Simple Tips To Make Trancing Easier

If you’re new to the wonderful world of hypnosis, or if you have previously struggled to enjoy trance then it is perfectly understandable to feel a little nervous or apprehensive.  After all – if you’ve not experienced something before then it can be difficult to know what to expect. There are also many misconceptions floating around which doesn’t help matters. Debunking the many misconceptions that exist is very valuable, however there are other simple steps you can take to make trancing easier:

 

  • Communication – communicate fears/concerns to your hypnotist. A good hypnotist will be able to respond to all your queries and put your mind at ease.

 

  • Choose a time to trance when you will be free from distractions. Turn off your phone or at least put it in “do not disturb” mode. Ensure that you’re not expecting any visitors and that you won’t be disturbed.

 

  • Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes. Nothing tight or restrictive. Ensure you won’t feel too hot or too cold.

 

  • Drink water regularly in the hours leading up to the time you intend to trance. Ensure you’re hydrated and not hungry (but don’t binge on sugary or high carb foods – proteins are your friend here. They keep you full but won’t “weigh you down” the way a carb heavy meal will, or mess with your energy levels the way sugar does).

 

  • It helps to be relaxed, but it’s not necessary. Your body will relax, in its own time, when it needs to.

 

  • If you’re naturally analytical, tell your hypnotist or enquire if they are comfortable and experienced in dealing with analytical subjects. Being analytical doesn’t make you a bad subject (quite the opposite) but it does require a different approach to ensure you enjoy the best possible experience.

 

  • Know what to expect. This goes back to communication. Get the hypnotist to explain what it will happen, how it will feel, etc. This will reassure you and help you enjoy the experience without worrying about whether you’re doing it right.

 

  • If you’re listening to mp3s rather than enjoying a live session, I’d recommend also just allowing yourself to listen. Be curious about it but hold no expectations. Analyse what’s being said if you want to. You already have a natural, inherent ability to enjoy trance so you don’t have to do anything other than allow that to manifest. In the meantime, instead of worrying if you’re doing things “right”, get comfortable and allow the hypnotists words and voice to flow…doesn’t matter if you’re consciously aware of them or not – your subconscious understands.

 

I hope you find these tips useful. If you have any tips you’d like to share, or any comments or questions please write them below.

Conversational Hypnosis

I’ve previously written about a variety of hypnosis techniques and a few people asked me why I didn’t include conversational hypnosis in that particular blog post.  The reason is simple – I wanted to give conversational hypnosis a blog post all of its own in recognition of how much I utilise it.

 

I pride myself on tailoring my approach to the individual subject I am working with, but by and large conversational hypnosis is the technique I choose to use as a base/starting point.  But why? Why out of all of the possible options for induction techniques do I return time and time again to conversational hypnosis?

 

As it turns out, there are all sorts of very good reasons:

 

  • Conversational inductions make for a good ice breaker. It’s a nice way to allow the subject to calm any nerves and the transition from conversation to induction is a smooth and seamless one that can begin whenever the subject is ready – there’s no need to rush.

 

  • It offers the opportunity to ask questions and get to know each other. I, as the hypnotist, can find out more about you, how your mind works, what techniques are likely to be effective in achieving results and also what it is you want to get out of hypnosis – your goals and desires.  Also allows for the subject to ask any questions they have so they can understand the process, what to expect, correct any misconceptions and generally feel more comfortable and at ease. Conversations allow both sides to establish a rapport which in turn allows for a more comfortable and enjoyable trance experience.

 

  • Conversational inductions are flexible and adaptable – it provides me with a solid foundation that I can then build upon and adjust/respond to as required.  I can freely introduce and amend techniques without being tied in to using a singular technique. What this means is that where many hypnotists use a specific induction they’re comfortable with and try and make the subject conform to the expectations of their chosen induction, I do things the other way around.  When I am hypnotising a subject my focus is what techniques I can use to support my subject achieve what they want. I’m not trying to force a square peg into a round hole. Any analytical subjects who’ve tried to trance to common inductions such as progressive relaxation should know what I mean – many times such inductions don’t suit analytical subjects but hypnotists persist with them and blame the subject for being “bad” at trancing rather than acknowledging that the limitation is theirs. Use the right induction that is tailored specifically to the individual and responsive to their needs and you’ll find that analytical people make *amazing* trance subjects.

