What is fractionation? It’s the process of repeatedly taking someone into hypnosis, leaving them there very briefly, and taking them back out again.
The whole process only takes a minute or two, and always gets them into a deep, somnambulistic trance. Watch the video now, and I’ll say a few more things about it below.
It Can Even Be Used for Self-Hypnosis
While it’s normally used to help other people go deeper, you can see in the video that simply by demonstrating fractionation, I fall into a moderate trance myself!
One thing I like about fractionation is that it builds in a lot of testing. For example:
- On the first few rounds, when clients open their eyes, they refocus on you. But as they go deeper, they usually stop doing this and look straight ahead, leaving you in their peripheral vision.
- As they go deeper, their eyelids become perfectly still while closed. In the video, mine never get to this point, so you know I’m not super deep (one of these days I’ll do a video while in a somnambulistic trance…). Eyelid flutter in light hypnosis is a good sign, but it almost always vanishes as yo go deeper.
- Then there’s the explicit test. Once they enter somnambulism, the subject stops anticipating your next action, and simply waits for it. So when I break the rhythm of “three, two, … one,” they not only don’t open their eyes early, their eyelids don’t even twitch. So you know you’re there.
- On that last round, I like to wait at least ten seconds before saying “one,” because it seems to send them even deeper that way.
- It’s no big deal if you do the test too early and they open their eyes before you say “one.” If you’ve seen any of the other signs, they’re in at least a moderate level of hypnosis, and you can just say, “Sleep! … You’re doing very well,” and smoothly move on to your second-favorite deepener.
Where Did Fractionation Come From?
Fractionation is attributed to German physician Oskar Vogt, who realized around 1903 that subjects tend to go into hypnosis faster and deeper in each successive session, and so he tried bringing them into and out of hypnosis many times, very quickly, to give them a zillion sessions’ worth of practice in just a couple of minutes. It worked!