When walking down the hallway of the sixth floor of Sanderson Hall, one may hear many different laughs coming from a dorm room. Upon opening the door to the certain dorm room, one may see freshman Justin Arthur putting a few of his floor mates under hypnosis. Arthur, a cellular and molecular biology major with a focus in pre-med at West Chester University, took an active interest in hypnosis during his junior year of high school. From that point on, he did a lot of self-research through different Web sites and books, practiced what he learned and also acquired help from psychologists in the field. He kept building from there and now performs.
“There were two reasons why I decided to get into hypnosis,” Arthur stated. “My father’s background in psychology influenced me, as well as having personal interests in the mind and subconscious,” Arthur said. “My parents think that it is a wonderful talent and they enjoy watching the different acts.”
Arthur can perform four different types of hypnosis: stage hypnosis, smoking regression, study skills enhancement and stress management. He has been performing professional stage hypnosis shows the past few months at WCU, bars, birthday parties and private gatherings, and he tunes his performance to the audience. He is now practicing more “post-hypnotic suggestion routines,” such as smoking regression.
“This currently is just a hobby and sometimes a job for me,” Arthur said. “I love doing this just for the fun of it. If I am paid, it depends on the organization that is running it, their budget and the length of time they want me to perform.”
“He [Arthur] said he was going to do a little hypnotism on me,” Steve Mahon, sophomore early childhood and special education student said. “I came to an hour later in the hallway surrounded by people and realized he may have stretched the truth.”
But, they all agreed they felt well rested and more relaxed after being hypnotized.
Arthur said that the most shocking thing someone had done while being hypnotized happened recently in one of WCU’s residence halls. The participants, while under hypnosis, were made to think they were at a wild party with all of their inhibitions gone. A female participant approached Arthur and tried to pull down his pants. Arthur immediately had to put her back to sleep.
Some wonder if everyone can become hypnotized or not. Arthur cleared up a few misconceptions about hypnosis.
“Technically, everyone can be hypnotized, but there are different percentages of people that are willing,” Arthur said. “Ten percent of the population are completely unwilling to be hypnotized. Ten percent of the population are extremely susceptible to hypnosis. The other 80 percent are at different levels of susceptibility.”
Anyone can hypnotize people, but not everyone knows how to control it. “If I were to sit down with someone for two hours, they would learn to, and be able to put someone in a trance” Arthur said.
If one wanted to pursue a hobby or a career in hypnosis they should watch as many stage hypnosis shows as possible. While watching those shows, they should see if (s)he can put his/herself in the hypnotist’s shoes and also see if (s)he can entertain the audience without having to do all of the work. If (s)he can picture this, then buy a book on hypnosis and constantly practice. Also, reference from many different sources because there are always new concepts coming out.
“There are two important facts that anyone who wants to perform hypnosis should know,” Arthur said. “Always have complete confidence in what you say while performing hypnosis. And, you have all the answers on how to hypnotize in your mind.”
One factor that is important to know about hypnosis is that one does not need a license to hypnotize because it is not a recognized form of treatment or medication, thus it being termed “alternative medicine.”
If anyone would like to request Arthur’s hypnosis skills for private parties or events, or just to find out when his shows are, e-mail him at JA628668@wcupa.edu.