STYLEGUIDE spends a quiet morning getting acquainted with the mysteries of hypnotism with the help of Lee McKing. We find out what led him down this unique path, his raison d'être, and what a hypnosis session with him is like.
How did you get started initially?
I nearly died when I was 20 years old because my lung burst and collapsed.
The doctors had no idea what happened at all. I don't sniff glue or smoke and I don't fit the normal demographics at all according to statistics. According to them, a spontaneous pneumothorax, or collapsed lung, tended to happen to tall and thin young guys. I’m not very tall and I’m not very thin either.
The doctors expected it to be a small hole that will heal by itself. Well, I spent two weeks in hospital and one week in, I was scheduled for surgery where the doctors made two small cuts into my body to insert a small camera. That camera found that my lung didn’t have just one small hole, it didn’t have just one large hole either…it had a few large holes at the top.
Initially the doctors had been thinking of stapling or sewing the hole, but after discovering so many large holes, it didn’t become possible anymore to sew all the holes together. So they had no choice. They had to remove the top part of my lung before sewing or stapling that big hole instead. On top of that, they had scraped the vacuum membrane in the lung so that the blood will clot together.
Therefore, one of my lungs doesn’t have a vacuum anymore so in theory, if it were to burst again, it will not collapse as there is no vacuum for the air to go through and escape.
So there was one night I was trying to go to sleep, and I felt pain. It felt like somebody took a scalpel and, maybe one to two inches under my skin, started cutting. It was extremely painful, and I cried that night from the pain. I knew that my lung had burst again. But it’s alright, I’ll live. The air split and cut for that 2 inches before going back into my lung. If I didn’t have that surgery, I would have died already.
What led you to learn hypnosis?
After this incident, I found that each and every time I had to go through a presentation in polytechnic, I would have a mental, physical and emotional breakdown. I thought I had developed a severe stage fright. I subsequently went into depression after that.
Thereafter I stumbled upon a course on numerology where I met my mentor Max Liang, a Feng-Shui master and face reader, who saw how close I was at death’s door. Back then, just to give an idea of how bad it was, my face was extremely pale, I had fingernails that were dark purple.
He taught me the importance of health and how to build it back from the basics. Basically, I would attribute my life now to him in a way, because if it wasn’t for him, I’ll probably be... in an urn?
So anyway, I wanted to find a way to heal myself even more holistically and this eventually led me to attend a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) course which had piqued my interest on Facebook. I realised soon after attending this course that I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and that there were ways and techniques I could learn to fix it. With the connection between mind and body, everytime my mind dies so does my body.
I begin to fix my mind through learning NLP and later on, with hypnosis after attending another course.
This was the start and beginning of it all that led me to hypnotism.
What were some of the biggest challenges that you faced in being a hypnotist?
I got no challenges, or can’t think of anything really.
I mean yeah in the beginning, my friends and family were not exactly the most supportive in me starting my own hypnosis practice. But I didn’t let that stop me.
And here's the other thing, when people start a business they have stuff in their head that will contradict them - "Oh, you cannot do this”, “You are a failure”, “This will never sell”, and so on.
I'm a hypnotist so I just remove all the negativity from my mind.
Every other hypnotist out there may start a business, but if they don’t remove a particular mindset, they will have a problem. That mindset is that “Singaporeans have a very closed-mindset. I think it’s very hard to find someone who wants to do hypnosis in Singapore. For every hundred people you talk to, maybe only one will be your client.”
Whereas for me, my mindset is very different.
“Everybody that I meet is going to be open to hypnosis. Everybody I meet!” I put that inside my head and so what happens is that over the past two and a half years, I’ve hypnotised over three hundred unique individuals and only had two people who had negative reactions the moment I said I’m a hypnotist. Two. Find a business that can do that.
Oh and my friends and family are now supportive in what I do.
What is your main driving force and purpose in life?
To help people. The question is, “How?”
To me helping people is to just help them resolve their issues. Sometimes it’s offering a different perspective, or guiding them so they see their problems from a different perspective on their own.
