Goa NLP Hypnosis Demystified
Dr. David J Lincoln Goa NLP Goa NLP
Welcome! Congratulations on your decision to begin your epic journey into the fascinating world of the human mind. My name is Dr. David Lincoln. It is my distinct honour and privilege to be your guide through this journey. As you embark on your emotional travels, you will acquire skills that will remain with you for the rest of your life. This book is just the tip of the iceberg. Itâ€™s based upon unique methods that I have developed as well as other methods from some of the greatest minds in the history of hypnotherapy. Hypnosis is as old as civilization itself, and has been practiced under numerous labels since time immemorial. However, it was not until 1955 and 1958 when it was officially recognized by the British Medical Association, and the American Medical Association, respectively, that Hypnotherapy began to come into its own. Since then, great strides have been made, but I know that they are nothing compared to achievements that will come in the future as new and exciting uses of Hypnotherapy come to light. This book is designed to be informative as well as tempting. It will demystify the wonders of hypnosis and even share with you how to hypnotize yourself. I encourage you to actually practice the techniques taught as you are learning them. Actually do them the as they are being taught; you will learn more this way. As informative as this book is, it does not, however, represent or indicate in any way that you are a certified hypnotherapist. A formalized certification in hypnotherapy is a natural progression from this book, and if you would like to learn more about how you can be can be certified, please contact my office at anytime, or visit my website at www.goanlp.in for further information. Additional education, in my opinion, is a must. Become a seeker of knowledge, delve deeply into good books, and attend as many programs as you possibly can. For the student who is seriously interested in furthering their knowledge, and enhancing their professional status, we have many programs available for you to choose. Simply, we are here for you. Now please, sit back, relax, and enjoy the adventure!
Who is Dr. David J Lincoln? Originally from London United Kingdom, David John Lincoln B.Sc. Ph.D D.N, is a Doctor of Psychology and Naturopathy, Master Practitioner and Master Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Dr. Lincoln is internationally recognized for his columns on personal development, keynotes, and leadership training. His first book ‘what are they doing to me’ is a collection of different therapies together so the public will know what all the terms mean. David has also written extensively on NLP and Naturopathy. He is the current president of ANLP (India) the official accreditation body for hypnosis and NLP in India. In his long career within psychology he has played many roles and worked in many different environments including mental hospitals and up market private clinics. He has worked in many countries primarily in the USA, India, Lithuania and the UK. And has travelled to many other countries whilst carrying out research on the mind body connection. Whilst in the USA he used to write for Perspectives Magazine and occasional articles published in other technical magazines. He is now what is generally called a counseling psychologist and deals with thinking disorders and what the general public refers to as ‘problems’ Within my career I have had many challenging positions and have dealt with people from all walks of life both on a voluntary basis and within institutions. Dr David specializes in the mind body connection and this encompasses all areas of health. He believes that all health challenges have a major psychological element although this is not always obvious. People have the ability, if they want, to think themselves well and alternatively, as is often the case, the ability to think themselves ill.
Table of Contents Hypnotist or Hypnotherapist?
What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is NOT Hypnosis IS
History of Hypnosis Imhotep Æsculapius Franz Fredrich Anton Mesmer Marquis de Puysségurr James Braid John Elliotson James Esdaile Dr. Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault Hippolyte Bernheim Jean Martin Charcot Sigmund Freud Josef Breuer Milton Erickson A.M. Krasner Dwight Damon Gil Boyne
Unconscious Prime Directives Preserves the Body Is a Servant Leveraging Questions Does Not Process Negatives
Self Hypnosis When Should You Practice Self Hypnosis? The Process It’s a Matter of Perspective Self Hypnosis vs. Meditation
8 8 9 11 12 13 14 14 15 16 16 17 17 18 19 19 19
21 21 23 26 27
29 33 36 39 42
Frequently Asked Questions
Taking Hypnosis Deeper
Hypnotist or Hypnotherapist? If you’ve been researching hypnotherapy online, then you’ve no doubt seen the term Hypnotherapist and Hypnotist used quite frequently. So you might be wondering, “What is the difference?” or “Which one should I be trained in?” Well, they are both good questions. The term ‘Clinical Hypnotherapist’ is reserved for individuals who have committed a certain number of hours in classroom training by a specific organization approved by a certifying body. We offer courses approved by ANLP (India). Most home-study programs would not be sufficient enough in their training to be awarded the title Hypnotherapist, Clinical Hypnotherapist, or Certified Hypnotherapist. Different areas have different requirements and it would be difficult to advise you on what titles would be appropriate for your specific area. For example, even if you were certified as a Clinical Hypnotherapist, some areas will not allow you to use the word ‘therapist’ in any marketing material unless you have received a degree in counselling or psychology. For this reason, the term Hypnotist is much safer for you to use in your marketing material, and the acceptable term to describe most forms of personal improvement techniques. If you were to find a hypnotist to help you with a personal development issue, the majority of the time, they would be sufficiently trained. But you would still want to find out where they are trained and whether or not they have any certifications. We run many courses that include clinical hypnosis and hypnotherapy see our web site www.goanlp.in 1
What is Hypnosis? In order to properly explain to your client what hypnosis actually is, it may be even more effective for you to first understand what hypnosis is not. There are four common misconceptions regarding hypnosis, and if you try to explain to your clients what hypnosis is before these are addressed, they will not be able to focus on what you are saying. Why? The fear of these myths will get in the way.
Hypnosis IS NOT… 1. Sleep – There are four basic brain wave categories: Beta, Alpha, Theta, & Delta. Each of these categories serves a different purpose for the mind and body. Beta 13 – 30 Hertz This is the awake state. It is also the state most athletes are in during competition. Alpha 8 – 12 Hertz This is halfway between sleep and awake. The body is relaxed, the mind tends to drift and daydream. It is also the state you are in during hypnosis. Theta 4 – 7 Hertz Higher states of Theta include memory recall, fantasy, and lucid dreams. The deeper states of Theta include R.E.M. or Rapid Eye Movement, the state you are in while dreaming. Delta .5 – 3 Hertz This is the deepest part of sleep. Most bodily functions have shut down and the unconscious mind uses this time for repairing the body, healing, and replenishing the used enzymes from the days events. This state is critical for an person who needs to heal from injury.
2. A state of unconsciousness – When you are unconscious, your brain is functioning in the Delta brain wave. You have no conscious control over any part of your body, and no conscious awareness over what is going on. This is the exact opposite of hypnosis. Under hypnosis, many people describe having a heightened state of awareness, and a greater control over bodily functions that they normally would not be able to control such as blood pressure, pulse, and respiration. You do not want your clients unconscious. Hypnosis requires the active participation of both conscious and unconscious processes.
3. Being gullible or weak-minded – Hypnosis is not biased against race, creed, sex, intellect, or religion. It is a naturally occurring state that everyone enters into several times throughout the day. To say that you can’t be hypnotized because you have too strong of a mind makes about as much sense as someone saying they can’t lift a vase because they are too strong. Hypnosis is about one thing – following instructions. If you can follow instructions, you can be hypnotized. In cases where the person ‘couldn’t be hypnotized’ this usually means that the hypnotist lacked the communication skills sufficient to speak to the client in a way that they could understand. This is why it’s so important not to become dependent on scripts. If you use a script, you force the client to adhere to the words on the page, if you don’t use a script, you can formulate your words the way the client would like to receive the instructions. There are no non-hypnotizable clients, only hypnotists who lack the flexibility to hypnotize them in the way they want to be hypnotized.
