57 Things You’ll Want to Know About Hypnosis
Transforming Your Past (and Your Life) with Hypnosis
By Adrian Deal
Hypnosis Carb-Free and Oh So Delicious
1. Hypnosis is a natural state
a. And it’s not rocket science. Hypnosis is a slightly altered mental stat that you and learn to induce (in yourself and others) and utilize to resolve past problems and create future solutions. My vision is for every person on the planet to have the basic, usable tools of hypnosis in their hands.
2. You have experienced hypnosis many times already
a. Have you ever gotten so engrossed in a book that you lost track of time? Have you ever been so swept up in the sexual attraction of a new boyfriend or girlfriend that you ‘forgot’ to use a condom like you’d planned? Have you ever driven somewhere and then realized you ‘didn’t remember’ making all those turns? Have you ever stared at the flame of a candle or a bonfire and felt a little ‘mesmerized’? You, my friend, have experienced hypnosis already.
3. It’s not what you’d expect
a. You won’t be asleep., unconscious, out-of-your-body, or in another dimension. Hypnosis, honestly, feels pretty normal. That’s why so many people say, “Yeah, someone tried to hypnotize me once, but I don’t think it worked.” That’s because it didn’t feel weird, and they were expecting weird!
4. But it does feel fabulous
a. Refreshing and relaxing – that’s how being in trance feel to me. You’ll have your eyes closed, and you’ll probably feel more relaxed. You might have greater access to memories and emotions, too. Even I (a person whose been doing hypnosis for a looong time) often think to myself, “Oh, am I really in hypnosis?” It’s not until afterwards, when I contemplate the insights I got from the session, that I realize, “Mmm…. Yes, that was a ‘different’ state of mind.”
5.. Evidence of being in hypnosis
a. From the outside, I can tell a person is in a hypnotic state by noticing one or more of the following “trance phenomena”: eyelid fluttering, tearing, an expressionless face, voice changes, deep sighs, and diaphragm breathing.
6. Two factors that create hypnosis
a. Hypnosis is the state of mind in which 1) The critical faculty of the mind is subdued and 2) Selective thinking is established. Suspend normal judgment and narrow your focus of attention.
7. Loooook into my eyes
a. Oh, this is so Hollywood! I’ve never had anyone stare into my eyes in order to guide them into hypnosis, because it feels hokey. However, the basic principle is truthful; fixating your eyes on anything will produce a light state of hypnosis. Staring at a candle flame, the white lines on the road, or a spot on your hand, all open the doorway to hypnosis.
8. Why relax?
a. Because when your body and mind are relaxed, your brain waves slow down; this slower frequency is often called the ‘alpha level’. For some reason, visualizing your desires or thinking powerfully positive thoughts while you are at the ‘alpha level’ is much more effective than visualizing or thinking those thoughts while you are in your normal conscious state.
“Will you make me cluck like a chicken?” Myths Debunked
9. You have ultimate control
a. When you work with a hypnotherapist, s/he is there in service of you. You get to ask for what you want. During the session, you can dismiss anything s/he says that’s not useful to you, and you can ask for certain things to be said or done. It’s your brain, your psyche, your ship! You get to drive it, and the hypnotist is there to help you learn how.
10. Your hypnotic facilitator can’t make you do anything
a. I know if you’ve ever seen an ‘entertainment-hypnosis show’ it sure seems like the hypnotist is making those people do things. But s/he’s not. The hypnotist is making verbal suggestions, and in the nature of fun, the participants (who have been carefully selected, by the way) express them. However, if a hypnotist ever suggested that someone do something that was morally or ethically or otherwise wrong for them, the person would not do it.
11. The un-lickable ice cream
a. Carolyn Deal was in an entertainment show years ago. At that time, she was avoiding sugar and dairy to clear up a medical condition. During the show, the hypnotist suggested to everyone that they reach their arms out in front of them and grasp a beautiful cone of ice cream… and then bring it to their mouth and lick it. Of course, this was going to be funny to see a bunch of people licking the air – but Carolyn refused to do it. She said, “In a way, I knew that there wasn’t really ice cream there, but I was so into the experience that part of me believed there was ice cream – and I wasn’t about to lick it!”
