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Stage hypnotist Rapid Induction

Stage Hypnosis Inductions

Stage Hypnosis Inductions

I got an email today:

I recently purchased the "Best Hypnosis Induction Scripts" package instant download version and I really love it. I've bought a lot of hypnosis scripts from your site. I am a young hypnotist (19 years-old) and this has provided the best of assistance to me so I want to say thank you as I am seriously considering becoming a stage hypnotist and I might just book my first gig at a corporate event party at my company soon despite me being so young.

Getting to the point now... although every single induction is very useful within the hypnosis scripts' package, the Instant and Rapid Inductions are personally the best of service to me because I am going to do hypnosis for stage performing/entertainment and demonstration purposes. Instant Inductions are short, quick, and instant and will work well for me in my field of work.

That leads me to my question: is there, by any chance, a way for you to personally provide me some more instant and rapid induction scripts via email? The ones you provided are great! It's just that I would love to have more in my arsenal as a hypnotist. It would mean the world to me if you could personally develop some for me in the same organized step-by-step format you used in the hypnosis scripts package. You know, with the organized tables that explained what to do when?

I know it sounds like a lot to ask but I am a loyal customer after all and I need help more than ever. My boss could set me up with my first stage hypnosis gig at the company party. It'd really be cool if you could hook me up with some more instant and rapid inductions via email since that seems to be the simple route. Anyway, let me know. Thanks!

Stage Hypnosis Inductions

My reply was:
Good to hear from you. And thank you for those kind words about my scripts.

I am not a stage hypnotist myself, but I have been to many, many stage hypnosis shows.

I can understand why you think you need more inductions, but I think you are looking at the wrong part of a stage show. The key skill in a smooth stage show lies in selecting the right participants. Everyone can be hypnotised. Hypnotic induction is actually fairly simple. So it's not the induction that is critical. What is absolutely, totally crucial is including the top 5% of hypnotisable people in your audience.

Suppose you have a group of 50 people. You would not want more than five people upon stage. Therefore all you have to do is to find the top 10% of the audience and that will give you your five people. Stage shows on Youtube always miss out this part of the show. But it is the most important part.

Stage Hypnosis is entertainment, not science

You need to spend five or 10 minutes warming up your audience before anyone gets to the stage. Then you get the whole audience involved by inviting everyone to close their eyes and imagine a weight on one hand and a balloon on the other hand. Take note of the people whose hands rise and fall. The ones whose hands rise and fall a bit are hypnotised. The ones whose hands are way up and down are faking it. But that's okay. You're not there to demonstrate hypnosis.

Your job is to entertain people. The people who are faking it are all exhibitionists who want people to look at them. They will go along with whatever you suggest as long as they can show off. They want to get up on stage and act silly and do everything else you want. You want to get a mixture of the easily hypnotised and the exhibitionists.

If you end up with too many potential participants, then you need to refine the group. Do another test for hypnotisability. The easiest tests are Magnetic Hands and Hands Stuck To Your Thighs. This is a much stronger test of hypnotisability, especially the Hands Stuck to Your Thighs test. The people who naturally can do this are your ideal participants.

While you are doing the testing you're actually entertaining the audience. They are trying it themselves, and they are also seeing the people around them who are responding. You are setting up the expectation for both the participants and the audience for the rest of the show. Make the selection process one of the funniest parts of your show.

Stage Hypnosis Induction safety on stage

Invite the fakers and the highly susceptible up on stage. Then you do a group induction. Do not do an instant or rapid induction. Your chances of getting an abreaction with an instant induction are very high. No one wants to see someone lying unconscious on the stage thrashing around  as if they are in an epileptic fit. That is definitely not good for business. You can expect to get one person in 200 to go into an abreaction. You need to avoid that until you have a lot more experience, and know how to deal with it.

Abreactions is the main reason why there are so few stage hypnotists. Hypnotising people in public is easy. Getting people to do stupid things on stage is easy. Dealing with someone in the grip of a full-on psychological terror is not.

Stage Hypnosis Induction safety for you

After you have done the group induction you will find that some people are actually not in trance and not amongst the exhibitionist group either. Get them off the stage immediately. Also, get rid of the drunks.

Then, turn to the audience at that point, and say something to make sure that anyone in the audience who was also induced snaps out of it. Use a bit of audience participation and get them to poke each other or something like that. Get every to say aloud that they are not in trance.  You do not want anyone coincidentally crashing their car on the way home and saying it's your fault.