4. Being controlled by someone else or a loss of self control â€“ Despite what Hollywood has tried to inspire, the science of hypnosis is really quite simple, very safe, and easy to do. At no point will you lose control. In fact, most people describe the hypnotic state as a time when they feel even more control over their mind and body. I think many people expect hypnosis to be a magical state where they float out of their body, lose track of their senses, and have no conscious recollection of what happened. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead, you remain very aware of your surroundings and can hear anything that goes on. You will most likely have a heightened state of awareness. As far as losing control of your senses, the worst thing that could possibly happen is that you would fall asleep and wake up feeling very refreshed. You are no more suggestible during the time you sleep at night than you would be if you were to just fall asleep during hypnosis. If in fact you are in control the entire time, how does this explain stage shows where people are barking like dogs? Well, they volunteered to be on stage, they consequently volunteered to have fun. And as long as the suggestions remain fun, the people on stage will happily entertain the audience. The stage hypnotist is very skilled in his or her ability to select the right types of personalities for a show. They select the highly suggestible, highly extraverted people who love being the center of attention. The same people who bark like dogs, or quack like ducks are usually the same people dancing with lamp shades on their heads at a party. 4
Therefore Hypnosis IS… 1. An awake state – Hypnosis requires the active participation of both conscious and unconscious processes. So you must remain awake in order for it to be considered hypnosis. Yes, it is possible to fall asleep during hypnosis, but then it becomes sleep and stops being hypnosis. The diagram below best describes the difference between a normal waking state, and a hypnotic state, in which you are still awake. [See figure 1]
As you can see, during hypnosis, the conscious mind, and the unconscious mind are still present. The only thing that is missing is the critical faculty. The term, critical faculty has many different names depending upon what school of psychology you come from. It’s been referred to as the analytical filter, the subjective reality filter, critical mind, and so on. It doesn’t matter what term you use, but it’s important to understand its function. The critical faculty has been incorrectly defined by many as the part of you that distinguishes between reality and fantasy. This is not 5
true, for if it was, that would mean during hypnosis you would not be able to distinguish between reality and fantasy. This of course is not what happens. By modifying the traditional definition slightly, it makes much more sense. It’s the part of you that cares to distinguish between reality and fantasy. During hypnosis you know what is real and what is not, but you don’t care to define any difference. It’s exactly like watching a movie or reading a novel. You realize that what you are watching or reading isn’t real, but you don’t care to acknowledge that while you are being entertained. As a result, your body goes through many different bio-chemical changes as if it were really experiencing the event in the movie or in the book.
2. A state of relaxation – The critical faculty fades away in direct proportion to the level of relaxation the body and mind are experiencing. The deeper into relaxation you go, the further removed the critical faculty is. However, this does not mean you need to be in a deep state of hypnosis in order to accept the suggestions. In fact, there is, to my knowledge, no study to substantiate depth of trance equating to success of a hypnotic process. The only exception to this would be in the case of pain control, where it is generally accepted that the client should be in a deep state of hypnosis before any medical procedures have begun. Knowing this, there have been case studies where people have successfully controlled pain in light states of hypnosis as well. The depth of trance for anaesthesia is simply a precaution more than a requirement.
3. All about following instructions – Many people believe that hypnosis has to do with intelligence, but in reality, it has everything to do with following instructions. If the hypnotist uses language which is beyond the intellect of the client, they most likely will not be hypnotized. They can’t, they don’t understand the instructions. However, this is not the clients fault. This is the hypnotherapist lack 6
of sensitivity to the client’s low intellect. This is a reflection of a poor hypnotist, not an unintelligent client. The hypnotist needs to organize their language to match that of the intellect of the client. For highly educated clients, use complex language, for uneducated people, use simple language. It will work much better.
4. The ultimate display of control – When people say they cannot be hypnotized because they are a self proclaimed “control freak” they are mistaken. In fact, when someone claims this you need to inform them that as a control freak, if they cannot reach the deepest states of hypnosis immediately, then as a control freak, they are very bad at control. Here’s why: if you are in total control of your body, you would be able to be as tense, or as relaxed as you want to be. To say you can’t relax because you are a control freak indicates you don’t have the control to relax your muscles. This makes no sense. The more in control you are of your mind and body, the more you should be able to reach both extremes of tension and relaxation. In fact everybody can be hypnotised as it is a naturally occurring state; a state everybody goes through before sleep for example. Hypnosis is simply put as an alter state of consciousness.
History of Hypnosis Before we explore any further the uses of hypnosis for your future, we need to look to the past. It is important to understand the history of hypnosis if for no other reason than to be able to communicate to your client in an articulate and intelligent manner. You will hear comments from your potential clients that range from, “Hypnosis is old and out of date…” to “Hypnosis is untested, and too new to risk experimenting with.” The fact is, most people know very little or nothing about hypnosis other than what they have seen in the movies and at night clubs where hypnotists make people bark like dogs or quack like ducks. The fact is hypnosis as been an accepted form of treatment in the medical communities since 1955 and 1958 through the British Medical Association, and the American Medical Association respectively. This may seem like hypnosis has been accepted by medicine for a very long time, but considering how long hypnosis has actually been around, it’s surprising that it took so long for the formal institutions to actually recognize it – especially considering that all modern medical practices evolved from one place – hypnosis. Hypnosis has been around since the beginnings of recorded time. Approximately 4000 B.C. in the lands of ancient Egypt came a priest named Imhotep, (I-em-hotep, he comes in peace). He was the first physician in recorded history and is also credited for building the first pyramid in the world – the step pyramid of ancient Egypt. Apparently, Imhotep must have been immortal, because he is still alive and well today – his name was most recently ‘resurrected’ as the priest, turned mummy for the popular movies, “The 8
Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns” starring Brendan Fraser, and Arnold Vosloo (Imhotep). Imhotep, as well as other priests would practice hypnosis (although that term had actually not been invented yet) in sleep temples. Sleep temples have been found throughout the ancient worlds of Greece, Egypt, India, and many others. In these temples, people would come for healing. The healing could be for physical or mental disorders, it didn’t matter. The “patients” would be put to sleep by the priest’s incantations and chanting. In fact, the popular methods of hypnotic induction in the movies like, “you’re getting sleepy… very sleepy…” were taken from Egyptian papyrus papers found in these temples. These were the first hypnotic scripts ever discovered. Once the people had “fallen asleep” the priests would then offer suggestions of healing and suggestions of dreams. When awakened, the priests would interpret the dreams the ill had experienced and that interpretation of the dream would usually include a suggestions such as, “… and that means you have been healed.” Hypnosis can also be found in the ancient writings of Greece. In fact, the word Hypnosis is derived from Greece. Hypnos was the God of Sleep and the word hypnosis in its literal Greek translation means, ‘nervous sleep.’ Around the 4th and 5th Centuries, B.C. Æsculapius (also spelled: Asklepios, Asclepius, Æsclepius) was a healer that used hypnotically induced process similar to that of Imhotep from Egypt. Over time, his reputation made him into a demi-god and the temples constructed in his honor were known as temples of healing dreams.
