On my last day in New York I was driving down Main Street in Port Washington and got stopped behind a Lexus. Affixed to the bumper of said automobile was the bumper sticker reading
HYPNOTISTS ARE ENTRANCING
There was a tiny spiral that resembled a thumbprint on the left side of this statement.
Simon joked that I should rear-end the car and then say, “Sorry, I was distracted by your bumper sticker.”
When I pointed out, with bitter envy, that the sticker should read LEXUS OWNERS ARE GULLIBLE, I was informed by my counterpart that professional hypnotists make loads of money.
People stare at me a lot. I have a rhythmic, if somewhat grating, giggle. I’m not afraid to watch people sleep. I really, really need some cash.
Maybe I should be a professional hypnotist.
For those of you who are of generation MySpace, allow me to explain. Hypnosis, or hypnotherapy, is a method of harnessing the subconscious by inducing a trance-like state. It’s often associated with the New Age movement, natural healers, holistic health, Ouija Boards, and goths. It can be used to help cure anything from kicking cancer sticks to social anxiety to binge eating to having too much money. I’m skeptical, but then again, I hate everything. Maybe a hypnotist can help.
The American Psychological Association is quoted as saying that hypnosis itself can cause “…changes in subjective experience, alterations in perception, sensation, emotion, thought or behavior.” Proponents believe it can help decrease cravings, enhance physical performance, and even act as a painkiller for things as intense as childbirth. To which I say, yeah, okay. You try deep breathing as your method of coping with your cervix dilating to the point of passing a honeydew melon through your vagina, I’ll tell you that you’re cuckoo for Cocoa-Puffs. But the application of hypnosis for medicinal purposes has been around since the late 1800s, and very few phony fads have that kind of staying power. In 1958 the American Medical Association published a report that can be summed up with the line “…the use of hypnosis has a recognized place in the medical armamentarium and is a useful technique in the treatment of certain illnesses when employed by qualified medical and dental personnel.” (“Medical use of hypnosis”, JAMA, 1958)
So even if I personally have my doubts, hypnosis is not a slap bracelet.
Also, don’t get hypnosists confused with those who practice mesmerizing. I get the impression that they’re offended by that. Kind of like an Irish versus Scottish thing.
In order to become a hypnotist you have to go to school, and get certification by one of the very few accredited hypnosis organizations, such as the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners. The group was founded in 1973 to self-regulate the practitioners of hypnosis and make sure that they didn’t all bond together to create some malevolent plan to make the human race their army of flesh-eating cannibal zombies that would eventually require Batman to come and destroy them and save Gotham. The ACHE explains the guidelines that you’re required to follow in order to become a certified hypnotist. They basically include between 200 and 300 hours of instruction and testing. I assume you have to also pledge to fight the forces of Grayskull or something, but I will never know, for it also requires $175 in order to receive registration and two years of certification. I do not have $175 to my name at this point. But, hey, thanks for playing.
Moreover, hypnosis itself is pretty thoroughly routed in a subject’s ability to succumb to the power of suggestion and, oh yeah, relax. It would be very similar to me attempting to perform an exam for Ipsilateral Testicular Hypotrophy. Google it.
Basically, in brief, I don’t have the money to become a hypnotist, which is good, ‘cause it’s probably something that I wouldn’t have a natural knack for. It’s likely that I’ll become a Lexus owner before I become a relaxation guru.
I kind of hope so.
Thank you to everyone who donates! You’re entrancing.
Write me a letter at AinsleyDrew at gmail after the count of three….