 

  • Following on from the above point, conversational inductions allow me to express my creativity and be responsive to the subject.  It encourages me to step out of my comfort zone and focus on meeting my subjects needs to achieve an effective trance rather than assuming they will conform/respond to what I am comfortable with.  I get to make every session unique and tailor it specifically to the individual I am working with. I offer a bespoke service which encourages me to dig deep into my “hypnotic toolbox” as well as spontaneously develop new tools and techniques on the spot. This has proved to be very effective and I like to think that this is reflected in the satisfaction of my clients and the success I’ve enjoyed in trancing analytical people as well as those who have previously struggled to trance.

 

  • This type of induction works very well for analytical people because it’s not boring or predictable. It’s engaging and relaxed. It allows your conscious mind to focus on and enjoy the conversation whilst your subconscious continues to get the ball rolling on trance and when the time is right the transition into trance becomes seamless.

 

  • Conversational inductions flow well…done correctly there is a seamless transition between conversation and trance.  You can proceed at whatever pace you need to and this reduces pressure on the subject as there’s no need to rush.

 

  • Finally, I love the challenge.  Doing conversational inductions well requires a significant amount of expertise. Because of its lack of inherent structure you have to really understand and appreciate the underlying principles of hypnosis and how these can effectively be applied.  You don’t have the support/structure of the more standard inductions so you have to rely on and be confident in yourself and your capabilities. I like to think of it as an art form. Trance for me isn’t formulaic – I don’t follow set steps with a view to achieving results. I get creative and let the joy and passion I have for hypnosis and what I do shine through.  I pride myself on the quality of the service I offer and always smile when subjects are taken by surprise at just how effective conversational hypnosis can be…they find themselves in trance before they even realised what was happening and the happiness on their face once they appreciate what they’ve achieved is priceless.

 

Hopefully you’ve found this insight into why I am such a passionate advocate for conversational hypnosis and why I find it to be such a useful tool.  I don’t believe it’s the be-all-and-end-all of trance, but it makes for an excellent foundation and springboard to build the experience on.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts, experiences, questions, etc so please do share them below in the comments section.

Overview Of Some Common Hypnosis Techniques

I wanted to give you all a “peek behind the curtain” as it were.  Hypnosis may seem magical (and in many ways it is), but it isn’t magic. You don’t need to believe in it for it to work (just ask the *many* skeptics I’ve tranced over the years).  If anything being better informed can allow you to relax and enjoy the experience more. So – I’ve listed some common induction techniques (techniques that induce trance) with explanations of how they work and pros and cons.

This list is compiled through a combination of personal experience and research.  I don’t personally use many of these techniques for various reasons (e.g. I specialise in working with analytical people many of whom would find a relaxation induction boring and uneffective, and the handshake technique I find ethically dubious so have deliberately avoided it) but they are all useful to know.  I primarily use a conversational induction (I will be writing a separate blog about this so keep an eye out) as a base and then “freestyle”, tailoring my approach specifically to the individual I am working with. I can incorporate standard techniques or develop new ones on the fly based on my years of experience and understanding of how the underpinning principles of hypnosis work and how I can use them to my advantage.  It’s liberating, great fun, and best of all – very effective!

1. Relaxation

This is a simple, straightforward and commonly used technique where the hypnotist encourages the subject to relax, often via a variation of the “progressive relaxation induction” which is basically exactly what it sounds like.  Often the hypnotist will suggest that the subject relaxes each part of their body independently – talking them through systematically relaxing their head, jaw, shoulders…and so on and so forth until every part of their body is relaxed.  Hypnotists often suggest that subjects relax their minds and try not to think.

Pros: Very popular technique that works well with the majority of people. Gentle and unrushed.

Cons: Doesn’t work well with analytical people as they tend to find it boring and predictable. Can take a long time.