The people who came to Æsculapius (and the priests who followed him) looking for a cure or an insight to their problems were called Seekers. So named because they were 9
seeking to contact the healing god, to get a new vision that would heal, guide, or provide comfort. There are historical writings from Greece which report seekers being cured of diseases that even in modern day are still deemed to be incurable. The lame were able to walk again and people who were blind gained vision. In these temples, the seekers would enter a dreamlike state (hypnosis) for as many as 3 days. During this time, the priests would offer suggestions to the seekers thought to influence their dreams. When the seekers awoke, the priest would then offer an interpretation of what the dreams meant. A good dream would be one whereby the god would touch the part of the ailing body. If this were to happen in the dream, the priest would then deliver with much congruency the suggestion, “…this means you are going to heal.”. Over time these priests developed greater understandings of herbs and the affect they had on the body. They began to depart from the sole use of dream interpretation and began prescribing herbs. They developed ointments, tinctures and medicines. The dreams began to take on a more metaphorical role rather than literal. The metaphors of the dreams were the deciding point for prescriptions what types of medicine the seeker should use. Over the past 4000 years, these Sleep Temples, the Priests and herbs have slowly evolved into what have become modern hospitals, Doctors and medicine. Even the caduceus, the worldwide symbol used for medical doctors was inspired by Æsculapius, who in Greek mythology was always depicted as holding a snake as shown in the picture of him previously. This evolution can be clearly recognized by the Greek term Klínè, which was the term used to describe these temples of dreams, or a sacred skin used to lie on while dreaming. The English word clinic was derived from Klínè. Æsculapius had two daughters -- Hygea and Panacea. The English words Hygiene and Panacea were derived from their names – Panacea being used to describe a pill or technique that can “cure all”. Even today, all physicians are sworn 10
to the Hippocratic Oath: Created by Hippocrates, the Greek physician, also referred to as "The father of modern medicine." As time passed, hypnosis gained more and more popularity. The Austrian, Dr. Franz Fredrich Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) used hypnosis, although that term had still not yet been created. Instead, Mesmer would “mesmerize” people. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1766 after presenting a paper entitled, De Planetarum Influx (On the influence of the Planets). His belief was that there was a quasi-magnetic fluid in the air that Dr. Franz Fredrich Anton Mesmer we breathed, and this fluid was absorbed into the skin, and affected by the alignment of the stars and planets. In order to re-align the magnetic fluids to resonate with the harmony of the stars and planets he initially used magnets and passed them over the body. Then, one day during a healing he could not locate his magnets, so instead he waved his hands over the body of the sick individual. Astonishingly, the client healed as he would have with the magnets. Mesmer then theorized that he had worked so long with the magnets that he himself had become magnetized, and thus the phrase, ‘animal magnetism’ was created. Later in his career, he graduated from waving his hands over his clients to simply staring at them with his eyes. This is where the “… look into my eyes…” phrase came from popularized by movies. In 1784 the French Government investigated Mesmer, and pronounced him a fraud. Their reason was simple; no one could duplicate the results that he had produced by doing the same thing, and one could not physically see this fluid that he spoke of – if you can’t see it, it must not exist, was the logic. Ironically, these claims were made by the person in charge of the commission – Benjamin Franklin, the man who in 1747 theorized about the existence of an electrical fluid that could be composed of particles – also something you could not see at the time. 11
The Marquis de Puysségurr (1751-1825) was a pupil of Mesmer’s and also used similar processes of healing as did his mentor. One method in particular was to have the individual in need of healing placed in a tub filled with water and iron filings protruding from which were larger iron rods. Dr. Mesmer would then suggest to his patients that as he touched them with his magnetic rod, they would become Marquis de Puysségurr magnetized and inevitably go into a crisis (seizure). At the end of this crisis, the patient would emerge cured. Puysségurr did this as well, but forgot to tell them they would have a seizure and ironically none of his patients would receive a crisis when touched by the iron rod. This led Puysségurr to focus more on suggestion than crisis, and his patients would experience profound levels of relaxation. This adaptation from Mesmer's technique led Puysségurr to create the 3 cardinal characteristics of hypnosis. Characteristics that, as our understanding of hypnosis evolved were discovered as unnecessary: 1. Concentration of the senses on the operator – this fixation or concentration was eventually created by hypnotists of the day holding their pocket watch in front of the clients face. However, they would not swing it back and forth like in the movies. In modern hypnosis, of course, we have realized the fallacy of this requirement and now do not require the client to focus on a single thought or object, although it is an option still used. 2. Acceptance of suggestion without question – This qualification, “without question” was the beginnings of the myth that during hypnosis the hypnotist is in control and you are not. IN modern hypnosis, we recognize of course that the client must be willing to accept the suggestions, and it is best if they do so without question, but they are the one’s 12
who ultimately decide whether they will or will not accept the suggestion without question in the first place. 3. Amnesia for events in a trance – This phenomena, while possible is not required. Often times, hypnotists will suggest to their clients that they will remember everything in order to preserve any lessons learned from the hypnotic state.
So far, hypnosis had been referred to by many names, yet all of them shared similar processes and results. It was not until November 13, 1841 all of this would change. A French magnetizer named La Fontaine demonstrated Mesmerism to Dr. James Braid, a well respected surgeon from Scotland. Braid was against the notion of Mesmerism, and was skeptical throughout the demonstration. However, at the conclusion of the process, Braid acknowledged that something of significance had happened that day, and he began to research and Dr. James Braid experiment with mesmerism. In 1842, he published a book entitled, Neuryptnology where he coined the phrase hypnosis to describe mesmerism. So named after the Greek God of sleep, Hypnos. This apparently made a profound effect, because unlike Mesmer, Braid was able to maintain good reputation in the medical community. Later in life, Braid realized the errors of his ways. For hypnosis wasn’t actually sleep at all. As a result, he tried renaming hypnosis to monoideism, but the term hypnosis was already widely spread and used in every language throughout Europe, so the new name never caught on… thankfully! Dr. John Elliotson, another respected surgeon from Scotland, who later went on to receive full professorship at London University and was named President of the Royal Medical and Surgical Society practiced hypnosis on a regular basis. With the exception of introducing the stethoscope to England, Elliotson is probably most 13
recognized for the publishing the first journal on hypnosis called Zoist. This journal was published quarterly from April 1843 until December 31, 1855. In its thirteen year lifespan articles were published by Elliotson, Esdaile, and many other brilliant physicians of that time. These articles are to this day some of the most impressive collections of cases using hypnosis to cure everything from insanity, to epilepsy. There was hundreds of Dr. John Elliotson cases documented using hypnosis to conduct pain free surgeries – everything from removal of a cataract to the amputation of legs by Dr. James Esdaile. Dr. James Esdaile conducted more surgeries using hypnosis than any other person of his time, and possibly even to modern day. Before his use of hypnosis in surgeries, the mortality rate (or death ratio) was around 50/50. The reason for this was not infection; it was due to excruciating pain. This was before the invention of anesthesia. When a patient needed an operation (this was in the early 1800’s) they would be strapped to the table, and have a horse’s bit wrapped in leather (hence the term, ‘bite the bit’) and placed in their mouth. The surgeon would then conduct the operation with the client completely awake, and writhing Dr. James Esdaile in pain. The heart would beat rapidly causing excess blood flow, and the patient would most likely die of shock while bleeding to death. On April 4, 1845, Esdaile conducted his first operation on a Hindu convict with double hydrocele at a hospital in India. This was the beginning of a career that would carry him through thousands of painless operations before he left India, and returned to the home of his father in Scotland.
