The Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is a favourite of hypnotherapists across the globe. In more recent years, it has been criticised by some hypnotists who favour rapid or instant inductions. However, it seems that they may have simply underestimated the value and healing power of relaxation.
The PMR works because as the body relaxes the mind follows, letting down its guard and becoming open to suggestions. This is a great induction to use with clients, as it teaches them the process of relaxation that they can take away with them.
The script below (not the commentary or tips) is taken from Richard Nongard. It can be downloaded for free from the link in the credit.
In this first session, I am going to guide you through a process of relaxation.
All hypnosis is really self-hypnosis, so I am simply going to give you some instructions
that hopefully can help bring you to a point of both physical and mental relaxation.
What I’d like you to do is simply make yourself as comfortable as you possibly can.
It’s okay to adjust your comfort at any time.
This is really your time to experience what it is that you’d like to experience, while we
demonstrate some techniques of hypnosis.
I’m going to give you some suggestions in regards to relaxation that I believe can help
you to experience total serenity, total peace.
This is called a Progressive Muscle Relaxation Experience.
It is fairly simple.
I’m going to ask you to start by simply making yourself comfortable and closing your
If you notice any spots in your body where you are carrying the tension of the day,
make the decision to let go of that tension.
You want to allow all the muscles in your body to become more relaxed.
Notice that your breathing has become a little bit slower already, and that is good.
Take a deep breath.
Breathe in... and exhale.
Deep slow breaths help bring us to a point of hypnosis and trance easily.
As you relax and as you find a comfortable spot, imagine the muscles in the top of your
head, the muscles in your brow, the muscles along your eyes and cheeks, the muscles in
your lips, and simply let go of any tension in the muscles of your face or in the top of
As you allow your body to experience a state of relaxation physically, it’s okay to let the
mind wander and think of anything that brings you pleasant thoughts.
Continuing now and relaxing the muscles in your body along your shoulders, in the
arms, and in your upper back...
Allow the tension to simply begin to disappear.
In fact, it’s as if you can feel tension or stress from the muscles in your upper back and in
your shoulders and in your arms begin to move to your forearm and through the hands
and out the fingertips.
In your mind you can picture all of the stress of the day... leaving your body... as you
Pay attention to the muscles in your chest and stomach... and in your lower back.
If any of these muscles are tense, simply let go of that tension.
Your muscles become limp and loose... like a big pile of rubber bands.
You experience serenity and peace.
This brings you into an even deeper state of relaxation.
Relaxing the mind is an easy thing to do also.
As your body becomes relaxed, your mind becomes more relaxed, as well.
Our legs do a lot of work for us.
Sometimes the tension of the day can be stored in the muscles along the hip or buttocks
or in your upper leg.
If you notice any tension in these places, let that tension simply flow from the top of
your leg though your calves and through the muscles of the feet and ankles and out of
At this point, you appear to be very relaxed.
In this state of relaxation, we can experience tranquility and peace.
If you need to swallow, that’s okay.
If you adjust for comfort, that’s okay, as well.
From your head to your toes, you have allowed yourself to become completely and
Your mind also has the capacity to relax.
These are skills that you will be able to apply in problem solving in a number of different
areas in life.
This feeling of relaxation is exactly what hypnosis is.
Perhaps you feel like you could open your eyes if you wanted to, but relaxation feels so
good that you simply continue to choose to keep them closed.
Enjoy this experience for a moment.
As you allow your entire body to become limp and loose and feel relaxed, this time will
become meaningful to you.
It becomes meaningful because you have acquired a new skill; the skill of taking physical
control over your own body and emotions.
As you relax, I want you to create in your mind a mental image of a grand staircase; a
grand staircase that either curves to the left or curves to the right.
It has a grand banister with ornate artwork.
This heavenly flight of stairs has ten steps.
You are at the top of the ten stairs.
In a minute, you are going to slowly move, in your mind’s eye, from the tenth stair, to
the ninth stair...
From the ninth stair, to the eighth, all the way down, until eventually you get to the very
When you get to the bottom of the staircase, you are going to step off into a giant
restful feather bed; a place of complete tranquility and comfort and peace.
As you relax, imagine yourself at the top of the grand staircase..
Moving now from the tenth stair, to the ninth stair...
With each slow movement from one step to the next... you become more relaxed.
This sensation of relaxation not only doubles or triples, but is ten times more powerful
than the previous step.
Now move from the ninth step... to the eighth step...
And from the eighth... to the seventh...
Relaxing even further...
Allowing your mind to drift...
And your body to relax.
From seven to six...
Six to five...
Five to four...
Quadrupling the sensation of relaxation...
Peace and serenity...
In your mind’s eye, down on that bottom step.
With the next step, you are going to step off this heavenly flight of stairs into a state of
total relaxation, and comfortably rest on a feather bed, or a comfortable pillow that you
have created in your mind.
All the way down now, totally relaxed...
Opening the subconscious mind to new thoughts, new ideas, and new experiences.
The Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a classic hypnosis induction. It is also one of the first inductions many hypnotists learn. There are a couple of reasons for that:
- It's easy to understand the principles and deliver
- It works very well for a great deal of people
This is a non-threatening induction for beginners to learn. However, it is also non-threatening to the client. After all, who doesn't want to learn to relax?
The more relaxed you are as you deliver this induction, the more relaxing it will be for your client. It can help to almost feel yourself slipping into trance as you perform this. At the very least, your relaxed demeanour will be evident in your voice, inviting your client to follow you.