Home Go to Hypnotherapy
Testing The Hypnotic Trance: Part 1
by Michael Robinson, MSN, RN-BC
Editor´s Note from Cynthia Lindner: In my experiences of helping people with hypnosis I have found that for some people it is very helpful to elicit trance phenomene to convince them that trance did indeed happen. This article gives instructions for testing the hypnotic state when doing self-hypnosis.
The only purpose of testing is to satisfy yourself as to the depth of self-hypnosis that you have reached. Some people never use tests because they easily learn to recognize the "feeling" of hypnosis and do not question or worry about depth. If you are one of those fortunate people and already realize that you have achieved self-hypnosis, do not waste time on tests. Use this time to program your nervous system with positive ideas and mental pictures. If you are still having trouble recognizing the "feeling" of hypnosis, the tests will prove to you that you are hypnotizing yourself.
There are several tests that we have used in our classes that you can give yourself. They are the handclasp, arm-rigidity, arm levitation and eye catalepsy tests. You can easily re-create these at home. The eye catalepsy test is done as follows: After hypnotizing yourself, picture two windows with the shades drawn. Then visualize that the springs in the rollers have lost their tension and therefore it is impossible to raise the shades. When you have a good picture of this, imagine that your eyes are the windows, and your eyelids are the window shades, then relax the muscles in the eyelids so much that they would not work if you wanted them to. When you KNOW that you have relaxed them that much, roll your eyeballs up in your head as if you were going to look out a hole in your forehead, now say, "My eyelids are so relaxed they just won't work," then try to open your eyes. Now, when we say try to open your eyes, we do NOT mean that you should try and keep on trying, because if you struggle long enough you lighten your state of hypnosis. Just give a brief try and when the thought comes, "good heavens they're really stuck," RELAX, stop trying.
The handclasp test is given in this manner: Clasp your hands together tightly and extend your arms out in front of yourself with your elbows straight. Now imagine a strong rope being looped around your arms at the elbows in such a manner that it draws the elbows toward each other. Now imagine that there is a strong liquid glue being poured over your hands and that it is drying hard and sticking your hands together into one solid mass. Think about the rope around your arms being drawn even tighter. Develop this to the point where your arms are strained and stiff. Think again of the glue as now being hard and solid around your hands. Keep this in mind as you go back once more to the rope. When you are imagining the rope vividly as getting tighter, you can try hard to take your hands apart, but you will be unable to do so. Let the thought go through your mind that the harder you try, the more firmly your hands are stuck together. You will find this is so!
Arm-rigidity test: After hypnotizing yourself, extend your arm straight out in front of you. Curl the fingers of that hand into a tight fist. Now imagine your arm as if it were carved out of wood and sticking straight out in front of you stiff and rigid! Keep thinking of your arm this way -- stiff and rigid. Now, imagine that you are writing the word "rigid" on the blackboard and that each time you write the word "rigid" your arm gets stiffer. See your arm so stiff and rigid that you cannot bend it. See yourself trying to bend your arm but the more you try the stiffer it becomes. After a few seconds tell yourself to relax and let your arm drop to your side.
This is the way you give yourself the arm levitation test at home: Hypnotize yourself and give yourself this suggestion: "I am going to count to ten, as I do a pleasant feeling of lightness moves into my hand and arm, as I continue counting my fingers begin to lift and move, then my hand begins to lift and finally my arm begins to lift and continues rising until it is touching my face. Imagine as clearly as you can a balloon tied to your wrist with a piece of strong string. Imagine that this is a big balloon filled with gas and it is so light it is pulling your arm up. Now begin counting to ten. With each count imagine another balloon is being tied to your arm. Develop this image clearly. Think about the color of the balloons being tied to your arm, think about their size and shape. As each balloon is tied to your wrist feel the pull of the balloons increasing. At the count of ten as the last balloon is tied to your arm, think of your arm floating up, higher and higher. Do NOT try to resist. This is not a contest, you could resist if you chose to, but that is not the purpose of the test.
Please "Add a Comment" at the bottom of this page or blog in our Forum here.
Please do not use apostrophes in your comments.
About the Author
Michael Robinson, MSN, RN-BC is a Board Certified Registered Nurse, who specializes in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, including trauma, relationships, weight related issues, learning to feel confident about yourself and your decisions and understanding the effect of unconscious processes and their effect on your emotions and behavior.
Michael uses and teaches Analytical Hypnotherapy and develops text-based scripts and metaphors to guide individuals into more productive states of awareness. He is American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association (APMHA) Certified in Medical/Analytical Hypnotherapy and in Trauma Resolution. Michael has been a mental health syndicated columnist, and uses treatment to teach people their own value and the wisdom of their own good decisions. He uses hypnosis to assist in providing alternatives through work with unconscious processes when people are having a difficulty with current negative perceptions. He believes all life is a growth experience, within which self respect, love and happiness can be found.
He is President of the Board of Directors 2012-2014 of APMHA.
Learn more at: http://hypnosiseducationcenter.com.