Hypnosis has been cited in science journals as the most successful way to quit smoking, yet some people remained concerned about the perceived downside of being hypnotised.

One of the most common questions I'm asked is whether I will make them cluck like a chicken. While this is often asked in jest, it can mask an underlining concern that their mind may be controlled in some way.

This is a natural worry, because most people have been exposed to television and stage hypnosis, and a lot of weird ideas, thoughts of hypnotists having near super powers.

But if such powers exist then why do not we see headlines, stating that evil hypnotists are creating armies of zombies committing crimes.

I have to laugh because I could not even hypnotize my son to empty the dishwasher without being told to.

And there is a simple reason why I could not, it's not because I'm a rubbish hypnotist, it's because of a couple of simple rules.

  1. You can not make someone do something they do not want to do.
  2. No one will act on a suggestion that goes against their moral code.

Hypnosis is successful only when a person wants a change in their lives, gives permission for that change to occur in hypnosis and is prepared to fully participate.

You may ask, how does it work when a hypnotist just grabs someone and says the magic words “sleep” and they slip forward. This is known as a rapid induction and some people are susceptible to this kind of instant hypnosis.

It is literally a shock to the system, not unlike, when someone has heard some bad news or been in an accident and just appears stunned. But the same two rules still apply.

In the case of an accident victim it's important to give simple suggestions of comfort.

Years ago I attended the funeral of a friend, he was thirty, died suddenly leaving behind a wife and two young children. It was such a sad event that I left in a kind of hypnotic state. At some point I found myself in a roadhouse cafe putting salt in my coffee.

At that time I snapped out of this state, and felt slightly alarmed that I had driven so far like this. Quite driving is often an unconscious action so my fellow travelers were perfectly safe.

So now you can relax, play the hypnosis game, and allow your practitioner to assist you to become a non smoker for life.