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The Modern Hypnotist ‒ Exclusive Interview With Lee McKing

McKing Lee is a conversational hypnotist, NLP Practitioner, and a student of life. After nearly dying in his sleep when his lung burst for no reason, McKing develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and fell into depression. He subsequently sought his own recovery through learning NLP and hypnosis. Having a unique understanding of how the mind works, he has helped many people with mental and psychological issues, relationship and emotional issues, and interestingly enough, sometimes physical ailments too. McKing was recognized and won APAC SEA Business Awards Hypnotist of the Year 2020, and has been featured in local and overseas media over the years. He aims to help people as effectively as possible, through sharing of knowledge and with the right application of skills.

Lee McKing, The Hypnotist


Introduce yourself! Please tell us about you and your life, so we can get to know you better.


My name is Lee McKing and I am a hypnotist, and no I didn’t become a hypnotist because of interest or anything like that.


I sort of rolled into it!


When I was born, my dad idolized an actor called Steve McQueen and decided to name me after him. But because I’m male and as a Chinese, we need to have our family name first, so my name is Lee McKing.


My dad even stressed to me that I do not respond if anyone were to call me McKing Lee! Because we are also Catholics and they will switch the placement of my name around.


I love thinking. So yes, I’m an overthinker, and when I was a kid, I did have some anxiety issues, add the overthinking trait and you might imagine some of the potential issues I had growing up. I was also an introvert and didn’t have a lot of friends. So I also got bullied quite a bit.


One of my hobbies growing up was reading, and the other was playing chess. I loved reading all sorts of stories and novels. I will rather read than play the computer! Although I was introduced to International Chess, I soon got to learn about Chinese Chess and fell in love with the game. Coupled with my overthinking and analysis skill, my skills grew substantially.


When I was in Junior College, my dad suddenly passed away. I suffered from grief and guilt at the same time, thinking I was the cause. It was only after 2 years, while I was serving in the army, did I realize that I can suddenly feel happiness again. It struck me then that I was in a state of depression and numbness for 2 years without knowing it. Thankfully, and perhaps ironically, my time in the army got me out of depression for the first time.


However, another tragedy struck just 2 months shy of my 21st birthday. My right lung had burst in my sleep and collapsed to the size of a chicken egg. I woke up without knowing about it at first, just noting that I was breathless and I still went to school because I had a presentation to deliver. I screwed it up since I can’t speak properly. Only upon reaching the hospital, A&E did an X-ray reveal the state of my collapsed lung.


“You will die in the next few days from suffocation or the next few minutes when the air crushes your heart, unless you do the procedure now. Why are you on the ground crying?” – said the doctor


I had collapsed to the ground, bawling my eyes out as my life flashed before my eyes. However, I soon realized that all my life regrets were that I didn’t study for my exams, for my PSLE, my O Levels, and my A Levels (Yes you might think that’s so typical Asian, but I really had such regrets flashing at that time!!). It made me realize there and then, that I didn’t really live. Also, I knew that God wouldn’t say that I didn’t pass my Mandarin so I should be in hell. My regrets become more towards stuff like, I didn’t tell my family I love them, or I didn’t confess to the girl I like, heck I wasn’t even 21 yet!


As luck will have it, what happened was purely accidental, however my unconscious mind imprinted that as a form of trauma, and link this “near-death experience” with the presentation in school. I’ll share more on that after I finish this hospital incident.


Initially the doctors had thought that it was just a small hole and it will close up by itself. However, I had a vision of my lung with a few large holes in a concentrated area and I told my mom to prepare for me going through a surgery. I believe that was God signalling to me. The doctors were rather perplexed because physically, I do not fit the demographics of a normal person with this condition called spontaneous pneumothorax. It normally occurs in tall and thin young men during a period of activity like sports. But I’m short, and it happened when I was sleeping. I also didn’t smoke, or do anything that might hurt my lungs.


Anyway, a week in and they finally did the surgery, and true enough they found a few large holes at the top of my lung. So, they removed that portion of it and stapled it up. However, whether it was the entire ordeal, the concoction of medicines and painkillers, or whatever, I ended up losing a part of my memories when I woke up. I didn’t know I lost them until I was discharged after a 2 week stay in the hospital. When I reached home, I saw 2 men and didn’t recognize them. My mom was in shocked when she said that those 2 men are my younger brothers. I realized there was a memory gap but it differs from person to person, from place to time. And because I won’t know what I don’t know now, it isn’t easy to find it. Whereas if you knew exactly what was lost, it is easier to find it.