12. Like having control and being strong minded? You’ll love hypnosis
a. The more intelligent and strong-minded you are, the easier it will be for you to focus yourself into trance. Plus, without hypnosis, you’ve been controlled by past experiences and past emotions; with hypnosis you can get back your control.
13. Hypnotists don’t have special powers
a. Sure would be fun if we did! But no. What we do have is special knowledge about how our minds work, and how language and words can be used to make positive changes.
14. When you are in hypnosis, you are awake and aware
a. If the phone rings, you’ll hear it. If a breeze comes through the room,. you’ll feel it. If the sun starts shining in your eyes, you’ll see it. After the session, you’ll remember what took place and what you thought about. Over time, the details of the session will likely fade, as the details of dreams fade (so if you want to remember details, write them down).
15. Your secrets are safe
a. Words do not just pour out of your mouth when you are in hypnosis. You don’t, like in the movies, tell the hypnotist all of your passwords and who you’ve slept with and what you stole when you were ten – unless you choose to share those things. When you are in hypnosis, you still have plenty of critical activity – for example, sometimes when I’m the hypnosis experience, a thought or idea or memory will come to mind, and then I’ll think, “Oh, that’s probably not it” or “What in the world does that hav to do with X?” And then I’ll go ahead and share it with my facilitator, “Well, I don’t know if this is it, but what’s coming to me is….”
16. You can come out of hypnosis anytime you choose
a. Hypnosis is not a heavy steel blanket – you are not, as the outdate phrase goes, ‘under hypnosis’. Instead, you are in a hypnotic state, a state that is fluid and flexible and varies in it’s ‘depth.’ I sometimes describe it as waves – you float ‘up’ and ‘down’ throughout a session. The phone might ring and you’ll come ‘out’ of hypnosis a bit… then you mentally count backwards from 20 to one and you feel ‘deeper’ again. To bring yourself (or another person) out of hypnosis, just decide to open your eyes.
17. If the hypnotist drops dead…
a. You’d wonder why he or she had stopped talking – and you’d open your eyes. Have you seen the movie “Office Space”? Well, that’s what happens to the hero of the story: he goes to a hypnotist and our hero seems to never “come out” of hypnosis. In reality you always come out of hypnosis – but as in the movie, you’ll often find your life is dramatically and easily improved from there on out.
18. Not all drivers are good
a. You’ve been in a car with a less-than-superb driver, yes? Well, as in the world of drivers, not all hypnotists are superb either. Keep this in mind anythime you read or hear a study or statistic or aneccodate about hypnosis. Reading an article about ‘hypnosis’ is like reading an article about ‘driving’. Who is driving and how?
19. The state of hypnosis is safe
a. The state of stress is dangerous. The state of hypnosis is incredibly comfortable, relaxing, and comforting. However, can damage be done by a particular hypnotist? Yes. And by piano teacher or a doctor or anyone who deals with people. If the hypnotist is not very ethical or doesn’t have the skills to help you resolve whatever past traumas come up, the harm could be done.
Choosing Your Travel Guide
20. How to choose a hypnotist
a. When you are looking for a hypnotist to work with, find someone you like, someone you are comfortable with. Find someone you trust. Inquire into their background and training. Ask them to explain what hypnosis is, what it feels like, what their theories and approaches are. Find out if they do ‘regression to the root cause of a problem’ or mostly suggestion hypnosis. Find out what kinds of techniques they have.
21. The best way to ‘resist’ hypnotic suggestions
a. If you hire a hypnotist who then turns out to be creepy, or you’re visiting with a salesperson whose product you don’t want to buy, or you want to feel more immune to the barrage of advertising on television, then be critical. And stay critical. Point out everything wrong with the product or person. (I don’t recommend this as a way to go through life, however. Use it sparingly!)
22. The hypnotic facilitator is your travel guide
a, When you go to a new country or city, it’s nice to have someone there to point out the neat sights and to recommend the best restaurants. Well, that’s a bit of what it’s like to have a hypnotist. This person acts as your companion, your guide. This person is not there to tell you what to do or to think, necessarily, but to ask you questions and direct your mind into places it might not think to look. Your hypnotist is not God, and does not have all the answers, but has skills to ‘shine the flashlight’ so that you can discover your own wisdom.
