The Elman Induction


Dave Elman was born David Kopelman, on May 6th, 1900. He died December 5, 1967. As a hypnotist, Elman taught groups of doctors and dentists how to use hypnosis to relieve pain. His book, Hypnotherapy, origininally titled 'Findings in Hypnosis', evolved from these teaching sessions with medical professionals. It is still widely regarded as a classic - and rightly so. Elman developed his induction to take people into trance in the shortest possible time. For this reason, it was considered ideal for medical professionals. The script below is Elman's, taken from Hypnotherapy.


"Take a long deep breath, fill up your lungs real good and hold it for a second. Now when you exhale, close your eyes down... And let yourself relax. Get rid of that surface tension in your body, let your shoulders relax. It's ok to relax today.

Now put your awareness on your eyelids. You know that you can relax those eyes beautifully. You know that you can relax those eyes so deeply, that as long as you choose not to remove that relaxation, those eyelids just won't work... And when you know that you've done that, hold on to that relaxation, give them a good test, make sure they won't work... And notice how good it feels. Test them hard, it's ok. [pause] that's good. Stop testing let yourself relax much more.

That quality of relaxation you are allowing in your eyes is the quality of relaxation I'd like you to let yourself have throughout your entire body. So take that same quality, bring it up to the top of your head... And send it down through your body from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. Let go of every muscle. Let go of every nerve. Let go of every fibre... And let yourself drift much, deeper, relaxed. You got it.

Now let's really deepen this state. In a moment I'll ask you to open and close your eyes. When you close your eyes, send a wave of relaxation through your body, so very quickly, you'll allow this physical part of you to relax... Ten times deeper. Just want it and you can have it. Let your eyes become open... Close your eyes... And really... Let go. Feel your body relax, much more. You're doing fine.

In a moment I'll ask you to open and close your eyes again. This time when you close your eyes, double this physical relaxation... Really let it grow twice as deep. Let your eyes become open... Way down... Deeper... Deeper... Relaxed.

In a moment we'll do it one more time... And notice how well it comes in this time as you learn how simple it is... At least double it. All right let your eyes become open... Way down... really let go. That's good. That's good.

In a moment I'm going to lift your right arm and drop it. Don't help me lift that arm... And when it drops down, just notice how much more, your body can relax very easily. [arm drop] perfect. Way down. Great...

Now the body's relaxed... so let's get the mind relaxed, that's really what we want to do. When your mind's relaxed you really can achieve anything you can think of, within certain restrictions of course. In a moment I'll ask you to slowly begin counting out loud, backwards, starting with the number 100. After each number, simply say the words, "deeper relaxed'. After each number double your mental relaxation, let your mind grow twice as calm and still and serene. Now if you do this, you'll discover by the time you just say a couple numbers, doesn't take long, you've relaxed your mind so beautifully and so completely, you've actually relaxed all the rest of the numbers out. Want that... And you can have it quickly.

Slowly begin counting out loud, backwards, starting with the number 100. Saying the words, deeper relaxed... And relax those numbers right out of your mind.

"100 deeper relaxed"

That's good.

"99 deeper relaxed"

That's fine.

"98 deeper relaxed."

Now you can let those numbers grow dim and distant, they're not important.

"97 deeper relaxed."

And when you're ready just push them out.

"96 deeper relaxed."

Now push them on out, just tell them to leave and they will go. Just let them go... And let them be gone.

...Numbers all gone ?


[Or, continue until yes is the reply]

Elman believed that eye closure was the first and necessary goal to be aimed for in an induction. His method of achieving this is ingenious. The eye-closure begins the process of muscular relaxation, which can then be transferred to the rest of the body. The tiny muscles around the eyes are relatively easy to relax. So, as long as a client focuses on that relaxation they will find that their eyes won't open.


Hypnotherapy, by Dave Elman, is published by Westwood Publishing Company.