Spoon bender and hypnotist displays his mysterious talents

Thursday , October 17, 2013 - 7:29 PM

James Dayley predicts the cards selected by members of the audience at the Weber County Main...

Randi Weston, Standard-Examiner Correspondent

“Some people feel heat, others feel a tingle.”

At the front of the auditorium in the main branch of the Weber County Library, John Dayley, mentalist and master hypnotist, helped a young girl direct energy into the fork she was holding, in order to make it bend.

Dayley’s performance was part of the Mysteries of the Mind event held in several Weber County libraries this week for Teen Read Week. Dayley’s show included spoon- and fork-bending, hypnotism and predictions.

“The question I always get from people is, they always ask me: Is it a gift, or is it something you can learn?” Dayley said in regard to spoon-bending. “My answer is always yes.”

Dayley, who is a friend of illusionist and famous spoon-bender Uri Geller, said some people are born with the ability to bend metal and others can learn it.

He was reluctant to go into detail on spoon-bending techniques, because he is currently producing an instructional video on the subject. But he did say there are many different methods for bending spoons. Some of the more pedestrian methods can be found on YouTube.

Dayley admits that some of the material in his show has less-than-mystical origins.

“When I do magic shows, or magic and illusions, some are tricks, some are real magic,” he said. “It’s your choice to decide what’s what.”

Before launching into the hypnosis portion of his act, Dayley soothed the minds of audience members by telling them that hypnosis can’t make people do anything they normally wouldn’t do.

He then described the various types of brain waves associated with consciousness: beta, alpha, theta and delta.

Dayley said alpha brain waves are associated with hypnosis and that hypnosis is more common in our everyday lives than we think.

If you’ve ever jumped during a scary movie or missed your exit on the highway while listening to a favorite song, he said, then you’ve experienced a type of hypnosis.

In addition to being a hypnotist and mentalist, Dayley is also a hypnotherapist, using hypnotism to help people overcome challenges in their lives.

When Dayley pulled two volunteers from the audience, he asked them if there was something about their lives they wanted to change.

Karina Zamora, of Ogden, said she’d like to sleep better, and Irma Ochoa, also of Ogden, said she’d like to start eating healthier.

During the first few minutes the women were hypnotized, Dayley rewarded them for volunteering by giving them suggestions he says will help them achieve their goals.

Then he moved on to the more entertaining suggestions common in hypnotist acts on the stage. Dayley suggested that the women were watching the funniest movie they’d ever seen, that the word “popcorn” was associated with a horrible smell and that a lost puppy was returned to them.

“It was cool. I liked it,” Zamora said. “What I remember is picking up the dog, and the funny movie, then about healthy habits and sleeping. I loved it. I would do it again, totally.”

“I was really, really nervous. It was kind of hard to relax, but it was great,” Ochoa said.

“I mean, it was a different experience. Afterward, I was just really relaxed, which I needed after a full day of work and then coming home with three kids.”

Dayley said that every second spent in a hypnotic state is equivalent to two to three minutes of REM sleep, and Ochoa supported his claim.

“It was just kinda ‘me time,’ in a way,” she said as she laughed at being able to find “me time” on stage in a room full of people.

If you’d like to learn more about hypnosis, the library has a wealth of books on the subject. Additionally, Dayley’s hypnotherapy website can be found at www.worldwidenlp.com.

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