23. Two facilitators are better than one
a. Imagine being in the center of, and receiving, loving and supportive words from five to ten other people. What would it be like to be bathed in kind words? Come to my hypnosis training and you’ll find out; this experience that one student called ‘the love marination’ is a big highlight during the five days.
24. Certifications are loosely given
a. Hypnosis training programs are extremely varied, in length and content There is not yet a nationally recognized ‘minimum training’ for a person to call themselves a Certified Hypnotist (Cht.). The good news is that it’s simple to become a hypnotist… and the bad news is that there are plenty of mediocre hypnotists out there. If you are looking for a training, of course I am biased and I say, “Come train with me! I’m the best.”
Instant Trance, The Magic of Rapport, and Other Gems
25. You can speak, wiggle, and get up to use the bathroom
a. Speaking is a natural focusing method, and therefore takes you deeper into hypnosis. Wiggling feels good, and comfort helps you go deeper into hypnosis. If you have to pee during a session, just tell yourself (or ask your hypnotist to tell you) that you’re going to get up, safely go use the restroom, return to the chair, and as soon as your eyes close again, you’ll go into a hypnosis twice as deep as the one you’re in now. Then, when you come back to the chair and close your eyes, remind yourself of that… and go twice as deep.
26. Deeper into what?
a. Many hypnotists, including myself, use the words ‘deeper and deeper’ to encourage our clients to go into hypnosis. (“With every breath you take, you are going deeper and deeper into this wonderful hypnotic state”). Now, is a person really going deeper into something? Physically, of course, the person isn’t going anywhere – they’re still sitting in the chair. Mentally, people are experiencing different things, which may or may not feeling like “going somewhere”. Some people experience “deeper and deeper into hypnosis” as simply relaxing more and more. Some people experience it as “going own a set of stairs into a special place” or “descending into the core of the self”. Some people experience it as “feeling lighter and lighter”. Basically, whatever it feels like to you is what it’s supposed to feel like for you.
27. The magic of rapport
a. Rapport is a feeling of comfort and trust, a feeling that “Yes, I like this person, and we ‘get’ each other”. Rapport can be gained by talking about the same things, but also by having similar body language and voice tone/volume/speed. In other words, you can totally not ‘get’ someone, and yet when you have nonverbal rapport with them, their experience will be “this person get me!” Rapport is also a big part of being able to guide another person into hypnosis.
28. Strong emotions are hypnotic
a. … Because when you are intensely enthusiastic or scared, your critical faculty is subdued and your thinking is focused. Strong emotions also serve to more easily regress you to past experiences. Have you ever felt sad, and suddenly it’s easy to think of all the other times you’ve felt sad? Or, have you ever felt happy, and memories of other times you’ve been happy pop into your mind? It’s almost as if emotions are “keys” that unlock the box with all of its related memories in it.
29. Kids are great at doing hypnosis
a. Kids are already in a sort of state of hypnosis all the time. They might not be very focused, but they’ve already got one half of hypnosis – suspended critical faculty. Research shows that kids haven’t even developed their critical mind until the age of seven. This means that if you tell a five year old that they’ll never amount to anything – well, that suggestion goes in without hesitation, and that kid will live with that statement as if it is truth. This also means that if you tell a five year old that he can heal himself, that if he’s bleeding he can stop it with his imagination -- then that kid will take that in as truth and will be able to stop his bleeding anytime he wants.
30. Physical trauma is instant hypnosis
a. Which is all the more reason for emergency medical responders to learn hypnosis. When you speak to a person who is experiencing physical trauma, your words will be interpreted literally by their subconscious mind. Avoid using words that can be interpreted several ways. For example, as an anesthesiologist, you may have a certain process in mind when you say, “Now I’m going to put you to sleep,” but what if this person has just had his German Shepard ‘put to sleep’? He may interpret those words quite differently! Use words like comfort, procedure, healing, etc. Instead of saying, “You are not going to die,” you can say, “You are alive, you are continuing to live, and you are going to continue living.”
31. Meditation versus Self-Hypnosis
a. In my experience, the states of self-hypnosis and meditation are very similar, if not the same. The difference is in the intention and focus, When I meditate, my intention is to quiet my mind, and my focus is on my breathing or on a simple mantra. When I do self-hypnosis, my intention is to gain clarity or insight into a current challenge, or to bring about specific changes in my body and mind, and my focus I on my desired resultss.
