I don't believe in new-age mumbo-jumbo, voodoo spells or mind control. I don't meditate, I don't know how to "centre myself" and I sure as hell don't join in the "ommmmm" sessions during the few times I've gone yoga-ing. So when we were invited to get hypnotized as part of our trial experiences with Spoilt, and FashionGeek chickened out, I said sign me up. Let's see what these guys can do.
The experience is titled "MindSpa", and entails a certified hypnotherapist coming to your apartment to put you in a trance so you can relax and empty your mind of toxins and polluted thoughts and all the other clutter that prevents you from sleeping at night. I was a little bit nervous about getting robbed or raped while under the spell, so I made sure someone was home at the same time (other than my dog, who would undoubtedly welcome thieves to the apartment with a big lick of saliva and a waggedy tail).
Thus, at 330pm on a Saturday afternoon, a pretty young woman by the name of Michel showed up at my door. She instructed me to sit on the couch in a comfortable position, and then took a seat suspiciously close to me on the same sofa, so that I could be sure to hear her voice throughout the experience.
Once I got over the slight invasion of personal space (I mean, we have three couches in a dead silent living room. There is no real reason for me and a total stranger to be sitting on the love seat together), the hypnotism began. Supposably, you are meant to be conscious the entire time, and you can think of it as a "guided meditation", a fact which had me entirely skeptical.
The session then started, not with a swinging pocket-watch and a repeated chant of "you are getting sleeeeepy," but with the simple act of closing my eyes and breathing in and out deeply. To accompany the breathing exercise, Michel told me to breathe in, imagining the air filling my eyeballs, and then breathe out, feeling all the stress leave my body. Rinse and repeat x every body part I own. She then proceeded to have me visualize a beach on Thailand (my chosen image of relaxation) with birds chirping, blue skies, etc, yada yada yada.
At this point, I was thinking to myself "OH MY F-ING GOD HOW AM I GOING TO LAST THROUGH THE NEXT 80 MINUTES OF THIS CRAP..." and then somewhere along the way, I don't know what happened, I fell under the spell. The last thing I remember was her saying "you are feeling soooo relaxed, you can see the sea in the distance and..." zonk. Intermittently, I remember such phrases as "when you wake, you will feel happy and relaxed and successful" and I sort of remember thinking "well I already AM happy and relaxed and successful." And then before I knew it, she was saying "When I count to 10, you will slowly wake up. 5. You will be so relaxed when I get to 10. 6." Meaning that I missed 1-4 and only really started to rise from the beyond at the end.
So there you have it. A non-believer, converted. Michel even told me that I was easy to hypnotize, but I still have no idea whether I fell asleep or got hypnotized. I guess the point is, did I feel relaxed afterwards? I suppose I did, and I suppose what's more important is that this would indeed make a good gift experience, primarily because it isn't something that someone would buy for themselves, but also because it's kind of a unique once-in-a-lifetime thing that a person would remember. It's also a very good beginner's intro to hypnotism, especially for those who are interested in experimenting with those techniques in order to quit a habit, like smoking, or heal a phobia.
More importantly, it's a tale to tell, if you haven't had the good fortune of being called on stage to be hypnotized into doing silly stuff, like eat your own arm off. Everyone loves hearing an "I was hypnotized" story. Or maybe they don't, but I've repeated the story several times already, and nobody has dared to complain.
Should you wish to try the experience for yourself, or gift it to someone, you can do it at Spoilt.