Keep your Stage Hypnosis inductions simple

My advice is for you to leave out the Standing Inductions and the Handshake Inductions until you have perfected your basic show. All those polished performers that you see in Las Vegas or on that television show have had 15 or 20 years experience before getting to that point.

Good luck with your next show. You can be a star.

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background music

Background music in hypnotherapy

The question is often asked about whether a hypnotist should play background music. There are three ways music can be used: with clients in the office, as background on hypnosis recordings and for self hypnosis.

Music certainly isn't necessary for hypnosis.

Background music in your office

When you use music in the office you may find some problems. Many people who have music training find themselves analyzing the music. That prevents them from going into trance. Many people cannot stop themselves from mentally singing along with any bit of music they know.

Or thinking about the words of an instrumental version of a song they know.  You don't want to have the client thinking about the song lyrics while you are trying to put other words into their mind. Having music in the background might give analytical clients another stimulus to analyze. It is just one more thing to distract them from listening to your hypnotherapy.

Music is a very personal thing. Everyone has associations with music, either with particular tunes or particular genres. When you introduce music you have no idea what some people will dislike, or more importantly, what memories or associations people have with the music you are playing. I personally dislike the Glenn Miller Big Band style of music. I have no idea why, but the dislike is very strong. Anyone who played that while hypnotizing me wouldn't get very far.

Then there is the unlikely but possible chance that you will anchor the client's hypnotic state to a particular part of the music. They might get anchored on one part going into trance, and another part as you bring them out. The result is that they will go in and out of trance unexpectedly the next time they hear the music.

Background music on hypnosis recordings

The same sort of logic applies to recorded hypnosis tracks. Music is used in recordings of all kinds.  A continuous background music track helps to hide background noise or to give continuity over breaks in the recording.

The problem here is that a client may play a hypnosis recording dozens of times. The music can become repetitive and irritating, and detract from the smooth induction of trance. Some hypno recordings use nature sounds of waves and waterfalls. That just makes the client want to go to the toilet. Some use forest sounds, but a sudden bird call in the middle of quiet passage can jerk the listener right out of trance again. Some clients get anxious and listen intently for dangers in the noises of the forest.

Background music for self hypnosis

Music can help with self hypnosis. In that case you have complete control of the music. But then you also run into the same problems outlined above.

What I prefer personally when I am putting myself into trance, is some kind of white noise that has a cycle to it. The noise of an oscillating cooling fan is ideal for me. I find it just merges into the background and masks any sudden noises from inside like a fridge starting up, or outside traffic noise, police cars, aircraft etc. 

Do you prefer music while you trance? Leave a comment below.

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trance happens

Weird ways that trance happens

A client phoned me yesterday. She told me she got alarmed while she was getting a head massage last week. She said that she had experienced exactly the same feelings and images during the head massage, as she had in her recent hypnosis session with me. She wanted know if this meant that the hypnosis effects were somehow spilling over into her daily life. I had to explain to her that sometimes trance happens when you don't expect it.

Trance happens all the time

Massage therapists report that up to a third of their clients actually go to sleep during the massage. The client usually thinks they have gone to sleep, but they are actually going into trance. What was happening in this case was that the massage was putting her into trance. The difference is that now she can recognize the effects for what they are.

Trance can be induced by anything that distracts your attention from the normal inputs to your mind. In the case of massage, the situation is perfect for trance induction: the room is warm, there is usually soft music playing, you are lying down, you are told to relax. Then your body is rhythmically rubbed in gentle strokes. This puts attention on something that does not normally get any notice: your skin. Focusing on the feelings from your skin means that you are not focusing on normal thoughts, and so your mind is free to drift off into trance.

Weird ways of going into trance

You don't have to have your eyes closed and be sitting down to go into trance. You can go into trance while doing any repetitive task. Soldiers report that when they are doing the route marches, the numbing repetitive activity causes their minds to go into trance. They can go on marching for hours without noticing it.

Many daily tasks induce trance. Watching an engrossing story on TV suspends your normal critical mind. You drift into your unconscious mind. That is why advertisers love it. You are in a uncritical receptive state when you see the ads. This makes the ads much more effective. 

For many people, playing computer games has exactly the same effect. They are so focused on the game that they lose all track of time.

