How Hypnosis Works: Eye-Lock Induction [Video]

eye-lock-hypnosisI did a short video on a simple hypnotic induction starting with what’s called an “eye roll” in the biz, and ending with suggestions that your eyes are so relaxed that they’ll refuse to open (which is from the classic Dave Elman induction).

You’ll find this works with a little practice. Just follow along with the video until you have the steps memorized, and you’ll be able to do it on your own for self-hypnosis, or amaze your friends (or perhaps irritate them) by trying it out on them.

Hypnotic inductions are easier than people think, since hypnosis is a natural state we all go into and out of every day, and all an induction needs to do is get you just deep enough that you’ll accept a suggestion to go a little deeper.

What’s Next? Deepening

Once you’ve got that working, the next step is to go deeper, followed ideally by using the power of hypnosis to facilitate a useful change. Which I cover in my post (with video) on the sure-fire fractionation deepener. Continue Reading...

Does Hypnosis Work? The Local Newspaper Finds Out

I was just featured in a local newspaper, The Corvalls Advocate, in “Alternative Health in Corvallis: Six Professional Profiles.”

Journalist Stevie Beisswanger not only interviewed me, but experienced my services at first hand: she received a full hypnosis session and desribes it in the article. So if you’re wondering what an unbiased source thinks, take a look!

Another of the featured alternative practitioners is Michaela Lonning, “the counselor next door” (literally: her office is right next to mine). Michaela is particularly gifted at working with highly intelligent or highly sensitive folks who have bounced off traditional therapy or couldn’t bring themselves to give it a try.

Four other practitioners are also featured. Sadly, I haven’t met any of them:

  • Chiropractor Jason Young
  • Naturopath and acupuncturist Deborah Nixdorf
  • Acupuncturist Leyna Jensen
  • Yoga instructor Lisa Wells

None of the folks featured in the article are “alternative” in the sense of “never see a physician ever again.” That would be nuts! My clients understand this already. They all see their doctors first for doctor-y things. (Sometimes their doctors send them to me for hypnosis-y things.) Continue Reading...

I’ve Republished Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses [Video]

Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses by John G Watkins, ptsd hypnosisIt was World War II. Thousand and tens of thousands of battlefield casualties with PTSD were streaming back to the States. How to treat them? The gold standard of therapy, psychoanalysis, required hundreds of sessions, far more than could possibly be provided by the small numbers of psychiatrists and psychologists who knew how to do it.

In the Welch Convalescent Hospital in Florida, a young psychologist named John G. Watkins looked to hypnosis as a more rapid way of giving his patients relief. And it worked!

His book, Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses, chronicles his experience, giving the background, theory, practice, and a series of case studies. Even today, this book is a valuable source of insight and techniques. I’m not saying that the state of the art hasn’t advanced since the Forties, because it has. Watkins himself saw to that, with many additional contributions over the course of his long, 98-year life. But I’ve never seen anything like Hypnotherapy of War Neuroses, with its careful descriptions, its detailed case studies, and its explanation of military vs. civilian therapy. Though it has out of print for decades, it has always been an essential part of the serious hypnotherapist’s bookshelf. Continue Reading...

Five Things You Should Know About Subliminal Messages [Videos]

Superlimial: Rigid Tool catalog picture of a model draped over a lathe.

Figure 1. Superliminals are everywhere!

Do you wonder if there’s anything to this “subliminal messaging” thing, where you’re being influenced in ways you don’t detect? Well, you are! But not in the ways you think.

People think about subliminal messages in terms of images that flash on the screen too fast to notice consciously, or words spoken too softly to notice consciously. The idea is that the message will be picked up by the unconscious mind (or subconscious mind—same thing), but the conscious mind doesn’t notice. Sort of like hypnosis, but in a context where, instead of getting assistance with the issue of your choice, you’re ambushed by someone else’s agenda.

So here are five things you should know about subliminal messaging:

1. Before Worrying About the Subliminals, Notice the SUPERliminals

For an example of the superliminal vs. subliminal issue, look at Figure 1. Because this pinup calendar picture was distributed to machine shops and garages across the country, the depiction of a lathe is relevant and sensible. But the scantily clad young woman doesn’t belong there! (If she did, she’d be wearing steel-toed shoes, not ballet slippers). The concept of superliminals is to add an element that is powerful yet irrelevant, hoping for a response like: “What a great company, to put out calendars featuring two things I like: scantily clad ladies and brand-new machine tools!” With superliminals, all subtlety is cast aside. You’re supposed to notice. Continue Reading...

Is Hypnosis Real?

Short answer: You can see the hypnotic state on a brain scan, so yes, hypnosis is real. Long answer … read on!

Hypnosis is Real: It Shows Up on Brain Scans

As you can see in the picture, the normal waking state, hypnosis, and faking the result all use different parts of the brain, and this can be picked up on a brain scan. Even without a brain scan, you can usually tell a hypnotized person from someone who isn’t.

From Science News

Your Brain on Hypnosis. Science News, “The Mesmerized Mind,” Sept. 25, 2009.

Is That Other Person Hypnotized?

Since most of us don’t have a brain scanner handy, we rely on other ways of telling if someone is hypnotized.

The hypnotist who does a stage show at the Benton County Fair, Tammy Harris Barton, is good, and you can learn the difference between someone who is really hypnotized and someone who is not just by watching her. During the first part of the show, she does things that deepen the hypnosis of the volunteers, and excuses the ones who aren’t going as deep as she’d like, until she’s left with the ones who are deeply hypnotized. Continue Reading...