Hypnosis, Beliefs, and Japanese Comedy

Just the other day over lunch, we had a quick random discussion which ended up with us talking about placebo affect, and the power of the human mind.

The night before that, I was watching this Japanese show “Itte-Q”, where they featured two Japanese comedians, who travelled to the Philippines to meet up with another Japanese, who presumably can perform hypnosis. Looks like it is the second time they feature him on the show, though this time, the comedians were explicity instructed to act honestly, and not pretend they were under hypnosis, not to say that they were faking it the previous time.

Under hypnosis, they were asked to do things they wouldn’t normally do, or would be very afraid to do, like ride a roller coaster, or eat a local delicacy, that to them might looks like maggots.Although this is just a comedy show and should never be used to validate hypnosis or not, based on what they showed, it looks like the lady comedian (Nana-chan) was more likely to be hypnotised than the male comedian (Degawa-san). For example, she rode the roller coaster without any qualms and ate the maggot-looking creatures as if they were the best food she had. She quickly vomitted the food after she went out of hypnosis though. For Degawa-san, only a couple of tricks worked, like him being unable to open his eyes and mouth under hypnosis.

All throughout the show, I was thinking how powerful the brain is, and if hypnosis is indeed real, how easy it is to change how anyone perceives the world. Roller coasters would look like a walk in the park, and maggots would look like caramel popcorn. As to why it worked better on the lady than on the guy, it must have depended on how much they believed it would work.

Belief is key here.

This brought our lunch discussions to the placebo effect, how it works just because people believe they were given the medicinal pill, even if in reality, they were only given innate sugar pills.

Belief seems to affect reality, or at least how we perceive it. 

Nana-chan seemed to believe in hypnosis more than Degawa-san, explaining why it worked with her 100% of the time, even though they were given explicit instructions not to fake it. Degawa-san is more the skeptic, resulting in some of the hypnosis to fail.


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