By: Christopher Sanchez
Daily Lobo, UNM, Albuquerque, NM 3/27/06
Hypnosis is not mumbo jumbo, said hypnotist Nancy Miller.
"It's the real thing," she said.
Miller and hypnotist Melissa Larntz joined a communication and journalism class Friday to discuss and perform hypnosis.
UNM professor Una Medina said her students have long anticipated a visit from a hypnotist.
"Since the first day when I announced that a hypnotist was coming in, the students have been laughing and smiling and asking about it," Medina said.
The class focuses on different types of persuasion, from one-on-one interaction to mass media. One of the types of persuasion the class looks at is hypnosis, Medina said, but she had never taken the approach of having a hypnotist coming to the class.
"It is easy to see how hypnosis is used as persuasive communication, and I invited a hypnotist to perform persuasive communication," she said.
Miller said hypnosis relates to persuasive language because it shows you don't have to directly tell someone to do something in order for them to do it.
Miller said when she was a substitute teacher she would put her rambunctious students in a trance state to get them relaxed.
Larntz had the class of about 15 students sit in a tight circle while she hypnotized them.
She told students to pick a place with any color, date or time, and to travel to that place by taking the stairs or elevator.
She slowly counted down from seven.
"You will gain an everyday habit of studying for two hours a day," she said. "You will be able to concentrate more. You'll be so absorbed in studying, and you will give full attention to studying."
Larntz then gave students a few minutes to enjoy the relaxed state. After, she started to count back to seven.
At seven, students were awake and stretching.
"That was equivalent to about four hours of sleep," Larntz said.
Larntz said people are fully aware under hypnosis, and you can't tell them to rob a bank or do something out of their moral code.
Hypnosis can be used to stop bad habits, Larntz said.
"Negative beliefs can be turned positive. You can take negative habits and turn them into positive new habits," she said.
Miller said hypnosis helped her overcome a compulsive eating habit. The habit affected her everyday functions, she said.
"I started to meditate, and after four weeks the habit dissipated," she said.
Miller said the power of hypnosis piqued her interest when she was in labor with her second child. Because she was in labor for 36 hours with her first child, she didn't want to experience labor pain and asked to be put under hypnosis.
She was told she wouldn't feel any pain and would feel warm waves rolling over her body, she said. The labor lasted eight hours and was painless, she said.
"I took the knowledge (of hypnosis) by the doctor and mesmerized my friends," she said. "It's so simple. Once you provide the vehicle of hypnosis, the mind will go with it."
Student Raul Ortega said during the hypnosis he was in a relaxed state of mind.
"I didn't think it would work," he said. "It really surprised me. I do have tapes on hypnosis, but they never seem to work."
Ortega said he found it to be fascinating.
"It's interesting how the mind works," he said.
Ortega said he was pleased to have the hypnotists come to the class.
"I'm glad I took this class," he said.
Nancy Ava Miller