Associate News Editor
The crowd was wowed on Tuesday night in the SMC multipurpose room at 7 p.m. Students were able to learn to use their minds in a different way, through hypnosis. Hypnotist Paul Ramsey stated, “This is not a magic show, an illusion or a con. It is real.”
He said to the students, “You are hardwired for trance through your neurological system. Trance is a conscious state. You are here to learn how hypnosis works.” Two things set his show apart from others: 1.) He doesn’t pick volunteers (hypnosis from the students’ seats) 2.) This is the only truly interactive hypnosis show (can use a remote control for in-show polls, everyone in the audience has one). If students did not want to be hypnotized, they didn’t have to be.
Ramsey wanted the audience to just have fun, sit and enjoy. He then had the audience prepare for hypnosis by using their “mind’s eye.” With their eyes closed, they imagined what was around them, in front of them, they put details into their minds. Ramsey had the students put imaginary details into their visions and then had everyone open their eyes.
If a student’s hands were separated after the exercise, they were said to have suggestibility, which makes them a better hypnotic subject. He then asked that everyone in the audience be fundamentally kind to others around them, especially those who genuinely wanted to be hypnotized.
Next, he put up on the screens a kaleidoscope video and asked the audience to stare into the screen and ask themselves in their minds if they would like to be hypnotized. Then, the hypnotist had them all take three deep breaths. The audience let themselves focus on the sound of Ramsey’s voice for relaxation. The more relaxed a person is, the better they feel and the better they are for hypnosis.
“You’ll hear outside sounds, ignore them and focus more and more on the sound of my voice,” Ramsey said to the audience. “Thoughts can wander in and out of your mind, but you should focus on my voice. Just let yourself become more relaxed and comfortable. When I snap my fingers you will awaken but hold onto that relaxation.”
Ramsey then had the audience do another hand/arm exercise, which was based on the imagery he put in their minds with his words while he slowly counted from one to five. He then yelled, “Sleep!” and everyone’s arms went down and they were instructed to allow their muscles to relax all the way down through their bodies.
“Let every muscle, every fiber, every nerve of your body be relaxed. But let your mind relax more,” stated Ramsey. Then he slowly counted down from 10 to one. He also commented on the fact that he snaps his fingers in order to push suggestions into people’s minds.
Two special words were used throughout the show: awake–relaxation gathered up and moved to a storage place within one’s mind, and sleep–with one’s eyes open he says the word sleep and instantaneously opens the storage space and one becomes immensely relaxed.
Signs that one has been hypnotized include tingling in the fingers, watery eyes and a hot face. Ramsey then asked the audience to allow their first name to go away for five minutes. Which allowed for an open space within the front of everyone’s mind. They all had instantaneous recall for the next five minutes.
He then asked anyone in the audience who could not remember their first name to come up front to the stage. Then he asked them a series of fact questions about themselves and then if they showed true signs of hypnosis they went up onto the stage.
It then became very interesting when the audience was allowed to do their first poll. The first poll was, “What would you rather see? A) a ballet performance or B) a symphony orchestra.” The audience chose “A.” Ramsey then put the suggestion to the hypnotized that they were all part of a new student organization called the Millersville Ballet Association. When he started playing the night of ballet music the hypnotized on the stage started dancing and twirling on the stage as though they were all ballerinas!
In the second poll students in the audience were able to choose more individual suggestions for the hypnotized. The audience was clearly captivated by Ramsey and his hypnotism knowledge. He was able to bring something new to campus since only one person in the audience had been hypnotized before Tuesday night.