Driving on a familiar commute becomes boring. Your actions become automatic, unthinking. It is very easy to allow your conscious mind to drift away somewhere and leave the driving to your unconscious reflexes. When that happens you go into "highway hypnosis". It is exactly the same as a hypnotic trance.

In traditional societies, drumming is a way of going into trance. The constant repetitive noise affects your brain. Your conscious mind gets "bored" with the unvarying stimulus. Your unconscious mind then takes over and you start experiencing the world through your unconscious mind. In that state, you have visions, hallucinations, messages from "beyond". This is basically what shamans do throughout the world.

The weirdest one that I have come across is in BDSM. A client told me that when she is getting spanked on the bottom it hurts. But after a while the pain becomes so great that her mind cannot take it any longer, and "escapes". This then leaves her in her unconscious mind where she can ignore the pain. When in her unconscious mind she has no problems, no worries, all the everyday things just disappear. And that's why she keeps going back to it.

What is the strangest way to go into trance? Leave your comment below.

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ideomotor

Ideomotor Signal Finger Lift

I was asked what I meant by 'finger lift', and whether this was the same thing as 'ideomotor signalling'. To me they are different. I think the finger lift gives an honest and reliable test for trance that is very difficult to fake. 'Ideomotor' has acquired a unique meaning in hypnotherapy. 

A 'finger lift' is a form of ideomotor response, but a very simple one, without setting it up in advance.

For example... from one of my scripts... this script shows how I typically use the finger lift...

and as you drift deeper and deeper... become aware that one of your fingers or perhaps a thumb will feel a need, a desire, a compulsion... to move... without thought... just allow that to happen ... don't assist in any way... a finger or a thumb will want to move... or maybe the whole hand... It may begin as just a tiny tremor... and you may be surprised at what you experience... that's right...

Testing for trance with finger lift

This is meant to be a test of trance. The client doesn't know how they are supposed to react, so the reaction you get is genuine. If the finger lifts straight up immediately then they are faking it. If it takes a long time to get any movement, if the finger trembles a little, and moves a tiny bit, or if several fingers move like closing a fist, or the whole hand jerks, then the client is in trance, and genuinely experiencing involuntary movement.

Talking to the unconscious mind with ideomotor signals

Ideomotor signalling is actually something else. 'Ideo' means unique to the person, and Ideomotor should mean the movements uniquely made by each individual. But the way that ideomotor signalling is used actually means that it is not unique. The person is told specifically how to signal a 'yes' or 'no' answer and what counts as a valid movement. This means everyone signals the same way for that hypnotist. This is the exact opposite of the original meaning of 'ideomotor'. Some hypnotists use one finger, most two, and few try to get the person to use all ten.  

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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brain habits

How to change Habits

It is hard to change habits. Why do people start smoking again? Why is it so easy to start, and then hard to stop?

Changing habits has to do with how the human brain works. Research suggests that behavior is controlled by two different parts of the brain. There are goal directed actions, and there are automatic actions.

Goal directed actions are behaviours we consciously try to control. Automatic actions are things we do unconsciously without thinking about them.

Goal directed actions are controlled by the pre-frontal cortex. Goal directed actions focus your attention on getting something done. You will put a lot of effort in thinking about how to get what you want.  Automatic actions are controlled deep inside the brain, in the basal ganglia, part of the reptilian brain. Automatic actions react automatically, without thinking about it at all.

Put simply, the prefrontal cortex is responsible for new behaviours, the basal ganglia controls old behaviours.

Triggering automatic habits

When someone decides to give up smoking, their pre-frontal cortex is what they use to try to change their behavior. The basal ganglia ignores the pre-frontal cortex. The basal ganglia doesn't think. It doesn't know what is going on in the pre-frontal cortex. And doesn't care. It just waits patiently for a stimulus and acts on it, starting the automatic pre-programmed behavior, over and over.

The basal ganglia knows that there is a stored behavior routine to deal with whatever the stimulus is. All it has to do is to find it and start it. Once the routine is started, the basal ganglia can go back into its crocodile dream state. Until the next stimulus wakes it up. Then it searches for the right bundle of behaviors, starts it going, and goes back to sleep again. It never considers whether the behavior routine is good or bad for you, it just starts it running and forgets all about it.

Origin of habits

The automatic behavior got programmed into the basal ganglia in the first place by the prefrontal cortex. A stimulus happened, the prefrontal cortex thought about it and told you to react in some way.  If the result successfully deals with the stimulus (the problem) then the basal ganglia notes this. If the next time you meet that problem, you do the same behavior and it solves the problem, then you reinforce the basal ganglia memory. After the same thing happens again and again, the response becomes automatic. You never think of a different response because you have an automatic one that works just fine. 