32. Visualizing – you’re alreay doing it
a. Many people think they “can’t visualize” – and yet, if you couldn’t visualize, how would you ever find your car in a full parking lot? How could you laugh about a movie you watched fie years ago? How could you identify which house was yours? When I say “visualize” it doesn’t mean : see clear, three-dimensional, Technicolor images”. Visualizing means “thinking about”. It means “focusing on”, “pondering”. When some people visualize, all they notice are sensations. Other people hear their thoughts. Other people “see” faint images.
33. The woozy three minutes afterward
a. There is an appearance of wakefulness when a person first opens their eyes after being in hypnosis. However, for the first three minutes or so the person is still very suggestible (so, continue speaking positively and kindly to them) and may feel a little woozy, like they’ve just arisen from a nice nap.
Floating, Hallucinating, and Other Trance Phenomena
34. Happy Hallucinations
a. Often when a person is thinking of a memory while in hypnosis, the details come to them with such clarity that they feel that the memory is happening now. For example, you might remember the smell of your mother’s skin so strongly that you wonder if everyone else in the room smell it too.
35. Light as a feather, stiff as a board
a. Did you ever play that game as a kid? One person lies on the floor. Everyone else gathers around that person, sticking a few fingers of each hand under the person’s body. Then everyone says, “Light as a feather, stiff as a board” over and over… and the person get light enough to lift an inch or two off the floor. Besides this being “many hands make light work”, there is also a hypnotic effect taking place. The suggestive thought “light as a feather… “ is getting interpreted and expressed through unconscious muscular actions which are altering the person’s body structure and ‘weight”.
a. in 1846, Dr. James Esdaile performed over 300 painless surgeries, including amputations, without chemical anesthetics, using hypnosis. In the early 1900’s, one in every four hundred patients died on the operating table due specifically to the anesthesia, not the surgery. Dr. Hemy Mumo found that with hypnosis he could reduce the use of anesthetic ether to 10% to 25% of the usual amount but still got perfect anesthesia. .Dave Elman, in his book Hypnotherapy , shares one physician’s story of running out of nitrous oxide at a WWII station for battle casualties. So, he used hypnotic techniques and this resulted in painless surgical procedures. In modern use, hypnosis is still valuable to reduce (or, for people with chemical sensitivities, to eliminate) the amount of chemical anesthesia needed.
37. The Esdaile “coma state”
a. This is a rare state of deep hypnosis that used to frighten stage operators. The client is so comfortable that s/he won’t move or respond. S/he feels euphoria and no pain. S/he can hear you but cannot move herself even with suggestion. To rouse a person from this coma state of hypnosis, whisper confidently in their ear, “If you don’t open your eyes when I tell you to, you can never have this state again!”
38. Twitching fingers
a. When a person is relaxed, often they’ll twitch now an then – an elbow here, a toe there. In hypnosis, these involuntary muscle movements can be utilized for communication with the person’s subconscious mind. We call these “ideomotor responses”.
39. There is no lemon in the frig!
a. Have you ever been in a scene like this? Person A: “Honey, where is the lemon?” Person B: “In the frig, on the middle shelf.” Person A, standing with frig door open, “There is no lemon!” Person B, pointing to the lemon on the middle shelf, “It’s right there!” Ahh, we call this negative hallucination, or not seeing something that is there. This is a phenomenon that can be present when a person is in hypnosis.
Transforming Your Past (and Your Life) with Hypnosis
40. Healing faster with hypnosis
a. Burns that would normally take 16 weeks to heal take only 6 weeks with hypnosis. Dr. Dabney Ewin, M.D., a physician with the Occupational Health Center of New Orleans, and President of the American Society of Hypnosis, is one of the world’s most respected researchers in the use of hypnosis for burn victims. Dr. Ewin shortens the healing time of his burn patients by up to 2/3 the normal period.
41. No trauma-reliving necessary
a. With the techniques I teach in the Comprehensive Hypnosis Training, a person can heal years of sexual abuse or war trauma without having to think about or share the details or relive the emotions. Thank goodness!