While it seemed as though hypnosis could not be stopped, around this time, hypnosis met a major roadblock: the advent of modern Christianity. The Church of England lashed out against hypnosis in surgery after proclaiming that, “…if a patient feels pain, he probably deserves it, because pain is necessary to cleanse and purify the soul.” Shortly thereafter, chloroform was invented, and pain was no longer necessary to cleanse and purify the soul. Nevertheless, Christians interpreted hypnosis as witchcraft and our profession faced a major setback. This did not deter people from practicing hypnosis, it just went underground, and was practiced in secret. The irony of this was that Jesus employed hypnosis to perform many of His miracles. A complete discussion of this is to be found in the book entitled, “Religious Aspects of Hypnosis” published by Charles C. Thomas and Co. Springfield, Illinois in 1962. As hypnosis was “rejected” by the medical community, it landed in an unusual place. The stage. This was the beginning of stage shows where people began barking like dogs and quacking like ducks. As if being evil wasn’t bad enough, now we began to lose serious credibility, but the true advocates never gave up. While Franz Anton Mesmer is known as the father of hypnosis, Dr. Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault is recognized as the father of modern hypnosis. He was born in 1823, began his study of medicine in 1844, and started experimenting with hypnosis in 1848 and graduated from medical school in 1850. After a successful therapeutic career with hypnosis, he wrote a book which took nearly 2 years to complete. With the bad reputation of hypnosis, and skepticism at an all time high, the book was a dismal failure – he only sold one copy. The purchaser of his book was Dr. Hippolyte Bernheim. The reason Bernheim purchased the book was because In 1882 Dr. Liébeault cured a Dr. Ambroise-Auguste persistent case of sciatica, which Bernheim Liébeault had treated without results for over six months. 15
More than likely, Bernheim purchased the book to expose Dr. Liébeault as a charlatan. This did not happen however. For Bernheim was so impressed with Liébeault’s work, he became his pupil and lifelong friend. Perhaps Liébeault’s greatest contribution toward hypnosis was the discovery that for most hypnotic processes, the client did not need to go into a deep state of relaxation. Dr. Hippolyte Bernheim Liébeault became an expert at rapid inductions. At the apex of his career, Liébeault would simply wave his hand over the patient’s eyes and utter a phrase such as, “sleep, my little kitten…” He would then suggest away the ailment and have them awaken at their own time. The majority of Liébeault’s clients were treated in less than 15 minutes! Liébeault and Bernheim developed the School of Nancy, in Nancy France. There, hypnosis was a regular course of the curriculum. As popularity of hypnosis began to rebound, other theories and schools of thought began to arise. Most notably was the Salpetriere School. There, the French physician, Jean Martin Charcot, while very well respected in the field of medicine was discredited over time because of his beliefs that hypnosis was a pathological state that weakened the mind over time. Still, he pursued hypnosis himself and even taught it to one of his star pupils, Dr. Sigmund Freud. Dr. Sigmund Freud, possibly the most well Dr. Jean Martin known name in psychology was once a Charcot hypnotist. However, he did not employ the techniques of hypnosis for long. There are several theories as to why he did not continue his practice of hypnosis. His last known case was working with a young boy with a tick (Tourette 16
Syndrome). After only one session, the boy’s ticks went away. Freud never used hypnosis again. One theory is revealed in the collected papers of Sigmund Freud where he states, “… psychology will not be the poor man’s therapy. It will be very expensive and a great deal of time to affect a cure.” Freud was openly concerned about the monetary disadvantages in hypnotizing someone once, and then losing them as a client. Perhaps one of his reasons for no longer using hypnosis was that talk therapy was more profitable. Another theory stems from his own physical ailments. Freud had badly infected gums which left him with repellant breath. To have a client look into your eyes, or speak to them closely also meant they would have to smell his breath. This is one of the reasons, although not the main factor, why in psychoanalysis the patient is told to lie on a couch, and the therapist sits on a chair out of their view. One other contribution that may have lead Freud to leave hypnosis was competition. Dr. Sigmund Freud
Dr. Josef Breuer, a one time friend, teacher, and co-author of Studien uber Hysterie with Freud was much more advanced, and contributed much more to the field of hypnosis than Freud – although Freud’s creation of the term ‘Subconscious mind’ was monumental in the explanation of hypnosis. Around 1880, Breuer discovered something by accident. In working with one of his most famous patients named Anna O, who had a litany of ailments in the mind and body, one of which was that she couldn’t swallow water, he discovered through hypnosis that she had witnessed a former governess let a dog drink water from a glass. This disgusted Anna O and installed within her this aversion to water. After the hypnotic session, she turned to Dr. Josef Breuer 17
Breuer and asked him for a glass of water. Up until this point, hypnosis was mainly used for the alleviation of pain. In the book, Medical Hypnosis, by Wolberg, he states, "The importance of Breuer's work lies in the change of emphasis in hypnotic therapy, from the direct removal of symptoms to the dealing with the apparent cause of these symptoms." From then on, Breuer attempted to associate all of his client’s symptoms from trauma from the past. The birth of hypnosis in psychology had begun. Over the next 50 years, several individuals made impressive strides in the advancement of hypnosis, but none so much as perhaps the most famous and well-respected hypnotist of modern day – Milton Erickson (1902 – 1980). Milton is credited for taking hypnosis off the stage, and making it an acceptable for of therapy. It was his influence which many believe opened the door of the American Medical Association to formally accept it’s use as a healing modality (1958). Perhaps the most influential contribution that Dr. Erickson had to offer was his method of induction. Up until this time, in order to induce someone into hypnosis, either rapid or slowly, the hypnotist would use a Dr. Milton Erickson commanding tonality and an authoritative stance. “You are getting sleepy…”, “You will close your eyes…”, “Sleep now…”, “You are going deeper into trance…” were all common phrases used. Erickson instead believed that since hypnosis was a naturally occurring state instead of forcing someone to go into trance, you should just let them go into trance at their own pace. This was the birth of indirect, permissive hypnosis. Phrases such as, “you may want to close your eyes…”, “you may find my voice relaxing…”, “you can close your eyes only when you want to…” are all examples of this new form of induction. This opened the door for many people to be hypnotized that otherwise would abreact to such a commanding tone. 18
While an icon to hypnotists all over the world, Erickson himself was a bit of an elitist, and believed that only medical doctors should be allowed to practice hypnosis. This opinion was challenged, and overcome by three main individuals from the United States of America: Dr. A.M. Krasner, founder of the American Board of Hypnotherapy, Dwight Damon, founder of the National Guild of Hypnotists, and Gil Boyne, founder of the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners. These three modern pioneers, while competitors on a professional level, all shared the same vision – that hypnosis should be available to, and be administered by the lay person. Their dream was realized and to this day, the reason this program is even available to you is because of the individual efforts of these three men. If you ever have a chance to take a training program with them, I would highly Dr. A.M. Krasner recommend doing so. They are living legends. As much as they have contributed to the advancement of hypnotherapy, the efforts of these three men, for the past 50 years cannot compete with hundreds of years of dogmatic beliefs through the medical institutions. are ‘traditional’ organizations that are consistently trying to reverse the efforts of Krasner, Boyne, and Damon. These organizations are consistently attempting to pass legislation making it illegal for the lay hypnotist to practice their chosen career, and reserve hypnosis for the exclusive practice of medical doctors and psychologists. Dwight Damon
Gil Boyne 19
Legislation is important. We need it to protect the professionalism of this field and the people who seek its treatment. Whether or not you ever become a Hypnotherapist, in order to protect your right to practice sport hypnosis, I encourage you to join the organizations which lobby for and protect your rights to practice hypnosis. In the next section you will find a list of reputable organizations that are specifically created for the education, advancement, and protection of hypnotherapy as a vocation.
Unconscious Prime Directives In order to be successful in hypnosis, understanding these three basic prime directives is not enough. You must also implement these concepts into your practice in order to increase your client’s chance of enhanced performance. Most hypnotherapists understand these concepts; sadly, few of them actually implement them. When you choose to utilize these concepts in your hypnosis, you will achieve a class of success that few professional hypnotherapists even experience. 1.
Preserves the Body
All suggestions should lead toward preservation of the body. This is why hypnotherapists have traditionally succeeded so much in smoking and weight loss. Preservation is a logical assumption in these therapies. However, most hypnotherapists do not realize that they should be linking preservation up to all of their client’s goals. For example, in Sports Hypnosis, you will have a higher degree of success if you can link up preservation of the body to their intended outcome. For example: “… Imagine if you will now, winning the gold medal. Beyond the feeling of winning, you realize the potential that now awaits you: from product endorsements, to media coverage. All of these effects from winning are within your grasp. And by taking these opportunities, your income will grow and provide for you the ability to buy healthier foods, higher quality supplements, and receive the best healthcare possible. Who would have ever thought that by winning a gold medal you could actually become a healthier human, but like a pebble in a pond creating a ripple effect, everything affects everything in life…” When linking up preservation of the body to any goal through hypnosis, it is important to make sure up front that in doing so it would be a healthy goal. If an someone wanted you to hypnotize 21
them for a specific goal that may not be healthy to link up toward preservation of the body, you should refuse. In order to know whether or not a goal is safe to link up to preservation of the body, you must be able to say yes to the following criteria:
Is it safe to the person? Is it safe to other people? Is it safe to the planet? Now when working with all different types of people, this criteria can get a little tricky. After all, what one person considers safe, another might consider dangerous. The answer to this is very subjective, and it will be solely up to you to make the call. As the hypnotherapist, you cannot impose your morality of what is safe/dangerous, or right/wrong to your clients, but you can refuse to work with them base on your moral code. I would have no problem hypnotizing a police officer to be more proficient at firing their weapon, but I would not feel comfortable hypnotizing a regular citizen to shoot things more accurately without first knowing specifically what it is they want to shoot! For example, some people might consider hunting deer unsafe to others or the planet, yet some might think it keeps the population under control and is good for the planet. Depending upon where you stand on the matter will determine if you accept them as a client.
