Sunday, February 8, 2009

School Board Nixes Hypnosis for Basketball Team

Even though hypnosis enhances an athlete’s performance on the court/gridiron, a school board in St. John, Kansas decided against the practice for its varsity basketball team

Hypnosis is still seen by many as magic or stage antics grounded in mysticism. Think about it: if your only concept of hypnosis is seeing an old man with a pocket watch walking across a stage seemingly controlling the minds of his volunteers (getting them to act a fool uncontrollably), you certainly wouldn’t want your son or daughter to participate in a school’s program even though the hypnotist may have given a glaring description of how hypnosis works.

What many parents don’t realize is that hypnosis is both science and art. It is so versatile, it is probably one of the only techniques that can be used by various professionals – athletes, dentists, general doctors, anesthesiologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, hypnotherapists, counselors, social workers, ministers, teachers, coaches, motivational speakers, magicians and stage hypnotists or anyone dealing with the mind. Its uses are many – as in healing mental and emotional issues, acquiring motivation to achieve goals, as an anesthetic/ to control pain, boost confidence/esteem, stop smoking, lose weight, or enhance one’s performance/talent…just to mention a few arenas of application.

Unfortunately it is the magician or the stage hypnotist – with a larger than life personality – who appears to use hypnosis in a ‘mind control’ type of way for jokes and laughter. Of course, he will receive many oohs and ahs from his audience but the damage in seeing a professional man walking around like a ballerina or a professional woman walking around like a sex crazed maniac is indelible to the minds of many.

In the criminal field, police would say that their job is to protect 99% of the population from the 1% of the criminals. The same can go for many professionals who use hypnosis to enhance their patients’/clients’ lives versus that 1% who uses it for shock value, fun and games.

Because of that 1% of showmanship, perhaps no other therapeutic technique has to defend itself as much as hypnosis has to.

But as the father of one of the St. John’s varsity team players said, “I don’t know how it works, but Jordan says he can feel a difference. He says he loves it.” Shouldn’t that matter most!

Maybe if the parents and the school board of the St. John’s basketball team were told that hypnosis would not only help their sons play better basketball, but it would also enhance their grades, build their confidence and esteem and help them prepare for their future… maybe the school board would have defended hypnosis instead of being against it.

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