42. Suggestion-hypnosis versus Root-cause-hypnosis
a. Most people think of ‘hypnosis’ as a person getting a bunch of helpful SUGGESTIONS during hypnosis. ‘Cigarettes look strange to you. You love being a non-smoker. You love the feeling of clean healthy lungs,’ etc. However, ‘suggestions’ may be the least important aspect of hypnosis. The most important aspect of hypnosis is the way the hypnotic state facilitates uncovering THE TRUE causes and connections behind any dysfunction.
43. The importance of going to the ‘root’
a. There is a vast difference between telling an overweight subject in trance “You no longer have any interest in cheesecake,” versus seeing that person gasp in realization as they relive an experience at the age of three, being left alone in a house, terrified, and then seeing Mommy andd Daddy come in the door with a big cheesecake to celebrate their return home. When the connection between the cheesecake consumption and the feeling of safety is made during hypnosis and is viewed in the light of a new perspective, the emotional level of the subject truly changes. This is not like intellectual discovery or ‘head tripping’ or analyzing oneself. Hypnosis can be compassionately used as a ‘window to the soul’ bringing deep spiritual and emotional growth for positive behavior changes.
44. Utilize the subconscious and get to your destination faster
a. Hypnosis, instead of requiring years of chashing out past events in orer to discover ‘where a problem came from,’ utilizes the speed and brilliance of your subconscious mind to take you to where you need to go. It sounds like this: Hypnotist: ‘At the count of three, you’ll be at the root cause of your panic attacks. One, two, three!’ Client: ‘Mmmm… I see the house I grew up in… and I’m hearing my mom and dad fight….’
45. Layered Snowballs
a. And once you’re revisiting a past experience, we don’t wallow it it or analyze it or even try to completely understand it. We acknowledge it as an imprint experience: a negative experience that might not seem to be that big a deal (‘my sister wouldn’t share her bubblegum with me and I felt angry’) but it was a tiny ball of snow. And over years of life experience, that tiny ball gained many layers and now, at the current age, it’s a full blown issue of ‘I’m not worthy’ that is getting in the way of your happiness and financial success.
46. Healing the past now
a. So if we don’t analyze or wallow, then what on earth do we do with those negative past experiences? Well, in my hypnosis training you gain a whole toolkit of options to help a person change the impact of that original incident. Now how, you ask, can we heal something that was said twenty years ago? It’s quite easy, actually – your brain can do it! I think of it like this: perhaps there is no such thing as time, and everything that has ever happened is all happening NOW. And when you think of an experience you had when you were seven, your physiology and emotions are responding as if it’s happening now. We are more cosmic than we give ourselves credit for – and healing change can happen regardless of the time / space parameters we think exist.
47, Non-Leaing questions
a. Once you’ve guided a person into hypnosis and to a past memory, the questions you ask them can stimulate them to remember more and more. But it is VITAL that you use only neutral, non-leading questions! This is one of the simplest and most important skills you’ll learn in y hypnosis training – how to not create ‘false memory syndrome.’
48. Anyone can learn to induce and utilize the hypnotic state
a. It just may take practice, that’s all. It’s like riding a bike: you didn’t get on a bike for the first time and ride off into the sunset, did you? But after playing with it for a while, you got it. Learning to do hypnosis can be like that too; just keep playing and you’ll get the hang of it.
49. Hypnosis can be used for many things
a. Including: bed-wetting, tension headaches, TMJ, release of negative emotional patterns, skin problems, overweight, over eating, allergies, fears and phobias; post-traumatic-stress, epilepsy, speech problems, sports skills, depression, alcohol/drug abuse, chronic pain, anesthesia for medical procedures, fatigue, digestive disorders, muscle cramps, breast enlargement, sexual dysfunctions, anxieties, breathing irregularities, migraines, smoking, relationships, confidence, spiritual discovery, and more and more!
