Mind Surfin’ hypnotizes BC students


Elias C. Ahumada

Certified hypnotherapist Rich Aimes returns to Bakersfield College for another Mind Surfin' show at the Panorama Grill, located in the Campus Center on Jan. 27 to a crowd full of BC students.

Daniel Ojeda, Contributing Editor

Board certified hypnotherapist Rich Aimes stopped by the Panorama Grill on Jan. 27, and for those students in attendance they were treated to some mind-boggling tricks.

Aimes isn’t a stranger to Bakersfield College and has been performing professionally for over 20 years. Performing at BC also gives him the ability to perform in front of what he calls the best type audiences.

“I love performing for college students. College students are able to let loose. I’ve done performances for big corporations, and they’re a little more uptight,” said Aimes.

As the show got under way, Aimes began by picking a couple of volunteers from the students in attendance. Two students successfully tied his hands together and then held up a jacket, blocking the audience from viewing his escape but making the trick more mysterious.

Aimes then explained that Harry Houdini was able to free his hands in less than three seconds while occasionally Aimes would raise a single freed hand to point at people in the audience. Then on the count of two, Aimes was able to free himself while an amused crowd gave him a round of applause.

Then Aimes had students write questions on a piece of paper and would randomly select a few. He had those students stand and successfully guessed every question that he selected guessing everything from what certain jobs students were thinking of to successfully naming places that they wanted to visit.

Despite not faltering at all and guessing every trick, Aimes knows that there are those that are skeptics or call him a fake.

“I believe that it is real, but it’s not what most people think it is. Most people think hypnosis is what you see on television or the movies and that it’s fake. But when you see a real hypnotist that is a genuine phenomenon,” said Aimes.

As the show was concluding, Aims explained that hypnotism could be used to help students become more successful in their everyday lives.

He then asked for anyone in the audience with test anxiety or anyone who was simply struggling with school to close their eyes.

The session continued as Aimes walked the students through a series of breathing exercises. After a couple of minutes of telling them they would be better at anything that they wanted to do, he told them to open their eyes and the hypnotism was over.

Aimes went on to say, “Most people think that a hypnotist tries to exert his will over people but that’s not what really happens. A good hypnotist lets people have fun and allows them to get into the moment. I tend to liken it to a beer buzz without the alcohol you’re just relaxed. Then I give them suggestions that help remove the mental blocks and that’s when things start to happen. That’s what we do.”

We’ll have to wait and see when finals roll around to see whether the hypnosis on the BC students was a success or not. As for Aimes, he’ll hop back on the road with his next stop in Tucson, Ariz.