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Mentalist eases minds for students

Brandon Cowan, Reporter

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Accompanied by his partner Marielle Aimes, mentalist Rich Aimes did a comedy hypnosis show and a workshop to rid students of test anxiety in the Bakersfield College cafeteria on Jan. 18. Aimes started the show by explaining to the students what hypnosis is.

“Hypnosis is simply relaxation followed by suggestion. I get you to this relaxed alpha state of consciousness. When you’re there, that’s what we call a trance state. When you’re in that trance state, you’re going to be completely open to suggestion,” Aimes said.

He said that the people who get hypnotized will not remember the experience. He then did a test to see if students could get hypnotized. He told students to interlock their fingers and then to raise their index fingers.

“Right about now, those fingers will begin to be moving closer,” he said.

Aimes then asked for up to eight volunteers to come up to the stage if their index fingers moved toward each other when he said they would. After five people came up to the stage to participate in the show, he asked the volunteers to turn off their phones.

He also asked the students in the cafeteria to be as quiet as possible and to turn off the flash on cameras so that the volunteers could focus on him. A few minutes later, he started the show by telling the volunteers that when he counts to five, the students will be in a trance. He gave the students instructions after each time he counted to a number, and said a series of words to encourage the volunteers to be in a trance.

“Allow your conscious mind to drift away, and as your conscious mind begins to drift, your subconscious mind begins to open up to me,” he told the students on stage.

By the time he counted to four, all of the students had closed their eyes. One student dropped her head onto her lap. He then told the students that when they enter a classroom, they will remember everything from that class.

He also told the students, “You deserve to be successful.” The hypnotist then got the students to lift their hands off of their lap and put them in front of themselves. He then told them to raise their hands, and said that the higher they raised their hands, the more relaxed they would become.

After all of the students raised their hands, they were then told to make fists, which they all did as well.

Aimes went on to tell the students that he would give them each a number when he touched them and would make them go to sleep.

He went through the five volunteers and everyone slept when he asked them to. Aimes then told the students that a cold wind is blowing on the students, causing them to shiver. He continued to tell the students to do various actions such as driving racecars, ballet dancing, twist dancing, being in their underwear in front of the audience, seeing the audience in their underwear, and being celebrities.

After the show was over, Aimes did a workshop to hypnotize students in the audience to rid them of their test anxiety.

After the show, Aimes said, “I travel all over the country. We travel almost 80,000 miles a year. Yeah, it’s a lot of driving.”

Aimes has been doing these shows for 20 years, but he didn’t initially want to be a mentalist.

“When I was in college quite a while ago, I had a hypnotist come and pretty much do the same workshop that I just did for these people,” he said.

He originally wanted to be a doctor, but after his grades improved from the workshop, he decided to go to a school in Los Angeles – Gil Boyne. From there he got his certification to be a mentalist at Omni Hypnosis in Florida. One of his professors told him to do a comedy hypnosis show.

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Mentalist eases minds for students