Ways You Can Play With Hypnosis Now
50. A simple way to guide yourself into a self-hypnotic state
a. This does not need to be done while in a super quiet place; I’ve done it while waiting for my car’s oil to be changed, while on a bus, and while sitting down in a shopping mall. Put your body into a comfortable position. Fixate your eyes on a spot on the ceiling. Tell yourself that with every breath you take, you are going deeper and deeper into a state where your unconscious mind is receptive to beneficial changes. Continue staring at the spot, telling yourself that any sounds you hear are helping you go deeper. Take a two or three deep breaths. Let your eyes gently close. Tell yourself that in a moment you’ll count backwards from twenty to one, and on each descending number you’ll go deeper into comfort. Then count: twenty, deeper and deeper, nineteen, deeper and deeper, eighteen, deeper and deeper… all the way to one.
51. Make your hand numb
a. Want to create anesthesia in a part of your body? Start with an area of your body which is not presently experiencing pain, like your hand. Guide yourself into hypnosis, and then playfully imagine one of the following for a number of minutes: put the hand in ice water until it gets numb OR flood the hand with Novocain until numb OR put a protective glove on the hand OR create a tingling feeling throughout the hand. Then, test it: poke your non-numb hand… and then poke your numb hand to feel the difference.
52. And put anesthesia anywhere
a. Once you are able to create, with your imagination, a numb or tingling sensation in your hand, and you have tested it, simply tell yourself, while in hypnosis, that from now on you can transfer this altered feeling to any area of the body by simply holding that hand over the area. Practice this in hypnosis. Tell yourself that after you come out of hypnosis you will forevermore have the ability to bring back this feeling simply by recalling it.
53. Quick nausea relief
a. I do this on airplanes, when the plane moving about too much and my tummy is upset (feels strange!), I close my eyes, take a few deep breaths, and say to my self, “Up to now I was nauseated, but now my stomach is settling. I am feeling wonderful and comfortable in every way. My stomach is now fine; my whole system is balanced.”
54. Making your arm heavy
a. While in hypnosis, guide yourself to focus thoughts of heaviness in one of your arms. Pretend, imagine, enjoy making it feel so heavy, like a metal statue, thousands of pounds, so heavy. Tell yourself that the heavier it gets now, the more comfortable you are becoming from head to toe. Getting so heavy now, that in a moment you’ll find that the harder you try to lift it, the heavier it gets, like it’s glued to your leg…. Now try to lift it, and notice that the harder you try to lift it, the heavier it gets… Good. Now stop trying, take a deep breath, and go even deeper, feeling even better about yourself and even more in control…
55. Floating hand!
a. While in hypnosis, guide yourself to focus thoughts of lightness in one of your hands.. Pretend, imagine, enjoy making it feel so light, as if it’s a helium balloon shaped like a hand. You might notice a slight tingling or sensation in your hand; this is the beginning of han levitation. Tell yourself that you are going to count from one to ten and that as you count your hand will rise higher and higher. One, feeling your hand lighter and lighter. Two, any movement or sensation is the beginning of hand levitation. Three, the lighter your hand gets now the more comfortable you feel from head to toe. Four, your hand rising up even more. Five, the higher your hand rises, the deeper you become. Six, effortlessly lifting up, higher and higher. Seven, lighter, feeling so good. Eight, higher and higher. Nine, the higher it goes the better you feel. Ten, feeling so goo. When you say the words deep now, your hand will drop to your lap and you will go ten times deeper. DEEP NOW.
56. Directing others with your words
a. Hypnosis is done primarily with your words. And though many times a day we are already wanting to direct others with our words – to ask them to take the trash out, or fix a mistake, or hand in their reports by noon – we can learn much from the wisdom of hypnosis to make our communication even happier. For example, notice your response to these two different states: A) “you should learn self-hypnosis.” B) “As you do self hypnosis regularly, you’ll become happier and clearer than 99% of the people on the planet.” Statement B utilizes hypnotic language. Want to learn more? For more tips on using hypnotic language in your daily life...
57. Write your own scripts
a. Write down what your want to tell yourself; record it onto a digital recorder, and then listen to it while you’re in hypnosis. Think of your self-suggestions as directions for your brain and psyche. If you want to “get to Portland” and your brain doesn’t know where that is or how to get there, then you’ve got to be the director; “Get on this road going north. Good. Now take the second left...” Make your directions positive (instead of “don’t turn right!” say “turn left), time-specific (“tomorrow or “every time you see chocolate”), do-able for you (if you’re earning $100,000 a year” is too big a jump right now, try “earning $50,000 a year”) and descriptive (include sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes).
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