My Friend John

There are two common questions regarding hypnosis. The first is, what does it feel like... and the second is, how does it work. It's good to ask questions like that, isn't it?

"Yes, I think so."

So, before you go on to be hypnotised, I thought I would explain to you how I put other people into trance. Is that OK?

"Sure."

And I think the best way to do this - so you can get a sense of both sides of the process that you're interested in - is if I describe for you how I hypnotised a friend just recently. And whilst I'm doing that, you can follow my directions and imagine that you are hypnotising someone else.

So, just imagine that there is someone sitting on that sofa in front of you. Form an awareness of how they look and how they go into trance whilst sitting there. And as I describe how I hypnotised my friend, you can pass on those instructions to your friend. You can do it in your mind, if you like.

I started by having them relax. So, what you can do is... tell them gently to relax... I say to them... Relax... let your shoulders drop... let your arms flop... imagine how the arms could just lie heavy and relaxed... as if they were made of lead...

And then I said to them... and you can tell your friend... let your legs relax now... just allow your legs and feet to be so relaxed that they feel heavy and totally relaxed now...

I tell them, focus on your breathing. In your mind... say to them... focus on your breathing... now... and with each breath out... you can find yourself... relaxing more and more... and each gentle breath will take them deeper and deeper... more and more relaxed...

Just focus on each breath... and allow each breath to make those arms and legs... more relaxed... and you might wonder just how relaxed a person could get...

And in your mind imagine what it would feel for them to be so relaxed that they could hardly keep their eyes open... imagine them relaxing... (clients head began to drop forward slightly) head sinking comfortably... imagine how their eyes could be so tired that every blink gets longer... [wait for next blink] and the eyes stay shut longer... [wait for next blink] that's right... and imagine what it might be like to close those eyes... think what it would be like to feel your eyelids getting heavier and heavier and how nice it would be to allow them to shut and relax too...

Then I say, imagine saying to the person... and you might be able to feel the little muscles around your eyes... those weak little muscles that control your heavy, heavy eyelids... how tired they are... right now... and notice how heavy the eye-lids feel... [wait for next blink] ...that's right... and you don't need to close those eyes until your ready to go right into a deep trance.

[Wait for eye-closure]...that's it. All the way...deeply relaxed...drifting down.

Then I said... focus on those little muscles around your eyes... the tiny weak little muscles that control your eyelids... and what would it be like to pretend that those eyelids were so relaxed that they just won't work. How would that look... if those eyelids were so relaxed, so at ease that they just can't open.

And say... focus your awareness on those eyes... and how it feels when those eyes just will not open... when it feels as if they are locked tight shut... and just will not work...

[Wait for next out-breath, saying at the same time:] Deeper down...

Tell them to imagine going down a staircase... I tell them to imagine (...imagine...) going down and down... with each step, becoming more and more relaxed... from ten to one... and as each number passes go deeper and deeper... more at ease.. more comfortable. So, I might count for them... and you might count... and you might count for your friend...

Ten, relaxing deeper

From the ninth step... to the eighth.

8, more relaxed, more at ease

From seven to six...

The sensation of relaxtion doubling with each step... Allowing your mind to drift... And your body to relax.

Six to five...

Deeper... and deeper.

Five

Doubling the relaxation... with each step... [wait for out-breath] as you go further down.

Three...

Two...

One...

Sometimes, I might do that a little bit differently. With you...or with your friend... I might just say, with each breath you go down further and deeper. And you don't need me to count because with each breath you take, [wait for outbreath] now, your imagination is able to hear me counting inside your head. So, your first breath in [wait for outbreath] and out would be number 1. Your next breath [wait for outbreath] would be two, and so on. And with each breath you take [wait for outbreath] that's right, you go further down that staircase... now... and as each number passes [wait for outbreath] go deeper and deeper... more at ease... more comfortable...

[pause]

“Now tell your best friend to breathe slowly, and deeply, in and out... deeper and deeper.

And now... allow the mind to focus on the hands... allow the mind to become aware of the left hand and the right hand... what they are feeling... where they are... and allow the mind to choose one hand or the other hand and you might become curious as to which hand will be chosen... and when the mind has chosen...

One finger or a thumb will lift on its own... entirely without effort... or it might be a hand or a wrist or something else...

"Tell your friend, that those fingers are lifting ever so slowly, ever so gently, off his lap [or wherever the hand is resting], and it is beginning to float all the way up."

"And when his hand touches his face you will go into a very deep trance. You will hear everything that I say but you will feel so comfortably relaxed that you just want to sink deeper and deeper down into that wonderful feeling."