Is a Servant, Likes to Follow Orders The worst thing you could ever do for yourself while practicing self-hypnosis or for your client is tell them that their unconscious mind can do whatever it wants. This is not appropriate. Your unconscious mind is a servant; it is suppose to follow your orders. This is the principle problem in the well-being of many people today. Most people don’t spend enough time with their own unconscious minds giving it direction and guidance. Like a child left without mentoring or leadership, it struggles sometimes to do the right thing, but often doesn’t know what that is, so the unconscious mind makes choices that ultimately are not healthy. When I try explaining to people the complexities of the unconscious mind, I’ve found the following metaphor works quite well. Think of your conscious mind as the captain of a ship, and think of your unconscious mind as the crew that supports the captain. Now at first glance, most people think the captain runs the ship, but this is not true. The captain is in charge of the ship, but the crew actually runs it. If the captain wants to go right, she doesn’t run down to the boiler room throw on some coal, then run up to the galley and put lids on all the bowls to keep them from spilling. What does she do? She places an order to the crew, and they do the steps necessary in order to get the ship to go in the right direction. Your conscious mind is in charge of your vessel, but your unconscious mind is running it. The same is true for the people you work with. There is a nautical term used to describe what happens when the crew stops listening to the orders of the captain, and starts doing what they want instead. It’s called mutiny, and it provides a great parallel to what happens with the Conscious and Unconscious mind. How does mutiny occur in the Mind? The same way it can occur at sea. Treat the crew poorly. Don’t listen to them, don’t give them any breaks, abuse them, ignore them, do things that violate laws (in the Mind’s case, laws of nature). If you 23
really were to stop and evaluate most people’s behaviors, you would see things that would make the most powerful of ships sink to unrecoverable depths. In today’s society, many people are “having a good time” by blowing out there energy. They drink fermented liquids that kill brain cells and rot their liver; they smoke drugs that destroy short term memory. They deprive the body of sleep, and then drink stimulants to stay awake. They eat foods so full of preservatives that the body’s hydrochloric acids can’t even break them down. When I stop to think about what most people consider ‘having a good time’ is, I fear what they think would be a bad time! Milton Erickson, one of the world’s foremost hypnotherapists once stated so profoundly, “Your patients will be your patients because they are out of rapport with their unconscious minds.” If you are experiencing any conflict in your life, that’s usually a sign of lack of rapport somewhere. In fact, you can use the outside world as a biofeedback tool. It will reflect back to you in exact proportion what you are experiencing inside. You will experience conflict in your outer world to the exact degree that you are creating conflict in your inner world (Mind and Body). Soak that in.
You will experience conflict in your outer world to the exact degree that you are creating conflict in your inner world. If the you are working with an issue in your life over and over, and you are still not experiencing any success, it may not be mechanical or lack of skill. It may be psychological. You may be doing things unconsciously to yourself that are creating elements of mutiny inside. Then, when you demand performance from your unconscious mind to provide you with enough resources to succeed at your chosen endeavour such as losing weight, or quitting smoking, or staying focused on the job, it may not be willing to cooperate. 24
Likewise, you will experience success and health in your outer world to the exact degree that you are creating success and health in your inner world. Absorb that fully as well. These two laws of nature can dramatically determine how you cope with and create the products of your life.
You will experience success and health in your outer world to the exact degree that you are creating success and health in your inner world. While your job as a hypnotherapy is not one of counseling or therapy with your client, it is appropriate to provide for them a set of questions that may insight within them some motivation to change. After explaining to them the ship metaphor between the conscious and unconscious mind, you may want to ask them, or provide for them a questionnaire that encourages them to take better care of their â€˜crewâ€™. The following page has some great questions you could ask yourself or your clients to provide some motivation for them to change.
Leveraging Questions When was the last time you thanked your unconscious mind for supporting you in your sport? Do you spend more time beating your unconscious mind up for not performing as well as it should, or do you spend more time praising your unconscious mind for cooperating and supporting you in success? Remember, the unconscious mind wants attention, and it will enforce behaviors that give it the most attention. Are you giving your unconscious mind what it needs to support you in your endeavours? i.e. nutrients, rest, stretching, etc… What are three things you could do regularly, and are willing to do regularly that would give your unconscious mind the attention it deserves, and encourage it wants to support you in your goal? What foods/substances are you putting in your body that is harmful to your ‘crew’? What are you willing to do about it? If you aren’t willing to do anything about it, can you honestly expect your ‘crew’ to change for the better?
Does Not Process Negatives You can’t think about what you don’t want to think about without thinking about it. Think about it; better yet, don’t think about it, and you’ll get my point. If your clients are more focused on what they don’t want, instead of what they do want, they will most likely be getting just that – exactly what they don’t want. The person who is constantly focusing on ‘not losing’ will typically lose more than the person who consistently focuses on ‘always winning’. Unconscious minds are designed to move you toward whatever you are focusing on. So, what are you focusing on? What are your clients focusing on? This concept is critical in creating hypnotic suggestions for you clients. Imagine how ineffective it would be if you were to say the following to your client: “Notice how you don’t even think about losing anymore. The fear you once had in being defeated is no longer a constant thought process. You no longer dwell on the pain and shame you feel when you lose. You no longer obsess over what people will think about you if you lose. You no longer obsess over how your self esteem will be crushed with every defeat. You don’t want to lose, you won’t lose, and you’re not a total loser.” That would probably be one of the most destructive suggestions you could offer a competitive athlete. Instead, you might want to focus on the positive. Such as: “Notice how the only thoughts in your mind seemed to be filled with victory. The confidence you now have is fueling your mind with empowering thoughts of winning, performing with greatness, and competing with spirit. You now are focused on the tremendous feelings inside you will feel when you win. Knowing that endorphins are instrumental in providing a healthy immune system you realize that the more you focus on the feelings of victory, the healthier you will actually be. And the healthier you are, 27
the higher the probability you have of a victory.” (Notice how the suggestions associate winning to preservation, or health of the body.) In both examples above, the mind will move the client to what they are focusing on. Which one do you think would be more appropriate? The term used in hypnosis for these types of suggestions are called positive suggestions and negative suggestions. It’s important also to realize that positive and negative suggestions don’t necessarily indicate the suggestions are ‘good’ or ‘bad’. They simply are defined as positive or negative by having you focus on the intended outcome or the opposite of the intended outcome, respectively. Interestingly, sometimes it’s actually appropriate to offer negative suggestions instead of positive ones. But the purpose of this book is not to provide a complete training in hypnosis as much as it is to give you a greater understanding of what hypnosis is, so if you should find it interesting and want to learn more, you will be sufficiently educated to make an intelligent decision on which program to take. If you are interested, and would like to be fully train in the art and science of hypnosis, then please go to our website www.goanlp.in
Self Hypnosis If you truly want to be effective as a hypnotist for the people that you work with, there is one fundamental principle I feel is an absolute must. You must, be skilled in the process of self hypnosis, and you must practice it on a consistent basis. Why is this? Because you will become invincible when working with your clients excuses for why they can’t use hypnosis on a regular basis. Think about it this way. One of the reasons you are most likely effective as a personal trainer is that you believe in investing time each day or on a regular basis to sculpt your own body and maintain a healthy body. In doing so, the traditional pathetic excuses that the mainstream public uses for not working out has no effect on you. You refuse to buy into their excuses. The same can be said for the mental workouts in the day. If you want to truly inspire your clients, and be congruent when you ask of them to practice the mental aspect of their sports, then you must be willing to do this yourself. But the benefits of self hypnosis go much deeper: If you had to work for someone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and you never once were thanked, given any credit for the work you did, and never given time to rest, would you develop a bit of an attitude toward your employer? Well that’s how most people treat their unconscious minds. The part of you that beats your heart, helps you breathe, and helps you to remember all of your facts and figures throughout the day is constantly working for you even when you are not aware of it. When was the last time you said thank you? It’s my belief that a majority of the illness in the world today could be eliminated if we simply took time to take care of our unconscious minds, and give it the attention it deserves. When I try explaining to people the complexities of the unconscious mind, I’ve found the following metaphor works quite well. Think of your conscious mind as the captain of a ship, and think of your unconscious mind as the crew that supports the captain. Now at 29
