Jul 31, 2013 - By Andrea Novotny, Staff WriterIn his first-ever performance at the Fremont County Fair, hypnotist Michael Mezmer guided a group of volunteers into a trance to the delight of onlookers.
But hypnosis has more to offer than simply entertainment, says Mezmer.
"The stage hypnosis show, when it comes down to it, is really a group therapy session," he says.
He said that under hypnosis, people are able to free themselves from all of the stresses of everyday life.
Following each show, right before rousing volunteers from hypnosis, he gives them suggestions to help them achieve confidence, success, or anything else they're trying to accomplish.
"I've had parents come back to me years later after their children have been in the show and they're in college now and they say it's opened their whole life up," he said.
Mezmer started his career as a magician, performing all over the world, but was later fascinated by hypnosis.
"I would see hypnotic demonstrations done in various parts of the world that I traveled to --in Indonesia and Malaysia and Thailand --they would do demonstrations where people would eat light bulbs and not bleed," he said.
"Then, when I came down to the States, I learned that with hypnosis you could do painless surgeries, bloodless surgeries -- they used it for all different kinds of surgeries including open heart surgeries, even, because some people are allergic to anesthesia, and so through hypnosis they can access surgery without having pain."
Mezmer has a degree in psychology, and also went to the Hypnotism Training Institute in Glendale, Calif., to learn clinical hypnosis.
Mezmer performs about 380 shows every year all over the U.S., along with some individual clinical therapy hypnosis sessions.
"One time I was flying on Southwest Airlines," he said "There were thunderstorm with lightning and the plane was shaking."
"A lady was getting really sick. She had the towel around her neck, and they brought her the bag to throw up in," he said.
Mezmer offered to hypnotize her. She agreed, and they had an eight-minute hypnosis session.
"For the rest of the flight, she was drinking and laughing and having a good time."
Mezmer also says in his shows that hypnosis is a natural phenomenon that people experience regularly.
"Hypnosis is a natural god-given ability to relax," he says. "All I do is simply teach people to do it on the stage, and we do it live. Its not about me controlling them or opening their minds to anything negative. It's about uplifting them, helping them relax, and leaving them feeling great.
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