It could be as simple as a text message. A lady was once complaining to me about how her job was so stressful, and I gave a metaphor about how after the dark clouds and rain comes, you actually get a rainbow. It resonated deeply and made her feel so much better.
Of course, I can also help people with issues like anxiety, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), depression or procrastination. It can even be involving a business, relationship or money aspect.
You got to understand that everybody’s problems, even if they sound the same, they’re different. They’re personal, they’re individual, they’re unique.
The key though, is that they want to change.
And I try to do as much as possible, to help solve as many problems, in one session, as long as they want it. If it only takes me five or ten minutes or if their problems are not real problems, I’ll just give some advice and don’t even charge.
For me, I just help as much as I can, even if they are not my clients.
What is the most interesting hypnosis experience you've had?
Well, I have a lot of interesting hypnosis experiences. A story comes to mind though. I once had a client, an insurance agent who felt he was stuck in his career. He did a pretty long Dynamic Mental Imagery (DMI) with me, a kind of visualisation.
In a nutshell, he had to swim through lava and go through multiple waterfalls before coming to a forest. There was a crystal stuck in a tree but he ignores it. He soon comes to a canyon with a golden palace on the opposite side, and he tells me that there are two bridges to his right and left.
He decided to take the right bridge for convenience and after crossing it he reaches a ghost town on the other end. He continues walking and suddenly, he started having the motion of licking ice-cream like a paddlepop.
I asked. “Where did you get the ice-cream from?”
“Oh, there was an old man. He passed me the ice-cream,” he answered enthusiastically.
I pressed on, “What kind of ice-cream is it?”
His reply came straightaway. “Chocolate”.
“Cool, I like chocolate too.”
After that he came across a brick wall, with seemingly no way to get around it. No loose brick. Nothing. His hands were moving trying to find a way through.
I was curious, “What happened to the ice-cream?”
He replied as a matter of fact. “Oh, I finished it.”
“What did you do to the ice-cream stick?” I queried.
“I threw it on the ground over there.” He pointed a short distance away.
“Can you pick it up and read what it says?” I questioned after a short pause, hoping to get some clues.
“Do you know what it means?”
“Yea, it means I need to go to the left bridge” It was like a lightbulb moment for him.
Well, so there you have it. He turned around and went back to the left bridge, crossed it and came to a locked gate. However, there was a keyhole which seemed like the shape of the crystal stuck in the tree in the forest. He went back again to get the crystal, unlocked the gate and successfully entered the golden palace.
After this session, he got into the MDRT (Million Dollar Round Table) for financial consulting and bought himself a very expensive gift.
What is one secret to your hypnosis?
One of the reasons why I can do my hypnosis so fast is because I put myself into hypnosis first. When I put myself into hypnosis before working on the client, he or she will be able to go to hypnosis faster.
What state of mind are you in after putting yourself under hypnosis?
Lucid. Good state. It sort of depends on the client as well. Put it this way, if let's say the client needs happiness, I put myself into a happy place. If the client needs love, I put myself into a loving place. If the client needs courage or confidence, I find the confidence and courage on the outside, build rapport, and bring them up later on.
So it really depends on the client as well, and basically that's it.
When I'm in that state of hypnosis, sort of a trance, I don't get tired. In fact, I get tired when I’m not doing hypnosis.
What are your hopes and aspirations for the future?
Mine is very simple. If I can live happy every day, that’s enough.
The thing is this, all my experiences right now is because I nearly died in my sleep. That made me have the frame that life can just be extinguished so easily – one day my other lung can just collapse and I’ll be gone.
If I were to die right now, probably the only regret I would have is that I don’t have a wife and that I don’t have kids. Other than that it’s fine.
So just enjoy every moment. The whole experience changed my whole outlook on life, to appreciate every day and every moment as it is.
Sometimes I share with people, just be thankful. Be thankful that you can breathe, that you are living, that you can eat and that you can see. Even the smallest of things, because you don’t know when you can lose them.