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Hypnosis, What Is That?

Updated on May 16, 2019

What is hypnosis?

To be in hypnosis is being in a state of mind between awake and asleep, called trance. Under a trance you are incredibly focused and open to suggestions. Hypnosis can help you to remember things you forgot. It can make you clear your thoughts. To make you say something you otherwise fear. To make you stop with a destructive behavior. To name a few...

Hypnosis, as we know it today had been around since the 19-century. But it been mentioned in both Sumerian wedges and Egyptian sources of how people have been in hypnotic states.

The word "hypnos" is from Greece and means sleep.

The methods

To hypnotize someone, the hypnotists have to have the person focus on a fixed point in front of them. He might have a pocket watch, or a jewelry in a chain in front of them. Or a soothing picture. The hypnotists should also use his voice. To speak in a calm, soothing and monotone voice with the suggestion to relax.

Can anyone do it?

Yes. Everyone can learn to hypnotize. And it's not that complicated either. But it takes practice. And practice makes perfect.

How do you do it?

The thing with hypnosis is that it is self-hypnosis done by the hypnotized. The hypnotists job is simply to guide the hypnotized. And everyone has, quite often, experienced a hypnotic state on his own. When you daydream, when you are in "the zone", when you get completely into what you are doing. Imagine you watching a movie, the best movie you know. When the movie plays you are 100% concentrated on taking in the whole movie as much as you can.

To hypnotize someone, you need to get very calm. Speak in a monotone, soothing and friendly voice. Make sure the client is aware he is going to get hypnotized. Ask also if the client got hypnotized in the past, ask how they did it. Turn off all the phones, music, TV. Everything that can make a sound or distract. Turn off some of the lights to make it dimly lit.

When you want to put the client in trance, speak with a calm voice with trust. Say things like:

  • "Listen to what I say and let my words float into you."
  • "You are in full control and decides what is going to happen."
  • "This is a safe place, nobody here is giving you any harm."
  • "You can feel yourself getting calm, let yourself sink into the chair."
  • "It's okay if your eyelids are getting heavy. Close your eyes if you feel for it."

Meanwhile you speaks to the person, tell him to focus on a fixed point directly in front of them. The point have to be completely harmless, such as a watch, a painting or your own forehead. Keep an eye on their eyes. If they aren't completely still, they are not focusing. Tell them calmly to focus, don't get frustrated.

Tell him to breath through the nose and take deep breaths. That way, more oxygen gets to the brain, allowing more concentration.

Tell him to relax one body-part at the time, start from the feet and go up. Say things like: "feel how your feet's disconnects and relaxes, feel the calmness. Feel how the calmness wanders to the ankles. You get relaxed. Let go of your legs. Feel how you don't need to put any effort to use your legs."

Encourage him all the time to relax. Tell him how good he is. If he want to close the eyes, tell him it's okay. And pay attention to the clients breathing and every motion by their body to notice if they really relaxes.

A technique commonly used is to lead the client down the "hypnotic staircase". Say how he stand on the top step of a ten-step-stair. The stair leads down to the greatest relaxed state. Take a step down and feel how the calmness washes over you. Take a second step and feel how you gets more calmer.

What to do with someone in trance?

Rule number one! You can not make anyone make anything against their will. Firstly, it's impossible to make anyone make anything against their moral. Secondly, if you however succeed, it's a breach of trust. When you are in a trance you are still aware and will probably remember it all. Don't use hypnosis to make a practical joke (e.g. make the client cluck like a chicken), use it to help.

Also remember that it doesn't need any suggestion to lower stress and anxiety. The trance itself is extremely calming and can make the brain to solve many problem by itself. Take it easy and don't ask him to do to mush.

You shall also avoid to tell him directly what to do under the trance. Let the client imagine the result/goal and simply guide the goal. Let himself come up to the solution after their own limitations. Don't try to fix him, he can do it by himself.

For an example I am going to use to get over arachnophobia (the fear of spiders). Don't tell him how there is so few spider in the world that is actually dangerous to humans (he have heard I before). Ask him instead to imagine a future where he is not feared of spiders. Ask which changes that needs to get done to make that future a reality. Ask which changes he can do by himself. And the changes he can't do by himself, guide him to find a new solution.

Hypnosis could be used for:

  • Remember things you otherwise had forgotten (events from the childhood, memories hidden by trauma).
  • Clear thoughts from distractions.
  • Relax.
  • To tell something you don't dare (ask someone to prom, testify against a criminal).
  • Quit a destructive behavior (smoking, self-harm).
  • To dare more (extreme-sports, daring stunts).
  • Reach deeper insights (LSD substitute, meditation).
  • Overcome phobias.
  • Loose weights (food habits, exercise).

Also, keep in mind that hypnosis is not a miracle cure. Chronic struggles or other profound problems should always be treated by professionals.

To finish a hypnosis

Don't just jerk the hypnotized to wake it up with a bang. The person is not asleep, he is just really focused on a particular thing. And that thing is not your plans of grabbing him and jerk. He will get extremely surprised.

Just say that you are going to count to five and then clap your hands right after. And by every number, he will wake up more and more. And when you claps, they should wake completely. And remember to say that before you execute, so that he gets prepared. If you use the stair technique to set him in trance, use it again and encourage them ta walk slowly up again.

Then feel free to ask them for feedback. What went good? What could have been better? Ask so you can learn. But don't pressure. If the person doesn't want to, he doesn't want to. And if he wants to wait, you waits.

Involuntary hypnosis?

You can't get hypnotized involuntary. And during a trance, you have full control and break the hypnosis whenever you wants. But, you can get hypnotized without knowing it. And that is a criminal action by the hypnotists.

If the hypnotizing offender speaks with "a calm, soothing and monotone voice with the suggestion to relax" (and is a skilled hypnotists), he can put the victim in a trance without them knowing it.

An example of this sets in Russia 2011. An ”evil hypnotists” got a multiple persons to give him hundred-thousands of ruble. He stood by the bank and hypnotized unaware victims to withdraw all of their money and voluntarily give it to him.

Another example occurred in 2013 when a woman reported her weight-loss coach for sexual abuse. She woke up from a trance and felt something touching her neck. Behind her was the coach Timothy Porter with his pants down and asked her to fondle her breasts.

But in the end, you can't get hypnotized to do something against your moral. If this two events are true, is up to you to decide. But way in that these hypnotists may have been an authority, and the victims thought they did the right thing to obey.


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