Upon returning back to school, at first all seems well. I was just tired and in pain due to the chest surgery, so I had to reduce the amount of school stuff I was carrying. However, the then unknown trauma appeared after a presentation. For the next 2 and a half years, after any presentation, I will have to run to the toilet and have a mental, physical and emotional breakdown.


Filled with intense fear, I collapsed onto the sink, unable to move my body, while mucus, tears and saliva will flow out uncontrollably. I had absolutely no idea what was happening! I thought it was severe stage fright. And it made me wonder why did God put me through a near-death in my sleep, and now giving me this strange stage fright?


I didn’t know then that what I had was a post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD for short. The trauma got linked to the presentation in a weird way. However, because of this, I fell into depression a second time.


After graduation, I ended up learning a few other things. Being a Catholic, my family was initially against the idea of metaphysics such as numerology, fengshui, fortune telling etc. In fact, we even thought hypnosis was black devil magic! However, one thing led to another and I realize that such metaphysics wasn’t anything bad per sec. I realized it was the ancients’ way of science and psychology for them, in an attempt to make sense of the world. So I learned numerology, got exposed to fengshui and face reading, and finally got to know about Neuro Linguistic Programming or NLP.


Health was super important for me at this time, and this NLP course talks about holistic health techniques, so why not right? It was during this course that made me realize what exactly I was suffering from, that it was PTSD and depression and not stage fright. And it was during the Master NLP course that I realize hypnosis is more psychological than anything, it wasn’t black devil magic!


It’s just that if we don’t understand something, and back then there wasn’t any proper way to test certain concepts (growing but not up to par), then it is easier to jump to conclusions and say it’s a form of magic or it came from the devil or whatever. Even now when I do a bit of research, I found that Pope Pius XII saw the potential medical benefits of hypnosis along the lines of science and medicine, and approved it for use of reducing pain for childbirth.


Anyway, I took my hypnosis course from another school, and deepen my understanding of how the mind works. Perhaps due to my overthinking and analytical nature, I was beginning to interpret and comprehend certain concepts when it came to the mind and body, which allowed me eventually to create my own hypnosis techniques.


After learning both NLP and hypnosis, I first applied my newfound skills and knowledge on myself! I still had the baggage of trauma, anxiety and depression, among other things. While I could have sought help from my fellow course-mates, I didn’t want the risk of them screwing up my mind since we are all amateurs! I say this as a joke of course 😉


Also, considering that I already invested time and money into learning these skillsets, it also didn’t make sense to me to seek an expert for help. Unless of course, after working on myself and I still cannot recover, then that will be a consideration.


I took my time to experiment working on myself. I know that sounds funny but my trauma was linked to life and death, so I didn’t want to rush and mess up right? Eventually, I managed to resolve most if not all of my issues and that was it!


After which I helped a few friends for about a year, like if you buy me lunch or dinner, I will do 1 technique to help with 1 issue. We did the hypnosis in cafes, restaurants and coffee shops and yet, it worked beautifully well. Some of them resolve issues like fear of public speaking, to anxiety, or even procrastination.


It wasn’t until I did some hypnosis for my mom that opened my eyes further. Long story short, she injured her wrist and there was a ‘snap’ sound. Her entire right arm from wrist to elbow swell up terribly, and she was in pain. She also lost most of her strength. But she didn’t want to see a doctor. On the 4th day, my mom and I were on a bus and I noticed she was rubbing her wrist, her arm still swollen up. I said that we will get off the bus in 5 minutes and in those 5 minutes, I can reduce her pain and potentially heal her arm. She finally relented and said ok.


After a quick hypnosis, and the bus reached its destination, we got off and met my brother for lunch. Yet, before we ate, I took a look at her arm and presto! Her arm was back to normal. I told my brother that her arm was now healed, and my mom was looking at both her arms, checking to make sure and in total disbelief that her arms are now the same size! Her strength was back and the pain was gone too.


That got me thinking… I used to be someone who didn’t know or understand what I was suffering from, what I was going through. There are other people who are currently in a state where I was once. Can I help these people? What are the chances of such isolated events leading me up to this point? All sorts of thoughts and questions went through my mind. I spent another couple of months to figure things out and to be clear before I decide to start this professionally. And here we are! 😊

What differentiates you from others in your industry?


Well when it comes to hypnosis, there are hypnotherapists (who use hypnosis for therapy) as well as street and stage hypnotists (who use hypnosis for entertainment or education purposes) and although I use hypnosis for therapy, I call myself a hypnotist because the word therapy seems to suggest my clients are sick


I don’t have the view that my clients are sick, rather they have issues or baggage or stuff, and the main thing is that they can be resolved. In short, that’s why I refer to myself as a hypnotist. However, both hypnotist and hypnotherapist can be used interchangeably.