first glance, most people think the captain runs the ship, but this is not true. The captain is in charge of the ship, but the crew actually runs it. If the captain wants to go right, she doesn’t run down to the boiler room throw on some coal, then run up to the galley and put lids on all the bowls to keep them from spilling. What does she do? She places an order to the crew, and they do the steps necessary in order to get the ship to go in the right direction. Your conscious mind is in charge of your vessel, but your unconscious mind is running it. There is a nautical term used to describe what happens when the crew stops listening to the orders of the captain, and starts doing what they want instead. It’s called mutiny, and it provides a great parallel to what happens with the Conscious and Unconscious mind. How does mutiny occur in the Mind? The same way it can occur at sea. Treat the crew poorly. Don’t listen to them, don’t give them any breaks, abuse them, ignore them, do things that violate laws (in the Mind’s case, laws of nature). If you really were to stop and evaluate most people’s behaviors, you would see things that would make the most powerful of ships sink to unrecoverable depths. In today’s society, many people are “having a good time” by blowing out their energy. They drink fermented liquids that kill brain cells and rot livers; they smoke drugs that destroy short term memory. They deprive the body of sleep, and then drink stimulants to stay awake. They eat foods so full of preservatives that the body’s hydrochloric acids can’t even break them down. When I stop to think about what most people consider “having a good time” is, I fear what they think would be a bad time! Earlier in the workbook, we mentioned that your athlete will experience conflict in their life to the exact level of conflict they have in their inner world. The same can be said for you. Likewise, you will experience harmony and peace in your life to the exact degree that you experience harmony in your inner world. So how can you create greater levels of rapport with your unconscious mind? Well, if I was an arbitrator, and I had two 30
parties who needed to work together, but couldn’t come to agreement, the first thing I would do in order to create some rapport between the dissidents would be to open up a channel of communication and search for some similarities. This is exactly what needs to be done with the unconscious mind. Most people in today’s society have forgotten how to talk to their unconscious minds. In fact, when I suggest talking to one’s unconscious mind, many people have a hard time even conceptualizing how to go about it. Most people will live their entire adult lives and never sit down for a conversation with themselves. I realize this may sound a bit strange, but I assure you that the path to greater rapport begins with communication, just like it would be if two separate parties needed to resolve conflict. In opening that channel of communication, I have found no better technique than self-hypnosis. It is the way to directly communicate to your unconscious mind – the part of you that runs the body. I’ve personally experienced the benefits of self-hypnosis, and I’ve made a habit of practicing it twice per day for around 20 minutes each session. Usually when I tell people this, I’m bombarded with the same response. “Forty minutes per day! I don’t have forty minutes a day! I barely have time to eat, let alone sit down and do some new-age silly dialogue with myself!” While the words may be different, the sentiment is almost always there. Pay attention, because these next few paragraphs may be the most important section of this book. If you are too busy to spend time with yourself each day, either in self-hypnosis or meditation, or even taking a nap, what are you telling yourself about yourself?
When you are too busy to spend time with yourself during the day, you are saying that you are the least important aspect of existence.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the way that feels. Unfortunately, it’s true. If you don’t take time for yourself during the day, this is what you’re unconscious mind hears: “Hey unconscious mind, thanks for everything in life. I realize that I owe everything I have to you. (Regardless of your belief in a Creator – Call It your God, your Buddha, or whatever term you choose to use. That Creator gave you your unconscious mind. I’ve checked this with spiritual experts: God doesn’t remember your phone numbers, God is far too busy.) Thanks for everything, unconscious mind, I really appreciate it. Now will you just leave me alone! I’ve got things to do and I don’t have time for you! Get lost! Buzz off! Scram! I’ve got to get the kids to Little League, I have to finish the paperwork for the CPA and tonight I’m going to watch the news. That’s my time, and I need it for me. Oh by the way, keep providing me with everything, okay? Just don’t ask for anything in return!” Not very inspiring is it? Would you want to be treated that way? If I were an unconscious mind and my whole existence was dedicated to keeping my boss alive, I would want my boss to appreciate me, and reward me when I do good things. On the other hand, if, no matter how busy you are – on your busiest of busy days, if you take time out from everything to spend time with yourself (your unconscious mind), and just get into a quiet space, what are you then telling your unconscious mind?
When you take time to spend with yourself during the busiest of busy days, you are saying that you are the most important aspect of existence. You’re saying that you are more important than the Little League game; you’re more important than your taxes; you’re more important than your favorite TV show. Dare I even say? You’re more important than your family! In fact, how can you truly give 32
100% to your family until you’ve first given 100% to yourself? I would submit that if you want to give 100% to your family, before you have given 100% to yourself, then what you are doing is actually giving them 100% of half of what you really have the potential to be. For the love of your family, put yourself first! To do anything less would simply be selfish. If you take just one thing from this training manual, walk away with this:
You are worth investing in. You are worth buying the organic foods over the conventional foods; you are worth spending the money on custom orthotics for your shoes; you are worth getting the car with the airbag, and paying for that seminar that you think will make a difference for you. You are worth fire alarms for each room of your house. In fact, remember this the next time you go shopping and you see something that you want but you think is too expensive: There is no price tag worth more than you! This doesn’t mean spend foolishly and buy everything. There is a difference between it’s too expensive and I choose not to buy it. Be wise with your purchases, but make sure to invest in the greatest machine ever – your body. It amazes me to see people with luxury sedans putting premium fuel in their car and Big Macs or Whoppers in their body. You are worth investing in, and you are certainly worth investing 40 minutes per day
When should you practice Self-hypnosis? The biggest problem most people have with any type of meditative process is that they don’t think they have the time. If your days are packed with activity from sunup to sundown, and you don’t have one minute more to spare, then I would recommend two things. 33
First, learn to gain perspective on what’s really important in your life. From my experience, when people tell me of lifestyles packed with activity, their days are often filled with busywork, but very rarely are they productive. If this sounds familiar, perhaps a program on learning how to organize your day would be beneficial to you. But if you don’t have time to go to a program that can teach you how to organize your day because you are too busy (heavy sigh of pity from me if you just used that excuse to not attend one, by the way) the second solution can be immediately implemented. Get up 20 minutes early and stay up 20 minutes late. I know, you already sleep as little as possible and you can’t afford to give up any of your sleep because you won’t be productive. I’ve heard all the excuses before. But the fact is that 40 minutes of selfhypnosis is equivalent to several hours of sleep. So if you eliminate 40 minutes of sleep from your life to add 40 minutes of selfhypnosis, you will actually be coming out ahead. When you’re ready to do two sessions, twice per day, I recommend either once in the morning and once in the afternoon, or once in the afternoon and once in the evening – not before you go to sleep, though. When people tell me they meditate or do self-hypnosis in bed before they go to sleep, they are just giving me a cop out. What’s worse, they are giving themselves a cop out. That’s not really hypnosis or meditation, that’s called going to sleep! Incidentally, meditating in the morning doesn’t count either if you are hitting the snooze button for 20 minutes! Your personal preference and lifestyle should determine if you do a morning or evening session. But no matter what, I would recommend always having one during the day. Why? Because that will be the most difficult one. In addition to being very difficult, it will also be the most rewarding. When working with an athlete, I strongly recommend that one of their sessions is before they practice their sport. I call it a mental warm-up. By taking time out of your day to just sit in silence, setting aside all of the things that distract you from getting in touch with who you are and what you are about, your stress levels will greatly diminish, if not completely disappear. 34
Stress is nothing more than the by-product of thinking that your life is more important than it really is. Joel Goldsmith, author of A Parenthesis in Eternity, touched on this in his book. The title of his book comes from the meaning of what a parenthesis does. What does a parenthesis do? It adds value to the meaning of a sentence. How do you know if you have used a parenthesis correctly? You can remove all of the content in between the parenthesis and the sentence will still make sense. Now let’s look at this through the metaphor of our lives. Our lives are simply a parenthesis in this eternal sentence called time. We add value to the meaning of eternity, this I am certain. Yet we can be removed from this sentence of eternity, and you know what? Eternity will still make sense without us.
