure that they are correctly trained and ethically bound? (I live in Australia if that influences your response)

SeanMichaelAndrews25 karma

I have taught in Oz several times. Australian hypnotists are some of the best trained in the world in my opinion. Supervision is required and more hours of instruction than in most countries. I'm not current on the organizations right now. Message me privately and tell me what state you're in. I know people in every state but Tassie... and the NT :-)

Bad_dota_playa20 karma

Are there any psychological dangers to hypnotism?

SeanMichaelAndrews40 karma

Hypnotism is pretty benign. Any time you are dealing with emotional issues, you need to be careful and stick to areas within your scope of practice. I would not advise a hypnotist to treat someone with severe mental problems... unless under the supervision of a mental health professional or physician. That should always be the first stop.

Skyhooks19 karma

When doing an entertainment show, do you pick at random from the audience or is there a way for you to tell if someone is more easily suggestible?

SeanMichaelAndrews42 karma

Great question! I am pretty good at picking highly hypnotizable people (wrote a book on it, actually!) There are many clues. The best people tend to sit up front. Women are slightly better at going into hypnosis. When you look into their eyes, some great subjects will get a strange look in their eyes that tells you "I'm already in trance!"

Awpossum15 karma

Any advice on self hypnotizing ? I tried to listen to some hypnotizing videos on youtube, and they really helped me feel better but I would still be thinking too much while listening too them.

SeanMichaelAndrews19 karma

Many people say, "I couldn't turn my thoughts off!" That's okay. Just gently move your attention back to the hypnotist's voice and all will be okay. Many people think they're supposed to feel zonked. Not necessary.

count21014 karma

Do you think you could get someone to kill a person they already hated while under hypnosis?

SeanMichaelAndrews35 karma

I think that people do that all the time and no hypnosis is involved. And then there's brainwashing which is a completely different thing unrelated to hypnosis. :-(

YesMyNameIsGeorge14 karma

Have you ever used Hypnotism in your personal life for your own gain?

SeanMichaelAndrews33 karma

Yes! I use self hypnosis for pumping myself up for important presentations and shows. I have used hypnosis to cure my fear of high bridges (30 years ago) and I used NLP to cure my hay fever.

YesMyNameIsGeorge33 karma

I was thinking more like getting the kids to clean the house but this is actually a much more interesting answer.

SeanMichaelAndrews30 karma

Okay... funny story! I told one of my students did a show at a high school. After the show, a couple came up and said that they were amazed at how deeply hypnotized their daughter was. The said that they WISHED they had asked him to get her to clean her room. I had just taught him instant hypnosis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZA2s8xx1P-I and he said, "No problem!" He hypnotized the girl and told her that she would love to clean her room. Next morning, guess what happened? Yup! :-)

YesMyNameIsGeorge9 karma

hahah at what age did you start practising hypnotism? i mean if you can do this i bet you could have had a great high school experience.

SeanMichaelAndrews18 karma

You KNOW it! I was in my 30's but I often wondered. My sons learned when they were 16 and they have had tons of fun!!!

Andrewop12 karma

What is a good resource for someone wanting to learn self hypnosis?

SeanMichaelAndrews25 karma

Best way to learn self hypnosis is to find a good hypnotist. have him/her hypnotize you and give you a trigger to re-induce hypnosis. Then you just have to practice. Great stuff!

gradieu12 karma

Is there any good way to practice self-hypnotizing? Do you need to specify a food kind to reduce appetite over that kind of food, or can you reduce the appetite in general?

SeanMichaelAndrews31 karma

There are many ways to go. You can suggest to the client that his/her stomach is quite small and that it will only take a very small amount of food to fill it. I teach all my weight loss clients how to do self-hypnosis so that they can reinforce the suggestions. That way they don't have to keep coming back to me. Some may say that's a poor business decision. :-)

Jessie59912 karma

What got you interested in hypnotism? And have you ever been able to help people recover lost memories with it?

SeanMichaelAndrews16 karma

Cool question. I recently helped a fellow find his car keys that he had lost. Best part for me was that this was during one of my classes and we got it on film!!! His office was supposed to be painted that afternoon, so the recovery saved the day! :-)

Brosbel11 karma


Can everybody try to hypnotise people ? I mean if i want to try to hypnotise my brother, will it work? do I have to have predispositions?

Thanks in advance for your answers

(Sorry for my bad English, i live in Europe :) )

SeanMichaelAndrews20 karma

I live in Europe too! And your English is fine! It's a strange thing, but often a relative or close friend is harder to hypnotize than a stranger. They have trouble taking you seriously! Learning to hypnotize is pretty easy, but it does take a lot of practice to become proficient. I always recommend a live class if you can take one. Otherwise, there are some very good video courses on the market.

ifonlythiswasnothot11 karma

Can you hypnotize a billionaire to give you his money?

SeanMichaelAndrews35 karma

If I could, I'd be doing this from my private yacht. :-) I'm not! :-(

silverfox899 karma

Is it really possible to lose weight with hypnotherapy?

SeanMichaelAndrews19 karma

Yup! It's not just a one-session deal since the hypnotist needs to work on exercise, food choices, portion control and drinking water, but it can be very effective. One thing some hypnotists are doing is virtual gastric surgery which I thought was a gimmick, but some are reporting really good results with. I don't use this method, but just so you know about another option....

Tarkanos8 karma

How do you grapple with the notion that neuro-linguistic programming has been found to be completely unsupported by evidence and is likely pseudo-science?

SeanMichaelAndrews10 karma

I have heard and read that too. All I can say is that because of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) I am personally no longer afraid of bridges, I no longer have hay fever (Dilts process) and I have gotten hundreds of people over phobias. It seems crazy, but it works... in my experience!

S3LLouT7 karma

Hey I really like your AMA! Can hypnotism help people study better? I'm really bad at studying for test and what not and I have problems picking up information really slow compared to most of my classmates. In short I'm stupid.

SeanMichaelAndrews12 karma

Stupid? That sounds like a pretty disempowering belief! STOP IT!!! https://youtu.be/Ow0lr63y4Mw

I'm serious though. Stop it. A hypnotist can help with that. I remember one kid I worked with who was getting D's. He was on the honor roll before the end of the year. He claimed the hypnosis had nothing to do with it.... Okay, kid. :-)

RedBanana995 karma

How come I really want and desire to get hypnotised, for both cessation of smoking or either to be on stage on holiday in Europe - and I try so very hard yet I never 'go under'.

I proper try to relax, listen to the voice, clasp my hands, take myself into my dreams yet still just look around like a meerkat at everyone else going under?

Not fair.

SeanMichaelAndrews3 karma

I feel your pain!! I was there too. I thing the important thing to remember is that for most of us (80%) hypnosis does not put us into dream time. Only 20% of people are what we all "somnambulists." You, my friend... are NORMAL. :-)

lambskinny2 karma

Can one be hypnotized to eat foods they don't normally like? Like vegetables. I seen you could make a food unappetizing like the pasta.

SeanMichaelAndrews7 karma

Yes, it can be done. Full disclosure - I still hate liver!