Hypnosis 1

Hypnosis polarises people. Most are gobsmacked by its effects, others think it's all trickery. Others think the effects are real but result from deep-seated needs people have to obey authority, in this case the authority of the hypnotist.

Having dabbled in this a bit in recent years, and read Milton Erickson's extensive writings based on his research in the area (Erickson is deemed probably the greatest ever hypnotist, but was also a serious researcher), it seems to me that hypnosis is absolutely real, but is also at the same time not what others say it is. Including Erickson. But another day for that.

Here's a way you can 'hypnotise' yourself very quickly. We'll start with what's normally considered an advanced example of the art, just to show that this is all a lot easier than is sometimes made out. No staring into the eyes, swinging watches, not even any of Erickson's delightful verbal trickery. One of the hypnotic show-stoppers is arm levitation, having your arm float up without you doing it. We'll try that.

Sit comfortably somewhere and raise your arm as you normally would. Then let it come down and rest. You probably made some effort to 'lift' your arm, because of course you have to do that, otherwise it won't move. Now with the fingers of the hand of your other arm, just gently rub on some surface, like the arm of the chair, or the top of your leg - anything. Keep your attention on the feelings in your fingers as you rub. Now raise your other original arm again, while keeping your attention on the feeling in those fingers, NOT on the arm you want to raise.

Does it rise effortlessly, all by itself? You might find that your attention shifted to the arm and away from your fingers, but that's OK - with a bit of practice you'll be able to keep your main focus only on the fingers and raise the other arm at the same time. Without any effort at all - it'll just raise all by itself, following your intention. What's more I bet you can keep it up there, effortlessly, for minutes at a time, if you keep your main focus on those rubbing fingers.

If you manage it, well done. It takes most a long time to master this in hypnosis training schools.


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