Something was wrong …
I had a dinner meeting with a hypnotherapist friend the other day. After we’d been sitting for a few minutes I could tell that there was something wrong. He was toying with his salad, clearly preoccupied. I waited for him to talk about it. After a few minutes, he suddenly blurted out the reason for his irritated silence.
“I’ve become a magnet!” he said.
I responded by carefully touching a teaspoon to his hand, but it didn’t stick there.
“Not that kind!” he continued. “I’ve become a hypnotic magnet, and I only attract really bad hypnotic subjects!”
It turned out that for the last couple of weeks, only those people who fall into the “barely hypnotizable” category had shown up at his office. He’d struggled to get any response from them at all, and was ready to start looking for a new line of work.
“I know the good subjects will show up again in time” he explained. “But you know how stressful it is when you’re only getting the bad ones.”
I had to respond that no, I didn’t know what that was like. Because only the best subjects tend to show up at my door. I explained to him that it has nothing to do with magnetism.
Instead, it’s all about doing hypnosis backwards.
Okay, I admit it. That’s a strange title for a blog post.
But if you spend the time to hear me out, I think you’ll find something very cool in the next few paragraphs; something that can revolutionize your hypnotic work.
In fact, if you give me a listen, chances are good that the same bizarre thing will happen to you that happens to my Architecture of Hypnosis students at the University of Toronto:
Bad hypnotic subjects will avoid you.
They’ll simply go and bother the other hypnotists and hypnotherapists, whereas excellent and easy to work with subjects and clients will flock to your door. Your success rate will rapidly climb. You’ll discover that you can hypnotize pretty well anyone you work with.
You’ll do this by hypnotizing them backwards.
“Anything that assumes trance causes trance”
In order for this to make sense, it’s necessary that you first understand an interesting quote from Yale University’s Clark Hull.
Hull said, way back in 1933 “Anything that assumes trance, causes trance…”
By that, he means that if I need a so-called “light trance” to create catalepsy in the eye muscles so they won’t open, I can approach things the other way around.
Instead of spending 15 minutes telling someone they’re getting tired and sleepy and then suggesting they can’t open their eyes, I can do it the other way around, by producing phenomena before I induce trance.
So if (like the legendary Dave Elman) I have the subject pretend he can’t open his eyes and keep pretending, as he strains his eyebrows up and down, I already have the phenomenon, and I have the subject in trance automatically.
I got here after making a LOT of mistakes
The story I’m about to tell you is a good example to make all of this very clear.
Back in the mid 1970s I was a brand-new professional stage hypnotist. I was flying by the seat of my pants. I didn’t know what was possible yet. I didn’t know what the so-called “rules” were. I made lots of mistakes!
During one show, in Palmerston, Ontario, everything just fell apart. Not one person went into trance. But I persisted, and even though I continued to crash and burn every now and then, I also had some amazing successes by breaking rules I knew nothing about.
Breaking the rules made this man VERY angry …
One night, I was performing at a community college, and did one of my standard effects. I congruently told a wide-awake woman on stage that she couldn’t remember her name. She went blank and struggled in obvious shock, attempting to recall it.
The audience loved it. Except for a man who approached me after the show. He was in a near rage.
He introduced himself as Ted Heath, and told me he was the greatest hypnotist in the world. He was furious with me for taking away a person’s name without the benefit of a deep trance.
He was nearly apoplectic with anger, and said “What you are doing is wrong!”
When I asked him why it was wrong, he answered “It’s wrong because it’s impossible, and gives people the wrong ideas about hypnosis!”
But back to our central point: By producing the phenomenon I wanted, (name amnesia), I was getting a deep trance automatically.
Because Anything that assumes trance, causes trance.
Since I needed a so-called deep or somnambulistic trance to produce amnesia, I went directly for amnesia, and the trance just showed up! When you get your head around this, it will absolutely transform your hypnosis, and you’ll be far more effective, almost immediately.
Putting this to use in your hypnosis work
Let’s look at a practical example, so you can use this principle of putting the phenomena in front of the trance.
Catalepsy is a waxy immobility of the muscles, where they just don’t work. This can take several forms. Cataleptic eyelids don’t open, cataleptic legs don’t move, and a cataleptic hand will float in the air, as though it’s weightless.
Knowing this provides a great advantage, hypnotically speaking. Because of the Clark Hull quote, you can simply create a floating, cataleptic hand, which is really easy to do, and bingo! You can effortlessly turn it into a hypnotic trance by working backwards and producing the phenomenon first.
Can you imagine how much easier it is to simply talk to a person, while gripping their hand in a specific manner that causes catalepsy, often in seconds? Then you simply draw their attention to their dissociated hand, and say Sleep Now…
The induction I just described is called “Kinesthetic Ambiguity”, and I’ve never had it fail. Even under pressure in a television studio, with an unprepared security guard as my subject, I had him in trance in seconds. Moments later he was riding an imaginary motorcycle. It’s all so easy to do, even with highly analytical subjects. Just cause a cataleptic limb, and then cascade the person into trance.
The best place to start learning this stuff is in our free video tutorial, found here: