The proof of how powerful hypnosis can be, comes in many forms. So much so that certain practices have long since been discontinued on the basis ethics and professionalism.
Some years ago, a fairly common practice in stage hypnosis was to induce a state called the full body catalepsy. In this state, the subject experiences a complete rigidity of all the muscle groups in his body. He/she becomes completely stiff, like a piece of wood. As a demonstration, stage hypnotists would often position the subjects head and feet on opposing chairs, without support through the torso and legs. This created a sort of human bridge, upon which the hypnotist would sit or stand.
The full body catalepsy contains no therapeutic use whatsoever. It serves merely for theatrics, and its obviously quite frowned upon today. It is unlikely to be seen very much these days for ethical reasons. Despite the fact that youre unlikely to see such a stunt, it remains a strong example of how powerful hypnosis can be. The act of turning a persons body into a rod of iron with mere suggestion is quite simply an amazing feat.
To a greatly lessened extent, catalepsy is still used today, but only on isolated body parts like an arm or a leg. This is done to deepen the state of hypnosis, and bears no risk of injury to the subject unlike the full body catalepsy. In fact, they dont even feel any discomfort. For instance, I can induce hypnosis on someone, and bring about arm catalepsy, and they can remain in this position for an extended period of time, even an hour, without feeling a thing. Try this at home, and within a few short moments, you will feel extremely uncomfortable.
Hypnosis is its own form of pain control. A technique called glove anesthesia can be induced where the hand can be made to feel numb, and experience a total loss of sensation. The anesthesia can then be transferred to other parts of the body by putting the anesthetized hand on another body part, such as the stomach. This is a very powerful technique which I have used many times with great success.
A more subtle example of the power of hypnosis is witnessed regularly if you watch competitive athletes, like runners, as they mentally prepare for a race. There extreme focus and concentration takes them to a place where everything else is tuned out, and they are literally running every inch of that race in their mind, before it even begins, mentally planning every step.
Fortunately, we neednt go to severe extremes anymore to prove the power of hypnosis. The theatrical impact of hypnosis has of course dropped in popularity over the past decade or so anyway, and practices such as the full body catalepsy are a thing of the past. There is no longer the need for hypnotists to demonstrate the amazing power the mind has over the physical body. The general public is much more aware of the power and effects of hypnosis these days, even if there are still many myths that still remain.