MY MISSION at HypGuru is to serve up useful content that is Entertaining, Empowering, and Enlightening.
I’m personally interested in transformative strategies that allow people to get “unstuck” and become wonderfully successful in all respects.
A Little About Me:
- Hypnotized over 20,000 people.
- Over 2.2 million views on Youtube.
- Certified Consulting Hypnotist since 2001.
- Master Practitioner of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP).
- Performed Stage Hypnosis Shows in every state of the USA.
- Certified Public Accountant – no longer practicing.
- 3rd Degree Karate Black Belt.
- TWICE mistaken for Howie Mandel in airports!
The Fear Cure Course: A step-by-step system for busy professionals to conquer anxiety and build unstoppable confidence! I want to empower people to become their own best therapist.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Did You Become Interested in Hypnosis?
When I was around eight years old, I saw a stage hypnotist perform at the Orange County Fair in California. I remember one guy in the audience got hypnotized just from watching, and he ended up becoming a part of the show.
In short order, I purchased a book about hypnosis from an ad in a comic book. It came with a plastic “Hypno-Disc” optical illusion to use for hypnotizing people!
I was an introvert by nature. It turns out I was too scared to approach people about letting me try to hypnotize them. Instead, I lay in bed staring at my HypnoDisc attempting to induce some sort of “self hypnosis.” This was NOT very productive, and so I lost interest.
How Did You Finally Become a Hypnotist?
Fast forward a few decades, I was working as a Corporate Controller and getting bored with the corporate lifestyle. I remembered my previous interest in hypnosis and decided to do some research to see if there was a “legit” place I could learn more about the subject.
So, I opened up a phone book. That’s what we used to find things in the olden days before the internet. Under the category of “hypnosis,” I found there was a School of Healing Arts offering courses just ten blocks from where I lived. Literally, right down the street!?
I signed up for the full curriculum of 250 course hours spread out over nine months. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I was certainly enthusiastic about this new adventure!
Those courses were my first exposure to therapeutic and behavioral change hypnosis. We also learned about the up and coming field of energy psychology– a family of approaches to psychology, coaching, and healthcare treatment that focus on the mind-body connection. These protocols happen to integrate nicely with hypnosis techniques.
In addition to the classes, I attended some live Stage Hypnosis seminars taught by established performers. These were held in “showbiz” locations like Las Vegas. However, my first seminar was actually in Thailand. I was willing to fly to the other side of the world to attend a seminar!
Just to clarify something. Not every Consulting Hypnotist does stage hypnosis, and not every Stage Hypnotist is knowledgeable about hypnosis for therapy or behavior modification. I’ve always been interested in both.
Did You Have a Private Practice?
Yes! A friend from class handed me the business card of a chiropractic physician that had some open office space. I made contact and rented a treatment room that had a reception area. Soon, I was meeting with clients on nights and weekends while still working my corporate job.
When there was a consistently stable stream of clients coming in, I decided to make it a full time profession. So, I turned in my resignation to the CEO at my corporate job and proudly announced I was leaving the company to to be a “Hypnotist!” Everybody in the office looked at me like I had lobsters coming out of my ears.
How Was the Consulting Hypnosis Business?
Becoming self employed can mean a lot of long hours. This is especially true in the beginning as you get your business established. There’s a lot to learn, and you need to have a passion for marketing because that’s how your business grows.
When you’re self employed, you get to work HALF days. You pick which 12 hours to work!
There’s a television show called Dateline that featured a special “weight loss challenge” segment that was very popular. The participants were assigned specific programs to follow in order to lose as much weight as possible before their upcoming high school reunion.
One had a dedicated personal trainer, another was on the Slim Fast program, one did Weight Watchers, and another was on the Atkins diet. These are all well known and “generally accepted” weight loss programs.
However, one of the contestants was assigned to have sessions with a hypnotist to achieve their weight loss goals. The hypnosis contestant lost 13 pounds his first week while the other contestants seemed to be struggling with emotional issues, health problems, and poor results.
All of this was playing out on national TV. It was a huge public relations boost for everybody in the hypnosis field. My phone was ringing off the hook because of that show. I was doing as many sessions as I could personally handle.
When Was Your First Stage Hypnosis Show?
