The Ultimate Hypnosis Glossary

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A to G  |  H to M  |  N to S  |  T to Z

Braid
James Braid was a Scottish physician widely credited for coining the term "hypnotism". Braid specialized in eye-fixation methods of hypnotic induction and we often refer to the "Braid Induction" when having a subject stare intently at a coin or other small object.

Calibration
You can't see what you're not looking for. You must be able to detect differences to be an excellent hypnotist, or even an excellent communicator. Calibrating a client means getting a baseline experience for what they look like, sound like, etc. Then you'll be able to know when something has changed.

Congruence
When all of your verbal and non-verbal communication is in alignment, sending the same message.

Convincers
A convincer is a suggestion (catalepsy, time distortion, etc.) given during trance that you can point back to later, to prove to the subject that she was hypnotized, i.e., Remember how you couldn’t open your eyes? Convincers ratify trance, making it real for the subject, after the fact. Contrast this with suggestibility tests, which are pre-hypnotic, and designed to create heteroaction.

Critical Faculty
This is the correct term, it is not "critical factor". The Critical Faculty acts as the firewall of the mind, either permitting or preventing us from acting in response to suggestion. Dave Elman taught us that we bypass the critical faculty by establishing something called "selective thinking", which he often did using eyelid catalepsy.

Danny
The son of Danny's father. He first appeared in the Brain Software podcast in episode 69. Danny has dreams, the "Still Just Danny" stories inspire you to take control of your own life, not be limited by someone else's viewpoint.

Dursative
The opposite of glannative. Ok, we were just going to leave you having with that but since so many people ask here's the truth: This is a completely made up word by Mike Mandel. It means "bad".

Fractionation
Since hypnosis is a learning state, one can go deeper into trance with practice and through experience. To fractionate someone is to hypnotize them repeatedly in a short period of time, or simply have them rise to the surface by opening their eyes and then closing them again, plunging back into hypnosis. It’s one of the most dependable trance deepeners you can use. 

Fwuhhhhh
This is the sound someone makes when going into trance. Ok, maybe it doesn't actually happen, and we've just been hypnotized to internally imagine this strange sound.

Glannative
This is the opposite of dursative (see above). Glannative is the accepted British spelling, while we also accept the American spelling "Glanative" with just one "n".  Glannative means good, and is a totally fabricated word that we use with reckless abandon in all podcasts, hypnosis trainings and elsewhere.

Heteroaction
Andre Weitzenhoffer spoke extensively about this subject, and it’s a good word to know. Basically, anytime you pass a hypnotic task, it increases your predisposition to pass another entirely different one, thus increasing hypnotic response. It’s why suggestibility tests can be useful in some settings. Heteroaction paves the way to trance. It’s also why stage hypnotists can cause stronger and stranger responses as the show develops. Also discussed in our top 10 hypnosis terms post.

Homoaction
Another excellent term from Weitzenhoffer. Homoaction basically states that each time you repeat a hypnotic activity (including trance itself) the response will be stronger, up to a point. It’s the reason fractionation works. We also see homoaction onstage. If subjects feel a pinch when you snap your fingers, it will be stronger the second time, and even stronger the third, etc., until eventually the response levels out when the law of diminishing returns kicks in.

Ken Sweatman Story
He's a real person who told horrendously long and pointless stories. When you catch someone going ON and ON and ON with no clear point, feel free to call them out for telling a Ken Sweatman story.

Pressit the Blotz
An official sounding phrase originally designed as a confusion mechanism by Mike Mandel. It's very important that you pressit the blotz immediately, and you can find out more on podcast episode 23.

Somnambulism and Somnambulistic
Somnambulism comes from Marquis de Puységur, and is the working state of hypnosis. Somnambulistic is an adjective, and pertains to that particular depth of trance, where the subject sometimes resembles a sleepwalker. The terms are not “Samuelism” or “Sumnablistic” both of which I have heard spoken by typically illiterate hypnotists of high reputation. This is the state in which you are able to cause the maximum response onstage or in the street, or the maximum change in therapy.

Suggestibility Tests
These are exercises hypnotists do with subjects in order to cause the subject to believe he or she is a great hypnotic subject, and in order to build heteroaction (see definition above). They are classically used in stage hypnosis and street hypnosis but can also be used in the therapy room. Many stage hypnotists can completely skip any formal hypnotic induction if they have enough prestige and get good enough results just from the suggestibility testing process.

Trance.
We use the words "trance" and "hypnosis" interchangeably and don't differentiate between them. You could argue whatever you want, such as trance happens all the time without doing it on purpose. Whatever. Trance is hypnosis.

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