Why do you not teach an arm-pull?

A somewhat popular handshake induction, which we have avoided completely, is the arm-pull. You will likely have seen this on the internet or even television. It simply involves the hypnotist pulling their ‘subject’s’ arm whilst giving the sleep command.

We have intentionally not covered this induction for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is difficult to teach such an induction safely within the confines of a website.

Secondly, related to the above, we have rarely seen this induction carried out with sufficient attention given to health and/or safety concerns. Some hypnotists will check that their subject does not have any shoulder, or back complaints, but neither they nor their subject are medical professionals. To be sure that the induction is safe, they need to ask about hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder, neck and back injuries. Additionally, they should probably enquire as to their subject’s heart condition as well!

Thirdly, an arm-pull is almost always abrasive and shocking and – as such – completely unnecessary. Surprise is enough to achieve hypnosis. Shock is not needed. Inductions of this type only serve to perpetuate the stereotype that the hypnotist is the all-powerful master and his subject is merely a pawn in his hands. We much prefer a straightforward pattern-interrupt that can convey skilful delivery if needed, but also highlights the complexity and flexibility of your partner’s mind.