I started reading psychology books at age 15. I majored in psychology in college for 4 years, earning a B.A. And I've read hundreds of psychology books since college. Hypnotherapy was just the next step up.
I am a "direct medical hypnotist" in that I help people with severe issues. For several years I worked with 3 actual medical doctors who incorporated "direct" hypnosis techniques for burn patients, cancer patients, PTSD patients and those in extreme physical or emotional pain.
Once I mastered "direct" medical hypnosis, I then studied "indirect" clinical hypnosis techniques which emphasized confusion and story telling techniques which were created by Milton Erickson somewhere around 1940. Clinical hypnosis is a far cry from medical hypnosis in that it barely scratches the surface of anything severely medical. Clinical hypnosis is limited to superficial symptoms such as smoking, weight loss, nail biting, fear of spiders and certain anxiety issues.
I then continued to expand my knowledge of the power of the mind by spending years studying, practicing and helping others using the following:
√ Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
√ Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
√ Conversational Hypnosis Techniques
√ Stress Management Techniques
√ Autogenic Training Techniques
√ Progressive Relaxation Techniques
√ Visualization Techniques
√ Guided Meditation Techniques
√ 100% Pain Free Childbirth Techniques
After 16 of my 20 years as a medical and clinical hypnotist, I began to offer stage hypnosis in regards to helping Corporations because of my knowledge in Medicine, Stress Management and Focusing to Achieve Goals Techniques.
As for "comedy" stage hypnosis for schools and parties, anyone with half a brain and a very limited knowledge of hypnosis can entertain people. It takes very little knowledge of hypnosis to say "relax this muscle, that muscle, sleep, now dance like a drunken monkey."