The job of the basal ganglia is to identify the stimulus and find the matching response. It learns that when that particular stimulus appears, some particular response is the thing to do. Once the basal ganglia learns the routine, the prefrontal cortex leaves the basal ganglia to get on with it. In simple terms, your conscious mind passes it to your unconscious mind. Your unconscious mind then triggers an automatic behavior routine.

Life is difficult enough without having to consider afresh what to do every time you come to a door, or if someone smiles at you. Why waste energy thinking when you can just delegate it to another part of the brain, and let it react for you? And that is how a habit is born.

How to change habits

However, we are not condemned to repeat the same behaviour for life. People can and do change their habits. The prefrontal cortex can over ride the basal ganglia. And if it does it often enough, and in exactly the same way, the basal ganglia will learn a new habit for the old stimulus. You can retrain it. But the prefrontal cortex can only over ride the basal ganglia when it is paying attention and acting deliberately in the new way. The instant the prefrontal cortex gets distracted, it forgets. So the basal ganglia automatically takes over and produces the old behavior again.

Origin of Cravings

When one part of your mind is distracted, and the other part is trying to perform its automatic behaviour but can't, that is when the cravings start. The automatic part of the brain, the basal ganglia, knows what it is supposed to do when it gets that particular stimulus. It knows that to end that problem it has to go through a predefined routine. The problem will not end until it does that routine. It believes that until the routine is done your body is in danger. And that cannot be allowed. So the basal ganglia runs a program that it knows will make the body uncomfortable until the behavior routine is performed. That way it is keeping you safe. The more distracted you are the more automatic the process is, and the harder the basal ganglia will try to make the behavior happen.

And what stops the prefrontal cortex from paying attention? Other things happening. Or stress. Stress is just another name for a situation where you need to focus on something to the exclusion of all else, and just let the body run on automatic pilot. And that is why people start smoking again. Stress makes them forget their good intentions. Before they are even aware of it, they are lighting up, just going through the old routine that always worked in the past, that doesn't even need thinking about.

Retraining habits

The basal ganglia can relearn, but it only responds to rewards and repetition. So the prefrontal cortex has be vigilant long enough, and repeat the new behaviour often enough, for the basal ganglia to give up its old behaviour and learn the new behaviour.

The problem of course, is that basal ganglia will learn anything. And if the repeated behaviour is to keep starting again at every bit of stress, then that is what it will learn. You can train yourself into being unable to give up!

What do you think?

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hypnotic visualization skills

Hypnotic visualization skills in inductions

Hypnotic visualization skills are used in most hypnosis inductions.  But they don't have to be. You can use a breathing induction and avoid most visualization issues.

The problem is that most hypnosis inductions rely on visual imagery. If the client can't visualize, then they will have difficulty getting hypnotized. Inductions such as watching the sun going down, or waves on a beach, depend on a degree of visualization ability.

Test for Hypnotic Visualization Skills

It is easy to test for visualization skills. All you have to do is to ask the client 'can you imagine a horse?' Then ask them what color their horse is. Most people say 'brown'. Then ask then what direction the horse's head is facing. Most people say it is facing to their left. Then ask them to imagine their horse as a different color, or being smaller or larger. This will let you judge very accurately how good their visualization skills are.

However concerns about hypnotic visualization skills is probably over emphasized. People can imagine waves on a beach without actually needing to visualize the waves going in and out.  You  can be induced into trance by thinking about waves in general. The idea of waves is what is important, and most people can manage that. It helps if the therapist suggests 'imagining' the waves, rather saying 'now see the blue waves rolling up the golden sand and the white foam hissing as it spreads out. Now see the water rippling canyons through the soft sand as it withdraws...'. Putting too much detail into your suggested images is always a mistake.

Avoid the need for hypnotic visualization skills

The best way however, is to avoid the need for any visualization at all. You can use an induction that does not rely on imagery at all. Then it doesn't matter whether the client can visualize or not. I now always use a breathing induction. Everyone knows how to breathe. You link that to a physical relaxation induction, and then deepen  it  with a staircase countdown induction. This works reliably with 99% of people. It puts them into trance in about three minutes.

In hypnotherapy sessions, it is best to avoid problems rather than solve them.

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