Fifteen years under hypnosis

Melanie Mitchell, Editor-in-Chief

For fifteen years and counting, Dr. Jim Wand has presented his “mind blowing” hypnosis show during welcome week on campus. This year’s show began at 8 p.m. in the Smith University Center (UC) gym on August 20.

As is tradition, The University Programming Board (UPB) hosted the show.  The night began with a member from the organization welcoming students to the event and introducing Wand as a nationally-recognized professional hypnotist who has worked  with the likes of Heidi Klum, Chris Rock and Carrot Top to name a few. Wand took the stage and shared with the audience what inspired him to he get into his profession.

Wand explained he weighed 220 pounds his freshman year in college. He went on to say that a friend of his suggested he try hypnotism and Wand agreed.

“After my first session I lost 70 pounds in six months, changed my major from computer science to psychology…,” Wand said.

Before the show, Wand asked the audience to hold two fingers out in front of them. According to Wand, if their fingers moved closer together as he was instructing them to, they were capable of being hypnotized. He also briefed the audience saying that if they did not want to be hypnotized, then they wouldn’t be.

“If you don’t want to be hypnotized, then you won’t,” Wand said. “You will not be hypnotized if you are trying too hard just like sometimes you can’t fall asleep if you try too hard. It just won’t happen.”

To begin the process, Wand told the audience to focus on a spinning light positioned on the gym floor. As Wand began putting the audience under hypnosis, many student volunteers and members of the audience “fell asleep” as Wand instructed them too.

Some of the floor volunteers who did not fall under hypnosis were replaced by some audience members who had.

During the show Wand asked the volunteers to perform several acts such as being models of the opposite sex, playing a slot machine and winning their dream car and acting like an exotic dancer from a foreign country.  Wand asked one male volunteer to pretend to be Beyoncé and was tackled by another male volunteer who smiled and yelled “Beyoncé!” as the two fell to the floor.

Wand said he likes to do these shows because the participants are typically fully aware of what they are doing and they don’t care because it “feels good to let go.” Wand acknowledged this not true for all individuals who are hypnotized as is the case for Malcolm Hart, junior marketing major.

Hart was hypnotized by Wand during his show the previously two years but chose not to go under hypnosis this time.

“I purposely did not get hypnotized because I wanted to watch the show this time,” Hart said. “When I got hypnotized before, I didn’t remember anything. I didn’t even believe I got hypnotized until later when I saw pictures and videos my friends took.”

The show is designed to be mostly entertaining however, Wand asks the hypnotized students to think of something academically that they would like to improve on. Wand explained that hypnosis is a tool that can be used to enhance ones performance and uses the show as an opportunity to help.

“I want people to know that hypnosis can be used to build confidence and performance in sports, in academics and in life in general.”

Wand explained that after his first hypnosis experience, he felt empowered which led to his 70 pound weight loss.

In the future, Wand said he will continue to return to FMU “as long as they want me here.”

Wand is the owner of Wand enterprises and encourages students to log onto to learn more about the free self-hypnosis guide he offers.