Involuntary movement of muscles

You have already seen how easy it is to get a finger to move. It is usually quite easy to extend this and to get the hand and then the arm to lift into the air and perhaps rise as high as the face. Or even high into the air.

Hint: in many schools you have to hold your hand up to get the teacher's attention. You may be able to use the imagination to take your friend back to a memory of such a time and then suggest that he or she knows the answer to the teacher's question and the arm will lift to signal this.

For a more dynamic effect you can often get the arms to produce an involuntary rolling movement in which the hands rotate about each other in front of the subject in small circles, without any conscious effort and indeed (in time) with it being impossible for the subject to stop them..

Hint: with such physical responses it can often help first for you to move the limb(s) in the way in which you later want it (them) to move spontaneously. By so doing you are activating that part of the brain which monitors and "remembers" muscular movement (the cerebellum), which is therefore already primed with what is required, without it having to receive too much direction from another system.

If your subject is sitting comfortably then you could aim to get a leg to rise, and perhaps then let this lead to a regular rising and falling or even stamping of the feet on the ground, by analogy with the arm rolling above.

Or you could suggest movement of the neck muscles, perhaps aiming at a particular movement of the head to right, left, up or down. (This can be a useful preamble if you want the head to indicate 'yes' or 'no' responses with nods and shakes.)

Or there are the eye muscles: again you could try to achieve an involuntary movement of the eyes to right or left, up or down.

Or you can suggest movement of the jaw muscles. Your goal might be an involuntary opening and closing of the mouth

You may also note that the tongue is a muscle and, although this may be more difficult since you will have to inactivate that system which is alert to looking foolish, you might well be able to get the tongue to stick out.

The facial muscles are used to form expressions such as the smile we have mentioned above, but also frowns, looks of surprise, and so on.

As a general rule, although it may take quite a lot of time to get the first system to produce a change on the suggested lines, you can expect that subsequent changes will come about more and more quickly.

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