I’d already been seeing clinical hypnosis clients for a couple years. To drum up business, I often did speaking presentations for groups like the Rotary and Lions clubs. Hypnosis demonstrations were a part of these educational talks, but I had yet to do a full-length hypnosis show for entertainment purposes.
My Chiropractor friend (and landlord) asked if I would do a Hypnosis Show at a big house party he was hosting. It was in February 2003, and that was my first performance in the world of entertainment!
Did You Ever Fear Public Speaking?
In actuality, most people are not very comfortable about public speaking. I was one of those people that could pull it off, but I’d be just under the threshold of an anxiety attack.
I vividly recall a short presentation in front of my middle school Spanish class. My hands were shaking quite violently from nervousness! Very embarrassing for me.
Later on, I became valedictorian of my high school. It’s a tradition that the valedictorian delivers a speech at the graduation ceremony. I told the Principal point blank that I wasn’t doing it! He couldn’t turn me around. I made up a bunch of excuses about why I wasn’t interested.
I was painfully disappointed with myself, and I resolved to do something about my “weaknesses.” In college I purposefully became active in organizations that gave me ample opportunities to become a better leader and communicator.
After college I joined a Toastmasters group. It’s a great national organization where you give speeches and get a lot of practice being in front of people. They set the guidelines for each speech, so you focus on getting speaking experience at your own pace.
I became a better than average speaker, but still very nervous about each presentation. Sometimes, I still had to hide my hands in my pockets because they would start shaking.
My personal “breakthrough” came when I learned about hypnosis, NLP, and energy psychology. Those are my “big three” fields of study, and there is quite a bit of overlap between the three. These tools allowed me to genuinely put nervousness aside and become a better presenter.
In fact, I can honestly now say that my anxiety level before most performances is near ZERO. All the energy that was wasted on nervousness is now being applied to loving my audience.
Has Anything Ever Gone “Wrong” During a Show?
I hypnotized a student and returned him to the audience with a posthypnotic suggestion that he would become “superman” when he heard me say a key phrase.
Upon hearing the phrase, he bolted up the aisle and out the exit door at the rear of the theater. So, now he’s gone and 300 people in the audience are wondering if maybe I might go chasing after him through the streets of Michigan?
Suddenly, the guy bursts back into the theater running full speed towards the stage. Running down the aisle with increasing momentum, he flings himself forward into a stage level belly-dive, gliding 20 feet across the slick wooden stage. The crowd goes completely wild with delighted applause. That worked out OK, but I wouldn’t try that routine again!
What Other Goofy Things Have Happened at Shows?
People get hypnotized just from watching the show. This is especially true at student performances. At a corporate event, one time a waiter was hypnotized while watching the show from the back of the room. He was acting out all the stage routines in the back while his co-workers looked on in amazement. I brought him onto the stage, and he became the star of the show even though he was not officially a part of the group that hired me.
It’s not possible to get “stuck” in hypnosis. However, there is a very deep “coma state” of hypnosis where the subject is so blissed out that they stop responding to suggestions. They become completely dissociated from their bodies, have full body anesthesia, and their limbs tirelessly remain in any position you put them in. This has happened three times on stage, and one time with an audience member just from watching the show. Incidentally, the “coma state” level of hypnosis is used in the medical field to perform surgery without the use of anesthesia.
What’s Up With the Spelling of Your Last Name, “Känd?”
I’ve kept the European spelling of the name as a tribute to my Estonian heritage. If you haven’t heard of it, Estonia is a small country in central Europe bordering Latvia and Russia.
During World War II, my Dad’s family fled the communists that invaded the capital city of Tallinn. After a successful escape, they spent seven years Germany. Most of that time was spent in various displaced persons (“DP”) camps.
After the war was over, displaced Estonians were essentially homeless. They could not be repatriated to their homeland because they’d be persecuted by the Soviets who continued to forcefully occupy the country. Incidentally, that occupation continued until 1991.
My Dad’s family was eventually resettled into the United States. He was with his parents and three sisters. Soon after, his father passed away, and there was no salary to support the remaining family of five. They received a notice to vacate the small apartment.
Townspeople attempted to offer assistance and encouraged them to get help from the local welfare department, but my grandmother stubbornly refused all of it.
We asked for a chance to come to America to earn a living. The people of this country must never regret that they gave us this privilege.
Here’s a vintage newspaper article with the story:
If there’s a topic you’d like me to explore further on this website and in future programs, please let me know!