Seven bodies are sprawled out on the chairs and floor of Wilder 112. In the
midst of them sits a man, more upright than the rest, with the only open eyes in
the room. “I’m a non-smoker again,” Don Mannarino says, again
and again. With his announcer-like voice, he stresses words with a flourish,
emphasizing all the “d” he can in words like “deeper”
As a clinical hypnotist, Mannarino has been traveling for the last 18 years
for various health organizations. Through hypnosis he has helped people stop
smoking, lose weight, sleep, relax, get rid of headaches and cure a litany of
other medical complaints. He came to Oberlin last Sunday to perform one of his
workshops - this time, to help people quit smoking.
On Sunday the seven students enter the room in groups. By 4 p.m. they are
assembled. As the students filter in, Mannarino asks them where they are from
and what their majors are. He had grouped together the most comfortable chairs
in the room and that is where people congregate.
After registering, the students receive an audio tape of Mannarino speaking.
He tells them to listen to it whenever they need to. According to Mannarino, the
tape can be used to bolster Sunday’s one-time session.
Mannarino asks the eight people in the room to take off their shoes and
As the relaxation begins to spread throughout their bodies, Mannarino tells
the group that an important aspect of the hypnosis is remembering his voice.
“You’ll know my voice because my voice will be saturated in your
brain for the rest of your life,” says Mannarino.