Hypnosis

Reporter: Marguerite McKinnon

Listen carefully, but be very careful, this man claims if you listen hard enough to his voice and look long enough into his eyes he can make you do anything."As you concentrate on my eyes.. you can feel you eyes beginning to sting."

His name is Mark Anthony, one of Australia's busiest stage hypnotists. A master at making people do the strangest things on stage for entertainment. But does the stage hypnotist have the power to substantially change a person's will as a hypnotherapist? Like the thousands of hynotherapists around the country, Mark claims he can rid you of your addictions, phobias and weight problems. But unlike many of his colleagues, he claims he can do it in one hour.

For 20 years Pauline Russell's life was ruled and nearly ruined by nicotine. 5 months after seeing Mark she hasn't touched a cigarette. We've gathered 3 average Australians - Terri, Helen and Nathan, each living with 3 very common demons, to put Mark to the test. Terri Murphy has a life long addiction to chocolate, it has seen her weight balloon and her health suffer. "I'm overweight as we can see, its no good for me, its no good for my diabetes."

20 year old Helen Constanellis' phobia of snakes is apparent as the terror on her face. "It would be good to go out and not have that fear of snakes." And 27 year old asthmatic, Nathan Jones has a 15 year, 1 pack a day smoking habit that makes him feel like the walking dead. "A lot of people die young, cancer, I don't want that to happen to me." Tonight they left their unconscious state in the hands of Mark, in a desperate bid to change their minds - literally.

First up, our chocaholic, Terri. For one hour she is under Mark's spell as he sets about deprogramming her perceptions of her beloved sweets. Awakened and aware, Mark puts Terri to the test. "I am very shocked, but its a good feeling, its a good feeling to sit there, look at them and not want one" says Terri.

Snake-phobic Helen is the next to go under. Mark gently takes Helen's subconscious mind back in time, to her first fear of snakes as a child. "Seriously, I cant believe at the moment that I am touching this snake" says Helen after her one hour hypnosis treatment. "I would have never in a million years done that - I couldn't even touch it before and now I'm letting it go all over me and everything and it even feels nice."

But is Nathan's Smoking addiction all in his mind? Mark sets about laying the subliminal seeds of change. "You'll have an overwhelming desire to replace that unhealthy, filthy, disgusting habit that you used to have with a new habit of becoming healthier and fitter" says Mark to Nathan. An hour later and Nathan emerges out of his trance, out of it but out of his habit? "I don't feel like one, don't want one. Didn't even feel like I was under for an hour. Just felt relaxed really - can breathe totally, easy" says Nathan after his treatment.

Mark Anthony

Tel: (07) 5574 9090

Website: www.hypnotist.com.au