PHASE I - JUST CONCENTRATE AND RELAX
"Relax back in your chair and look steadily at the watch, as you listen only to the sound of my voice. Nothing else matters...except the watch...and my voice. With each and every breath you take, you will become more and more relaxed.more and more at ease. Let every muscle of your body be completely at rest. You must keep your attention focused on the watch. Look steadily at the watch and do not blink. Everything is beginning to feel comfortable now. It's wonderful to relax and let everything else go. You have no cares.no concerns.just the desire to sleep. A complete sense of relaxation is washing over your body like a warm, soothing ocean wave. You are now completely warm and comfortable in your chair. Everything is very pleasant, warm and comfortable."
Begin by asking your subject to sit back comfortably in his or her chair with feet flat on the floor, hands on legs, and to concentrate on your pocket watch.
"Now, as you relax back in your chair, your gaze is growing stronger and more intense. Keep looking steadily at the watch and do not blink. Your eyes are beginning to get tired, very, very tired. It is difficult to keep your eyes open, they are so very, very tired...so very, very heavy. You are concentratina on the watch, but your eyes are growing heavy, very, very heavy. You just want to close your eyes and shut out the light. All you can think of is how relaxing it would be to just close your eyes. Your eyelids feel as if they have lead weights pulling them closed, heavy lead weights. It's getting too hard to keep your eyes open any longer. Let your eyes close so they can relax and shut out the light. They are beginning to close. Let them close now. Go ahead and close your eyes. It will feel so good just to have them closed, they're so tired and heavy. Your eyes are closed now. Keep them closed and shut out the light."
PHASE III - IT'S TIME TO SLEEP
"Everything is peaceful and quiet now. Your eyes are closed and your body is completely at rest. Now, go to sleep. Go deep, deep asleep. Everything is gently drifting by as if you were floating on a cloud. You are floating down...gently down...deep, deep down to sleep. You are so very tired. Every muscle of your body wants sleep, restful sleep. Sleep that will take away your tiredness. You are so very, very tired. You just need sleep.wonderful, restful sleep. So go to sleep! Go fast, fast to sleep! You can feel that wonderful rest and relaxation washing over your entire body like a warm, soothing ocean wave, and you are drifting...drifting...and floating on down, down to deep, sound, wonderful sleep. Everything is just fading, fading, fading far, far away, down into deep, wonderful, peaceful sleep."
Now standing at the subject's side, whisper into his or her ear:
"Go deep asleep now! That's it, go deep asleep! Sound, sound asleep! You are floating down and down into a deep sound sleep. Go deep asleep now! Go sound asleep! With every breath you take, you are floating down, gently down into a deeper and deeper sleep. Go deep, deep asleep. Nothing can bother or disturb you. You are completely and totally relaxed. Completely and totally at ease. Everything is quiet, calm and peaceful."
One of the most common signs of entry into a state of hypnosis is a brief fluttering of the eyelids. The closing of the eyes-sudden or gradual-while invariably a part your suggestion, is not a requirement for hypnosis. It is quite possible for a subject to enter a light trance with the eyes half or even fully open. Other general symptoms of entry into a hypnotic state include upward eye movement, a deep sigh, a deepening of breathing, and general facial relaxation.
Your subject is now completely relaxed in his or her chair and breathing deeply. To all outward appearances, the person looks to have just dozed off. But this person is not asleep-at least, not in the conventional sense of the word. The subject is hypnotized and even in the lightest stage of hypnosis, his or her willingness to accept your suggestions will be greatly increased.
Let's try a couple of basic tests in muscular catalepsy-the easiest of all hypnotic phenomena to produce. Even subjects in the lighter stages of hypnosis are generally responsive to tests of this type. Practice both tests, in order, each time you successfully hypnotize a new subject.
One tip before we get started. Always allow subjects ample time to orient themselves after hypnosis is induced and between tests. Think of how it feels to get off an airplane in a strange city. It takes some time to get your bearings. Hypnosis is no different. Psychologically, your subjects are in uncharted territory.
As a result, subjects who are rushed often respond by shifting to a lighter stage of hypnosis. Conversely, hypnosis tends to deepen in subjects who are given sufficient time to process and comply with your suggestions.
EYES WIDE SHUT
Following your suggestion, the subject finds it impossible to open his or her eyes. The subject struggles to do so, but the eyes remain tightly shut.
Suggestion: "Your eyes are stuck tightly together...so tight, you cannot open them. It is impossible to open your eyes. Try to open your eyes. You can't open them."
Removal: "Relax and forget about your eyes now, they are no longer stuck together. Go back deep asleep."
Always remove the suggestion following each test. Otherwise, you risk the possibility of a subject trying to respond to different and conflicting suggestions simultaneously.
Following your suggestion, the subject's arm goes stiff and the person is unable to bend it. The person may be sitting or standing for this test. Have the subject hold the left arm straight out at a right angle from the body. The hand should be in a fist with the thumb on top-so the bend of the arm is inward toward the body (the elbow points outward). Take hold of the subject's fist with your right hand and stroke back and forth on the inside of the subject's arm with your left, as if commanding the muscles to stiffen.
Suggestion: "The muscles of your arm are tightening and your arm is getting stiff, stiff, stiffer. Your arm is now rigid like a bar of steel and you can't bend it. The more you try to bend your arm, the more rigid it becomes."
Removal: "On the count of three, your arm will instantly relax and fall loosely to your side and it will send you even deeper asleep. One. Two. Three!"
Please note, this test is important because it will also help you gauge the extent of hypnotic influence. If the subject's arm falls quickly and limply to the side, you can be fairly certain this person is deeply affected. On the other hand, if the subject lowers the arm slowly and seemingly of his or her own accord-the trance is probably too light for more challenging tests requiring deep hypnosis.
The same soothing, suggestive techniques used to induce hypnosis are also applied to gently bring a subject out of it. As with the induction, it is important that this process is handled in a gradual manner. Under no circumstances, should you ever attempt to awaken the subject by startling him or her with a loud clap of the hands or by shouting.
Most hypnotic performers also use this opportunity to suggest posthypnotic amnesia. This phenomena, which sometimes occurs spontaneously in subjects under deep hypnosis, can also be suggested. We will address this topic at greater length in the next chapter.
"You are asleep. In a moment, I will awaken you and you will feel full of energy and completely refreshed, however you will have absolutely no memory as to what has occurred while you were asleep. Like a dream, all memories will fade away, far away. It will seem as though you only dozed off in your chair for a brief nap. A very restful and pleasant sleep without dreams."
"Slowly, you are beginning to wake up now. You will continue waking up as I slowly count to five. When I reach five, you will open your eyes and be wide awake.feeling completely refreshed and full of energy. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Open your eyes, be awake and feel fine."
At this point, your subject should open his or her eyes-feeling even better than before being hypnotized. You will rarely encounter a subject who has difficulty awakening from hypnosis. It is very unusual and almost always attributed to a form of hysteria, not the effects of hypnosis. If this ever should occur, stay calm and repeat the suggestions that the subject is waking up, over and over.
Remember, at no time is the subject ever in any danger of not awakening from the hypnotic trance. Even if left completely on his or her own, the subject would soon pass from the state of hypnosis to one of ordinary sleep and then, awaken as the person normally does.
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