Now one of the biggest differences between me and others in the hypnosis field is that most of them (in Singapore) use the traditional hypnotherapy methods. This is what is more commonly known by people everywhere, especially when we watch shows and movies, where the guy being hypnotized is sleeping.


I use a modern style of hypnosis called Conversational Hypnosis. Although some of my clients said I use brand my own version of hypnosis because the way I do it is uniquely mine. Hahaha but for now no.


While in the traditional style of hypnosis the subject or client seems to be in a deep trance like state of relaxation or even deep sleep, the modern style recognizes that trance is happening all the time, and even in light trances, where the subject or client is awake and conscious, the therapy can still be done.


In addition, this raises the effectiveness because you are consciously working with your unconscious mind when we use the modern style of hypnosis. On top of that, if you do come across an issue that you do not want to resolve, you know of it. Compared to the traditional style where you might not be awake or conscious enough to know, then you might end up puzzled why a particular issue hasn’t been resolved.


Currently, when a client is ready to resolve their issues with me, 90% can resolve in 1 session of hypnosis, regardless whether its online or face-to-face. Yes, this includes depression, anxiety and even PTSD! To be fair, the remaining 10% might take more than 1 session to resolve due to them being unable to forgive someone who has hurt them before, or perhaps they aren’t ready to resolve a particular issue, or perhaps their main issue is complex and require more untangling to resolve fully.


Naturally, it is also safer. Safer from the client’s perspective where perhaps someone might be fearful of being molested while in such a deep state of relaxation like in the traditional hypnosis. Although I wish I can say that we won’t do that, there are potentially bad apples in any and every industry so I cannot deny the possibility of that happening. Also there are cases where another occupation uses traditional hypnosis to put their clients to deep sleep and molest them. One such case was a lawyer in US who hypnotized his female clients and molested them. He said they were very stressed over the divorce so needed to calm down through meditation which put them into a deep hypnotic state where he can carry out his bad intentions.


Now because I use the modern style which you are still conscious and awake, it means we can safely do it online as well. In the event the internet gets cut, the computer ran out of battery or whatever, you won’t be able to hear my voice. You can easily call out to me to verify if its just a lag or we got cut off somehow, and then promptly open your eyes to fix the computer and we can get back on track!


The last difference is that because I have a unique understanding of the mind and body, I do get cases with unique and interesting requests for help.


For example, I once had a lady who was involved in a car accident, and suffered brain trauma. She asked me to use hypnosis to recover and heal her brain damage. The weird thing is that she had faith I can heal her, and after the hypnosis, she was healed! All the previous side effects of her injury such as memory loss, blurred vision, muscle weakness, even her lazy eye, have all recovered in that single session!


Another lady came to see me for stage fright because she was a singer, and after her competition, she called me to thank me and share her positive experiences of singing without stage fright. However, she started to have some hypnotic visuals and with her permission, we continued her trance on the phone call. The next morning, she thanked me for curing her acid reflux which she was suffering from for years with no cure. She woke up that morning without it for the first time! Although to be fair, I told her I didn’t do much for this, it was her unconscious mind’s doing.


All these factors make my job super interesting because I have no idea what unique requests I will encounter next! Who inspires you to be the best that you can be?


First and foremost, my parents, they have been instrumental in my development of my character, and how I live my life. Both my parents have taught me skills of independence, problem-solving, and kindness to all. In their own way, both have also contributed to the start of my profession.


I am also inspired by scientists like Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison, because of their attitudes towards inventing solutions to solve problems for humanity, although mine is just to help each client that come to me. And who can forget the Father of Modern Hypnosis, Milton Erickson, in his often unconventional and yet simple hypnotic ways to help people get better.


Lastly, both Jesus Christ and Buddha have greatly inspired me spiritually as well. Treating everyone with love and compassion, giving advice when needed to nudge each client on their own path of life. If you could change one thing about your industry, what would it be and why?


Most if not all traditional forms of hypnosis should change to the modern style! Mainly because it is much more effective in my opinion. This change of mindset from the traditional deep relaxation to the modern understanding of trance will greatly increase the effectiveness of the hypnosis, as well as shorten the number of sessions required for each client and their issues.


My view is that we are in this line to help people, and if we can help people more effectively through an upgrade of our skills and knowledge, then why not?


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!



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