Rigidity of muscles catatonia

In rather a different vein you may aim not for a comparatively mild activation of a group of muscles to produce a movement but for total rigidity (catatonia) of a set of muscles, to the point where the subject is unable to release them. Stage hypnotists often use a form of this as a test. They ask everyone in the audience to clasp their hands together firmly, then suggest that they will be unable to unclasp them. Those that can't do so are rather more likely to respond to other suggestions.

You might make the hands lock rigidly, or make the fingers of a hand so rigid that they will not bend, an arm totally rigid to that it cannot be unstraightened, or the back muscles so that it is impossible to bend, or the neck muscles so that it is impossible to turn the head, or the leg muscles so that it is impossible to bend them, or the jaw muscles so that the mouth cannot be opened and so on. In each case you are strongly activating the muscles, but inactivating the conscious pathways of control of those muscles.

Hint: here the common practice is first to direct the muscles consciously to tense as hard as possible. For example, "Please hold your arm out straight as a rod. Hold it VERY straight. It will now become like a steel rod. As rigid as a rod. As rigid as a rod. It will feel so inflexible that it will soon be impossible to bend it. As rigid as a rod. As rigid as a rod. You can begin to feel that the elbow joint just will not work. Rigid as a rod." You will see that in this the hypnotist gets the subject to do the harder work: of getting the muscles activated to their limit, while most of the suggestions are aiming at implanting the idea that it is impossible to bend the arm.

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  • magnus
    What is catatonia in hypnosis?
    7 years ago

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