This first segment discusses the truths and misconceptions relating to hypnosis and the fact that you experience hypnosis every day without realizing it.
CONOR FLYNN: One of the reasons why I wanted to do this podcast with you is because part of the theme is RX podcast is helping people build better humans very health and fitness related and your sole purpose, your job is to really help people out and people have a misconception of what hypnosis is, the benefits of it. I’ve done it in the past with you. And the way I’ve tried to describe it to people is it’s not what you think it’s not like you’re just on stage, you’re doing a bunch of things people tell you to go rob a bank, whatever it might be. It’s more like a time distortion of what seems like five minutes might be 30 minutes. And it’s more like relaxation. I always felt like I was in that stage where you’re not sure if you’re asleep or not sure if you’re awake. But I’ll let you kind of explain what hypnosis is. Maybe address some of the misconceptions of it and talk a little bit about your practice. And, you know, I’ve always enjoyed talking about neuro linguistic programming and psychology.
TODD GOODWIN: Absolutely, Conor. Thanks for having me. And it’s always a pleasure to talk with you. It’s been a while. Yeah, so I can just jump right in basically. Hypnosis is the most attention-grabbing aspect of, of what we do. You know, whenever we go to any kind of event, someone says, what do you do? When you say you’re a hypnotist, immediately that seems to catch people’s attention. And either they’re uncomfortable, like, “Oh, don’t look at me” or something, which is they’re afraid you’re going to hypnotize them. And I said, “Well, usually people have to pay me a lot of money to have the privilege of being hypnotized.” So I don’t have that issue so much with that reaction. Usually, it’s “Wow, does that really work?” Or “Can I have your card?” Or “What’s that, like? I’ve seen that on TV.”
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about hypnosis. And the simplest way to explain it is that hypnosis is a natural state of mind that we’re all capable of, basically a speed learning or rapid learning state. And it’s a state of mind, as you kind of alluded to earlier, that is somewhere between the state we’re in now, which is alert and focused, and being asleep. So technically, when someone’s hypnotized, they’re awake. But it’s a different brain state, which they’ve measured through EEGs and functional MRI, and they can see the differences in brain activity. And essentially, it does feel very relaxing, which is actually not even required as part of what hypnosis is. But hypnosis is something that people experience when they’re daydreaming, zoning out while they’re driving. And they’re like, “Oh, how’d I get here?” And they weren’t aware for a moment consciously. But subconsciously, they were still driving the car. When people react emotionally to a movie or video game or reading a novel and they get excited or start to cry or something like that. That emotional reactivity is often an indicator of being hypnotized. Or if you watch a commercial and you start getting hungry, maybe they’re showing melted chocolate pouring over something, and then you’re getting really hungry, you want chocolate, or your mouth waters, that’s another form of hypnotic effect.
People are going in and out of a state of hypnosis, pretty much all the time. throughout the day. Virtually everyone can be hypnotized. It’s completely safe. And the really important thing is not the hypnosis itself, because we all do that. It’s what are you exposing yourself to information wise, when you’re in that state? So if people watch the news, usually they go into a state of hypnosis, actually, just watching TV will do it. Within five to 10 minutes, typically, their brainwave state has changed, they are in a form of tunnel vision. You can get completely immersed in a TV show, not be aware of what’s going on around you. And while that may be fine if you’re just watching something fairly harmless, it can be dangerous if you’re watching a violent movie or the news, which is really designed to manipulate you emotionally so that you buy stuff on the commercial breaks, then you become hypnotized to be afraid, or hypnotized to be a consumer…
CONOR: Or you find yourself regurgitating all their information in a later conversation. Isn’t it true that when you’re hypnotized, like you’re saying it’s the learning that you get during that, if you’re in a state of hypnosis, during the news, would that fall into your subconscious? And some of that information might be stored there for later use that you might not even want there?
TODD: Potentially. I mean, it’s called programming for a reason, TV programming. Most people don’t think about it, but when you watch TV, that’s programming you. So you’re being programmed, and I usually advocate people don’t watch the news. Don’t live in a bubble, but getting headlines once a week or something is usually sufficient. I say in South Florida, the most important thing you need to know is if there is a hurricane coming. Other than that, you don’t need to know the news today. I mean, if you’re a stock market trader that may be different. But for most people 30 minutes or an hour of news a day is simply a recipe for higher stress.
The next segment explores the relationship between some of our most common personal problems and their underlying causes, and why most common solutions don’t work well.