In conjunction with World Hypnotism Day on Jan 4, the Association of Hypnotherapy Practitioners Malaysia (AHPM) organised an awareness event at Persatuan Alumni University Malaya (PAUM) in Kuala Lumpur.
The theme of the event was “Dispelling the myths about hypnosis”.
AHPM, also known as Persatuan Pengamal Hipnoterapi Malaysia, is a recognised body under the Federation of Complementary and Natural Medicine Associations, Malaysia, one of the organisations recognised by the Health Ministry.
As such, once the Traditional and Complementary Medicines Act is enforced, hypnotherapists would need to be registered to obtain their practising license.
Those who attended the event included students, professionals, retirees, and even people from as far as Johor, who came to learn more about hypnosis.
AHPM president Dr Lennie Soo delivered a keynote address that talked about hypnosis and the misconceptions that people have about hypnosis.
She expounded on the benefits of hypnosis and spoke a bit about the history of AHPM since it was founded in 2011.
The highlight of the event was the free demonstrations offered by AHPM practising members. Guests were invited to experience hypnosis for themselves.
During the lively question-and-answer session, members of the public asked some interesting questions that focused on a wide range of topics such as insomnia, personality disorders, pukau, black magic and so forth.
In the course of its work, AHPM has investigated many cases of people getting conned and robbed by strangers who put them in a “trance”.
Upon investigation, the organisation found that in such instances, the conmen played to the susceptibilities and superstitions of that person, as well as utilised magician’s tricks to cheat their targets.
Most of these conmen combined various techniques used by magicians, such as sleight of hand and misdirection, to convince and distract the victim from reali- sing that they are being set-up for a robbery.
Some of these tricks are combined with powerful hallucinogenic chemicals and drugs.
Some of these drugs can be administered via the skin or by blowing smoke into the faces of the victims.
Some cases are based on the susceptibility of the victims. The victims are targeted and set-up for the robbery – for example, the conman or conwoman would recite certain phrases and then tell the victim that something bad is going to happen if they does not carry out certain rituals.
The key points are to stay alert, avoid strangers, and if you are approached or drugged, focus, and step by step, talk yourself out of it. Then, as fast as possible, get away from the place.
How to avoid getting tricked
• Avoid strangers who come up to you to offer food, drink, business cards or any object.
• Do not roll down your car window when strangers tap on it.
• Do not open the gate or door and talk to strangers who come to the door.
• Stay alert in public places, especially if you have just exited a bank.
• Avoid strangers who suddenly start a conversation with you in public places, e.g. markets, malls, streets, etc.
The conmen usually work in a team. Some pretend they are psychics, or in some cases, they pretend that they are blessing your shops, family, etc.
Please do not follow them to a quiet place to “talk further”.
• Avoid inviting a group of people who appear to be following a holy man into your shops.
• Ask your cashiers to be alert to groups of people gathering too closely to them.
How to focus when drugged
• You will feel that something is wrong. Immediately take precaution. Roll up your window or walk away from those people. Scream for help. Carry an alarm.
Next, quickly talk to yourself and go through the process of checking your belongings step by step: Is my wallet secure? Is my car locked? Is my door locked? Are my keys with me? Is my bag safe?
• If drugged, the effect will last for a few minutes before disappearing.
Once your belongings are secure, quickly remove yourself from that location.
All this will happen very fast, and therefore, it is important to stay alert.
If you have been robbed in this manner and you believe that you were put in a trance, please contact AHPM at 012 277 9011 so that we can investigate your case.
Victims who are robbed are often traumatised by the event. Feelings of violation, anxiety and anger are common. Hypnotherapy can help the victims deal with the trauma.
AHPM will continue to play its role as an advocate for hypnotherapy in Malaysia.
The next event will be held in conjunction with the second Selangor Wellness Living Expo 2017 to be held at Setia City Convention Center, Shah Alam, Selangor on Feb 24-26.