Stress is the bi-product of thinking your life is more important than it really is. If you are experiencing stress in your career, it’s because you think that your career is more important than it really is. But in the perspective of eternity, your career does not mean enough to even warrant stress. While I don’t really know what will happen after you die, I am certain that when you are dead, you will not care that your boss or yourself put unrealistic deadlines on you. Stress in your relationship is the result of thinking your relationship means more than it really does. When you are dead, you are not going to care that your husband always left the toilet seat up, and you will not care that your wife spent a lot of money getting highlights put in her already beautiful hair. Stress comes from a lack of perspective. It is so easy for us to get caught up in our day-to-day activities that we attach much too much meaning to them. If you are willing to set all of those activities aside, then you immediately make a statement to the universe that you are above all the daily “stressors” that inevitably will creep into your life. By getting above all that, you gain perspective where you can begin to see how unimportant those daily challenges really are. 35
The Process: Self-hypnosis is very easy to do. If you’ve ever tried meditation and became frustrated because you couldn’t get that little voice out of your head, then hypnosis may be the solution for you. By the way, I don’t care what you call it. When I’m at the office, I tell my colleagues I’m going to do self-hypnosis. When I’m with my “newage” friends, I tell them I’m going to meditate. And when I’m back at home with the family in the Pacific Northwest, I tell them I’m going to take a nap. I don’t care what you call it, I just care that you do it. Here are a few things that can help you ease into self-hypnosis: Step #1: Relax the body. This is paramount in successfully entering a trance state to create change in your life. Why? Very simply, the mind and body are connected, so when you relax the body, the mind will naturally follow. Practice relaxing the muscles in your body from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. It’s easy to do, but it does require practice. Try this technique, starting with your feet. Flex all of the muscles through your toes up to your ankles as much as you can for 15 seconds. Then relax them just as quickly, and feel how relaxed they are. Then, tighten up the muscles in your toes, ankles, and calves for 15 seconds, then release into a relaxed state. Each time you do this, move one muscle group higher, always including the last muscle groups, and continue to relax all of them after 15 seconds. Keep doing this until you find yourself tightening every muscle in your body has much as you can for 30 seconds. Then release all of the muscles from head to toe, and imagine them to be so relaxed you just sink into your chair or bed. Imagine doing a “freefall” with your body through the 36
floor so far that you pass through the earth and fall out the other side into air until you land comfortably on a cloud. Step #2: Test your relaxation. Just like convincers in step #6 with your clients, you also want to convince yourself you are hypnotized. Ideally, once you’ve relaxed your body sufficiently, your muscles will be so relaxed they won’t be able to move, so long as you hold on to the level of relaxation you have created. I find this works best by testing the eye muscles. All the time, I know I can open them, but my goal is not to open them. All day long I prove to myself that I know how to open my eyes. During hypnosis, I want to prove to myself that I can’t open my eyes. So I simply hold on the current level of relaxation, and while holding onto that level of relaxation I try to open them and find that I cannot. Once again, all along I know I can open them if I want to, but I’m willing to play a sort of game with myself where I pretend that I can’t even though I know that I can. Step #3: Offer Suggestions. The single most important thing to remember when doing self-hypnosis is to clearly identify your intention. You must have a clearly defined intention. If you don’t, you’re meditating. In fact, usually meditation’s intention is no intention. Now here’s the bad news. Most people have more than one thing they can improve: Increased patience, better communication skills, better organizational skills, more confidence, the list goes on and on. I know that I certainly have quite a list! Here’s where you must gain clarity and understand what is most important to you in your life. That should probably be the first thing you want to work on, keep working on it until you achieve your goal. This means that you may be doing selfhypnosis for the same specific outcome 2 times per day for several days, maybe even months. But it’s paramount to only work with one intention at a time. 37
Step #4: Come back. The most common concern amongst beginners with self hypnosis is wondering how you can come back after you have hypnotized yourself. The answer is simple, and you have a few options. The first way is simply to look at your watch before you begin the hypnotic process, and just tell yourself to come back at a certain time. I think we have all experienced knowing we needed to wake up at a certain time, and sure enough, we wake up within a minute of when the alarm is ready to go off. This works on the same premise. By telling yourself to come back at a certain time, you are engaging the internal clock and essentially setting its alarm. The other option and I recommend this in the beginning as you develop your skills in hypnosis, and as a general rule anytime you need to be some place important – set an actual alarm to go off at the time you wish to come back. It’s the most reliable way of ensuring you don’t fall asleep and then miss an important appointment. I would recommend using a radio alarm clock so you don’t awaken to an annoying buzzing alarm. The third option works great if you have no place to go, no agenda, and can afford to stay out a lot longer than 20 minutes. Simply tell your unconscious mind while you are beginning the hypnotic process to awaken you whenever it feels you have rested sufficiently. This way, it may take 5 minutes, 20 minutes, or even an hour, but as long as you have no pressing appointments, you might as well let it last as long as you can.
It’s a matter of perspective… As you begin the process in step one, relaxing your body. There are three different ways in which you can instruct yourself to relax your body. The three phrases below represent the options: I Am Relaxing
You Are Relaxing
He/She is Relaxing
Deciding which phrase is the best way to speak to yourself (when I say, “speak to yourself” I’m referring to silently in your mind, not out loud) is a critical element in making sure you are successful in selfhypnosis. In choosing which one you will use, remember this: The most important thing to remember when doing self hypnosis is that you must trust your unconscious mind and know that whatever happens during self hypnosis is exactly what is supposed to happen. So, whichever way of speaking to yourself you choose, you must trust that this is the correct way. So this next portion of the workbook is designed to assist you in exercising this trust. It is important that you actually do these next instructions exactly as I say, and you must do them as you read this in order for it to work effectively. Do not wait to do it later; do not read through the entire process first and then do it; do the process right now as you read through this workbook for the first time. It will take no extra time to do, so you do not need to schedule a time to do this. If you have time to read this right now, you have time to do these exercises. In selecting which type of phrase you offer yourself, you want to make sure that the way you speak to your unconscious mind makes the most impact. So how can you ensure that your unconscious understands what you are saying? How can you phrase your dialogue in a way that will make the most impact? Before I share with you which phrase is the best one to use, I want you to exercise your trust in your unconscious mind. Circle only one of the phrases below. Circle the phrase that you feel would be the best way to speak with your unconscious mind. Remember, this is an exercise of trust, so if you just keep reading to get the answer, that’s not trusting yourself. And if you just mentally decide 39
which one it is, but will wait to circle the one that’s right only after you have read on to discover the answer, that is also not trusting your unconscious mind. The only way to trust your unconscious mind in this exercise is to actually circle the phrase you think would be best. If you don’t have a writing implement with you, go get one, and circle it. This is imperative in order to have this exercise work. I Am Relaxing
You Are Relaxing
He/She is Relaxing
As you read the above 3 phrases, they all say the same thing, but one is done in 1st person, the others in 2nd and 3rd person. Now that you have circled the answer that you think is best, congratulations. You just started trusting your unconscious mind. For you see, the right answer will be different for each person. Whichever one you circled, that is the right one, why else would you have circled it? Something compelled you inside to circle the one you did. If you’ve ever read a self-hypnosis book that said you should always speak to yourself in 1st person, or maybe a book that said only in 2nd person, just know that what the author is really saying is, “this is what works best for me, and I’m going to assume that it will work best for you.” However, this is just not the case. Speak in whichever way feels best for you personally. Once you’ve decided which person to speak to yourself in, you have two more options: Inside My Body
Outside My Body
“Inside My Body” simply means when you speak you are inside your body, fully associated. “Outside My Body” means that wherever you are physically sitting, you are imagining that you are floating out of your body and you are looking at yourself speaking in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd person. If you have selected “Inside My Body” you are ready to begin. If you have selected “Outside My Body” then you have one more option. From which perspective will you disassociate from 40
yourself? This is best accomplished by imagining floating out of your body, and then trying the different perceptual positions to “see” which feels best (i.e. above, below, to the left, to the right, in front or behind). [See figure 6]
To bring yourself back from hypnosis, I recommend setting an alarm clock for 20 minutes. Figure 6 A radio alarm clock is better than something with annoying beeps. In time, you will find that your unconscious mind can bring you back within a minute or so of the 20-minute goal without the alarm, but until then, just use an alarm because it’s easier.