 

  1. Handshake Technique

This rapid induction technique was made famous by Milton Erikson.  It uses a “pattern interrupt” technique by disrupting what is considered a common social norm (in this case a handshake). The idea is that by interrupting a social action so common it’s practically automatic/muscle memory (usually by tugging the subjects hand as they reach out to shake hands), the subconscious is shocked/knocked off balance and momentarily more vulnerable/open to suggestion, giving the hypnotist an opening to give suggestions to direct the mind in the desired direction (e.g. a suggestion issued in a commanding voice to trance, followed up with softer repetitive guidance and reassurance).

           Pros: Works incredibly quickly; very dramatic so great for performances.

Cons: Some hypnotists attempt without obtaining prior consent; the “shock” of the induction can be uncomfortable for some people.

 

  1. Visualisation

This is another commonly used technique for inductions.  The idea is that you get the client to visualise a safe, peaceful place and focus on the details.  Some hypnotists will use guided imagery to reinforce the trance – e.g. descending a staircase. Typically the hypnotist will describe the scenario that the subject is to imagine (e.g. a beach, walking through a forest, floating in a sea…whatever it is) and the subject is expected to follow along and immerse themselves in the visualisation.  The idea is that the subject will become more relaxed and will begin to enter trance as they follow the hypnotists guidance and immerse themselves in the scene they are being encouraged to visualise.

Pros: A gentle, relaxing technique;Easy to learn the basics from a hypnotists perspective; works well with the majority of people.

Cons: Inexperienced hypnotists can get overly confident and reliant on the technique without fully understanding or appreciating how or why it works; hypnotist could inadvertently use imagery that is uncomfortable for the client (e.g. talking about water and sinking when the client has a fear of drowning); often a boring technique for analytical people as it’s predictable and slow.

 

  1. Arm Levitation Technique

A classic Ericksonian technique. You begin by asking the client to close their eyes and then ask them to allow themselves to become aware of a difference in feeling between their arms.  Some hypnotists will direct and use/incorporate visualisation techniques (e.g. “imagine a red helium balloon tied to your right arm, lifting it higher”). Others are more permissive (e.g. “I want you to allow yourself to become aware of one arm feeling lighter than the other.  Allow your mind to focus on how light that arm feels. I don’t know if it is your left arm or your right arm that is feeling lighter and lighter, but I know you know which arm it is, don’t you?”). Either way, the end result is that the arm lifts. You can also incorporate the dropping of the arm as a deepener (as the arm drops you will go deeper into trance. Once your arm settles in your lap you will be deep in trance).

Pros: Technique is a good “convincer” (proof to client that they are in trance); tried and tested technique developed by a true pro.

Cons: Tricky balance for new hypnotists between being confident and over-confident; takes skill and experience to not panic if client doesn’t respond as anticipated – can catch out inexperienced hypnotists.

 

  1. Eye Fixation

The client is encouraged to focus their attention solely on a particular object/point (either asked by hypnotist to choose themselves – e.g. a particular spot on the wall – or directed to focus on something specific either static or moving).  A common example would be a pocket watch. The swinging watch keeps the conscious mind occupied, leaving the conscious mind open to suggestion (there are also other techniques that can be incorporated into swinging objects that can encourage trance but I don’t want to destroy all the mystery!).

Pros: Very common technique – well known and works for a lot of people purely because they associate hypnosis with swinging watches. The power of the mind at work!; Easy to master for the hypnotist – a very simple induction that plays a lot on people’s assumptions of hypnosis and how it works.

Cons: Not enough to always appropriately engage an analytical mind; can perpetuate common misconceptions about hypnosis and how it works.

 

What are your thoughts on the list I’ve compiled? Any favorites? Techniques I’ve missed out?  I’d love to hear what you think so share your comments below.

Fun/Memorable Hypnosis Sessions #3: Hypnosis over Hot Chocolate (hypnotising an analytical person)

I absolutely love what I do (hypnosis) and wanted to share some highlights of fun/memorable sessions. This story is part of a series where I recount some fun/memorable hypnosis sessions I have enjoyed over the years.  All client identities are kept 100% anonymous.

