Tools Used with Hypnosis
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Tools Used With Hypnosis

Let's define hypnosis as "the art of suggestion." Simply put, it's phrasing words in such a manner as to have the subject/s modify their behavior in some desired manner. The purest form of hypnosis is Wakened Hypnosis--a most powerful tool. This means that one's eyes are open during the entire process.

Although some of the tools used with hypnosis are also methods to induce hypnosis, this article is not about induction methods, but more so about the various tools used.

Successful advertisers, salesmen, educators and motivators are experts at wakened hypnosis. We've all experienced it. Even in high school, there were instructors who gained the trust and respect of the class and successfully motivated us towards excellence and there were educators whom we disrespected and we threw spit balls at each other in their classes.

Professionally the hypnotist utilizing wakened hypnosis creatively phrases a suggestion (visual or auditory) that provides a different perspective to the client. For instance, a classic example was that of Milton Erickson who had a female client who could not enjoy sex. She viewed men as controlling. Milton said to her something like, "You're stupid," at which time her jaw dropped. He went on to tell her that she had all the power in that she could take a hard penis and reduce it to a soft useless instrument--she had the power and didn't know it.

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In less than a minute trance was induced from the challenge. "you're stupid," or some similar challenging comment thru the remaining portion of the suggestion giving her the power. No need for closing eyes, swinging pendulums, imagery...

Each practicing hypnotist has been generally trained in the use of several different tools. The most challenging to master is Wakened Hypnosis so it is generally used sparingly. However as more become proficient in training techniques, it will be used more often.

The tried, proven and long term used technique is general relaxation where the subject is mentally guided through different parts of the body from their feet to the top of their head with instructions to relax each and every part. As the subject experiences a profound relaxation he/she experiences feelings of denseness, lightness, slight comfortable numbness. Since these feelings are new to the subject, he/she is easily convinced that trance is occurring at which time a proven suggestion script is usually read. The suggestions are accepted by the subconscious mind as fact since the bodily sensations are so pronounced.

In addition to general relaxation, some professionals like using imagery--relaxing imagery. For instance one such example is drawing on pleasurable times in the past at a warm beach with the golden sun and puffy white clouds overhead.

Imagery is widely used therapeutically too. For instance, someone having fears of bridges after having been relaxed with general relaxation with or without imagery is directed to envision driving toward the bridge feeling totally relaxed. The relaxation follows them through the entire process to the point they are in the middle of the bridge looking outward feeling relaxed and enjoying the view.

Imagery is also used to overcome problems. The subject imagines him/herself taking a journey down an old dirt path to a home with a picket fence, once inside he/she meets her guide which can be human or an animal such as a rabbit, raccoon... The guide then accompanies the subject on through a meadow followed by a forest, then a glen and so on encountering problems or challenges along the way answered by the guide.

From the process, insights are often gained that otherwise would not be there.

Metaphors are widely used and can be succinct or story-like. A favorite one of mine is of the young eagle who refused to learn to fly. It goes like this: "One day two wise old eagles took the young eagle in hand and carried him high into the sky and dropped him. For the first thousand or so feet, he simply plummeted. And then he noticed as he slightly extended out his wings, his fall slowed somewhat and then as he extended his wings further, he began to glide, and then as he began to slightly move his wings, he began turning to the right or left and as he began slightly flapping his wings, he gained in altitude."

It's wonderful metaphor to use with someone who lacks confidence in achieving a particular task.

A simple metaphor would be, "you're cunning like a fox."

A not so popular method is age regression--age regression to past lives. Say the client has a blood pressure problem. Therapeutically the client might be regressed centuries to a time when he/she experienced similar health issues. Information is gained from the client re the challenging issues of the time which are related his/her blood pressure. A suggestion is given which releases the issues from being connected to blood pressure then and today.

Guilt of the past are then released and permission is given to release the physical or mental discomforts of today. The technique is not popular because for nearly a half century anyone using age regression was banned from the popular professional group of the time. Fortunately, that professional group is no longer a force in this country and professionals are free to choose techniques. Truly what's important is not what the hypnotists believes in terms of past lives, but what the client believes and for this reason, it should never have been banned.

These are the most popular tools utilized by practicing hypnotists today. .


Resource Box:

Richard Kuhns B.S.Ch.E. NGH certified, a prominent figure in the personal change field. His aim is to make it possible for anyone requiring to relax to do so.
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Deep Relaxation Program

Guided Imagery Relaxation Exercises takes you on a walk in the park and relaxes every muscle, fiber and cell in your body from the tip of your toes to the top of your head. Profound relaxation reenergizes your being to deal with life stresses makes this one of the best relaxation exercises. Every time you take the mental journey on each of the two tracks of the CD, you will go to deeper and deeper levels of relaxation--deeper than you have ever relaxed before. Letting go becomes a way of life. Profound improvements in your life circumstances may be anticipated as a result of a new found peace through deep relaxation exercises with visual imagery.

Some listeners have reported "out of the body" experiences.


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