Whatâ€™s the difference between Meditation and Self-Hypnosis? The answer is primarily, the spelling. To compare the differences between Meditation and Self-Hypnosis would be like comparing the differences between a Christian and a Protestant â€“ they are essentially, the same thing. A Protestant falls under the Christian community, much like Self-Hypnosis is an outtake from the Meditative community. However, there are a few subtle differences. To compare hypnosis to meditation in general is slightly unfair because there are thousands of different kinds of meditation. Many approaches to meditation are practiced throughout the world. If this comparison does not exactly match your understanding of meditation, I apologize. I will have to generalize all meditations into one process. With most meditations you are given a mantra to control your thoughts. These mantras come in many different flavors. Many of them are auditory, such as a word you would repeat over and over as in the Transcendental Meditation process. Some mantras are visual, like the cross, the rosary beads, or the flickering of a flame. Yet others are focused on the feelings of the body such as the case with Yoga, when you focus on a specific pose, or your breathing. The Native American cultures will sometimes use edible mantras like the Peyote, and others will use mantras of the scent such as the peace pipe or various incense. No matter what its form, its main purpose is to control the wandering thoughts of the individual. Since hypnosis is done from an auditory perspective, I will compare hypnosis to the spoken mantra. In the beginning stages, most newcomers to meditation get very frustrated because they start saying their mantra only to get distracted by runaway thoughts. A common dialogue of a newcomer to meditation might sound like this, 42
“Peace…peace…peace…peace…I sure could go for a piece of pie right now, and man I’m hungry… wait! No! I forgot… peace… peace… peace… peace… ooh I just remembered I have to repair that piece of furniture tomorrow before my friends get back in town… What am I doing? No! Peace… peace… peace… “ And the mental battle continues. They tend to beat themselves up for forgetting to chant the mantra. But if you were to speak to a Zen Master, perhaps a Buddhist Monk who has meditated faithfully for over 50 years they would tell you that the magic of meditation does not lie in the mantra, but it exists instead in the space between the mantra. [See figure 7]
It’s this silent space where meditation exists. The goal is to elongate the space between the words through time. In fact, when this happens, time implodes and you obtain transcendence. [See Figure 8]
Now with hypnosis, we use words as well. But they are usually not repeated words, but rather, various sentences much like you would use in normal dialogue. These sentences are for the purpose of telling the unconscious mind what needs to happen in order for you to succeed at your outcome. But with hypnosis, the magic of the process actually does exist in the words. That’s the most important process. But as you can see from the graphic below, it takes you to
the same ‘place’ as the meditative state. [See figure 9] NOTE: When I say that hypnosis can take you to the same place as meditation, I say this with much reserve, for I do not consider myself to be a Zen Master in all the different arts of meditation, and since most meditations have a spiritual foundation, I am willing to
keep a doorway of possibility open that in fact, some mediations can take you to a mental space different than that of hypnosis. 44
However, I have interviewed many people whom I consider to be spiritual masters from many sects over the years, and they have all concurred with my theory. Nonetheless, since I have neither experienced the results, nor interviewed all of the masters, Iâ€™m open for the possibility of greater levels of awareness through some meditations unobtainable through hypnosis.
Frequently Asked Questions Hopefully by now this book has answered most of your questions, but just in case, hereâ€™s a list of frequently asked questions that we havenâ€™t answered in the book thus far... How does hypnosis feel? Since hypnosis is a natural state of mind, clients are often surprised that they hear every word. Unless one enters a deeper state, or at least a medium state, he or she may not "feel" any different than when relaxing in their favorite easy chair with a good book. One may feel quite mellow, and may feel weightless or perhaps very heavy as if sinking into the chair. If one enters a deep state of hypnosis the feeling may even be euphoric. In a light state, it is entirely possible for the client to believe that he or she was not actually hypnotized because it felt identical to the waking state. How do you induce hypnosis? A. Fixation of attention, or "fixed gaze" methods, were primarily used during the 1800's, and are the ones usually used by Hollywood. Many people do not respond to eye fixation inductions; thus, a hypnotist employing only this type of induction could easily mislabel people who might respond quite well to other induction types as "insusceptible". B. Progressive relaxation methods are frequently used on selfhypnosis tapes, as well as by some facilitators of meditation. It is common for those who actually use progressive relaxation methods of this type to deny their use of hypnosis. Some even go so far as to say they don't believe in hypnosis, even though their relaxation techniques are actually hypnotic. C. Loss of equilibrium: most of us seem to have an inherited desire to be gently rocked, as is evidenced by the millions of rocking 46
chairs available. Mothers "hypnotize" their babies to sleep by rocking them. D. Shock to nervous system: the paternal "rapid" inductions frequently used by stage hypnotists are examples of this induction type, employing a sudden emphatic command given in a surprising manner. The participant or client will experience a "moment of passivity" during which he or she will either resist the trance, or "let go" and drop quickly into hypnosis. What makes hypnotherapy different than cognitive therapy? Cognitive counselling deals with issues at a cognitive level; and many of life's problems require just that. When someone has to make difficult cognitive decisions, competent professional help is absolutely essential. For example, hypnotherapy is not a substitute for marriage counselling. But when it comes to changing habits or behaviours regulated by the subconscious, hypnotherapy can be a wonderful tool to facilitate change. However, hypnosis is not a panacea for all of life's problems, and it should not be advertised as such. It's also important to realize that a competent hypnotherapist recognizes that he or she is not licensed to diagnose (unless trained and licensed to do so). While a physician, psychologist, or licensed mental health practitioner may be qualified to diagnose or "label" the cause of someone's problem, it is advisable for the hypnotherapist to avoid doing so. A diagnostician formulates a professional opinion on the cause of a problem. A competent hypnotherapist may ask the client's unconscious mind to disclose the cause, and then either proceeds or refers accordingly, based on the information disclosed. How can hypnosis be used to quit smoking or manage weight? There are many roads leading from Delhi to Mumbai; likewise there are many ways to successfully help someone quit smoking or lose weight. But the key is simple: The client must choose to change. If 47
this is not so, long-term success is very unlikely. Hypnosis cannot make someone quit smoking or lose weight. Hypnosis can simply make the process of becoming a non-smoker an easy one. Hypnosis can make the process of losing weight an easy one by increasing a desire to exercise or eat healthfully, but it is not magic. If the client has no desire to eat healthfully, and does not want to exercise, then success is highly unlikely through the use of hypnosis. Can hypnosis be used to reduce pain and/or suffering from illness? Yes, hypnosis can be very effective in alleviating unwarranted pain in the body and discomfort from many ailments. It is important to realize though that pain is a warning that something needs attention with the body, and it needs to be diagnosed by someone qualified to do so. Any competent hypnotherapist knows the importance of requiring a written referral from an examining physician before ever using hypnosis to reduce pain or other physical symptoms. The only exception for those who are unlicensed to practice medicine is if the examining physician is physically present and/or is supervising the hypnotic process. Is hypnosis dangerous? Because all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, and the client is in complete control at all times, hypnosis in and of itself is not dangerous. If it were, we would all be in jeopardy every time we get engrossed in a good book, movie, or TV show. If hypnosis is used in conjunction with drugs or medication, adverse effects may occur; however, it should be noted that the adverse effects are predominately a result of the drugs or medication. An unlicensed hypnotherapist is not allowed to prescribe medication or use chemical intervention with hypnosis; therefore, hypnosis only has the potential to become "dangerous" if it is used by licensed healthcare professionals entitled to administer medication.
Taking Hypnosis Deeper If you have enjoyed this book and would like to learn even more about the exciting world of hypnosis, it would be my honour to be your guide. We run many hypnosis programmes up and down the country just go to our web site www.goanlp.in alternatively you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org Until then, take care, dare to dream, and make each day an epic adventure! To Your Success, Dr David J Lincoln