So this one is a very recent experience. It was an off-the-cuff, opportunistic trance (on my part) with a guy who I’d met for coffee and who had tried to tell me he couldn’t be hypnotised because he was analytical and his mind was always going a mile a minute.

Always up for a challenge I proceeded (whilst we were each enjoying our hot chocolates – which were delicious by the way) to trance him.  It was my usual casual conversational style…the one that kind of creeps up on you so you don’t realise what’s happened until it’s too late (I can see all my boys nodding automatically in agreement. Haha).

He really enjoyed the experience of having his mind be calm instead of a frantic, turbulent jumble of thoughts – the sensation of peacefulness and stepping out of time really appealed.  I also had fun throwing in a few post-hypnotic triggers (triggers that I can use even when you’re not in trance).

It did take me a little while (30 minutes maybe?) to get him into the right head-space to be able to enjoy and appreciate the possibilities, but I never rush. Things take as long as they take and I truly believe he appreciated being able to take things at his own pace.  The whole thing was really chilled and informal and relaxed (probably helped by the hot chocolate) and it was fun. A genuinely spontaneous experience that was “just for the hell of it”.

Analytical people are always wonderful to hypnotise because they have this innate ability which makes them fantastic trance subjects.  Because their minds naturally work faster they’re able to self-verify the evolution of their descent into trance and the associated developments within that experience (basically how it feels to go in to trance).  This in turn allows them to confirm that yes, a transformation definitely is taking place and they are brilliant at engaging with it. The result is that they can (and do) often trance faster and deeper than most.

I never try to suppress a person’s natural analytical ability.  Analyzing what’s happening to you as you go deeper into trance won’t compromise the experience. It won’t stop you from trancing.  If anything it allows you to engage with the experience more.

Want to see for yourself? Why not book a Skype session with me.

Fun/Memorable Sessions #2: Trancing a Skeptic

I absolutely love what I do (hypnosis) and wanted to share some highlights of fun/memorable sessions. This story is part of a series where I recount some fun/memorable hypnosis sessions I have enjoyed over the years.  All client identities are kept 100% anonymous.

 

I get a lot of skeptics trying to tell me that hypnosis isn’t real – that it doesn’t work.  Some, despite their skepticism are still curious, however and to those people I say that being skeptical is fine.  There’s nothing wrong with healthy skepticism. But hypnosis isn’t magic (though it seems magical at times). You don’t need to believe in it for it to work.  I can trance you whether you believe in hypnosis and its effectiveness or not.

 

One time, years ago and before I became a professional I got chatting to a gentleman (I can’t recall how – this was quite a few years ago!) and he expressed that he was interested in the concept of hypnosis but skeptical that it would actually work.  I agreed to trance him and to cut a very long story short despite his skepticism he dropped like a stone and turned out to be an excellent trance subject.

 

I brought him out of trance and congratulated him on being such a great trance subject.  He responded by giving me a blank look. Turns out he had been such a good subject and tranced so deeply that he had zero recollection of the experience. Complete amnesia.  He genuinely thought I was making it all up. I was rather amused which seemed to annoy him even more.

 

I then had a moment of (rather unethical) inspiration and told him I had thought of a way to prove to him that he had experienced trance.  He agreed without me explaining how the situation would play out (skepticism emboldened him, I guess?). So – I tranced him again, and whilst he was in trance I had him remove all his clothing (this was in a private setting, obviously), fold it neatly and place it beside him.  Whilst remaining deep in trance he complied.

 

Once he’d done this I brought him out of trance.  I think initially he was confused as he appreciated something was different but hadn’t cottoned on to exactly what this was.  I don’t think the mischievous smile I had on my face helped, either. A few seconds later it eventually dawned on him and his eyes went wide.  To say he was shocked was an understatement. Haha.

 

After that experience needless to say he was no longer skeptical.  It was a lot of fun, but my ethics have also evolved a lot since those early days and now I am not sure if I would be as reckless.  But it ended well – he enjoyed himself and left a believer.

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If you are interested in enjoying a session yourself, then I recommend you take a look at my Skype page for more information.

Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have something you want to share.

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