Those of you that read this blog on a regular basis know and will have read time and again that part of the regular self-hypnosis personal development processes that I offer up here require you to induce self-hypnosis at the beginning.
I suggest people use the eye fixation method, the Betty Erickson technique, magnetic hands processes or the trigger techniques outlined in my book, for example.
Today is one of those days that I think I’d like to offer up another such process. This is a self-hypnosis induction technique, it can be used at the beginning of any of the self-hypnosis sessions I outline at this blog or within some of my tuition audio programmes.
It engages the imagination and makes use of nature’s law, in a way that many hypnosis professionals refer to as a ‘biological’ induction and includes inherently within it a convincer too – that is, it convinces you that self-hypnosis is occurring by the way it is carried out.
Important note: The people who benefit the most from these type of self-hypnosis inductions are the ones who really engage their imagination, focus on the instructions and absorb themselves in the process… What would you rather do; nothing, or engage your imagination, focus and absorb yourself to benefit the most?
Follow these simple steps.
The Heavy Arm Self-Hypnosis Induction Method:
Step One: Just get yourself comfortable and be in a place where you will be undisturbed for the duration of this session, ideally sat up in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your arms uncrossed and ready to begin.
Just allow yourself to get settled and comfortably seated, with your feet flat on the floor and your arms and legs uncrossed and not touching each other.
Adjust yourself so that your head is nicely balanced and comfortable upon your shoulders and your body is at a most comfortable posture.
Throughout this hypnosis induction process, you may notice certain changes happening immediately whereas others might take a few moments, trust that you are doing this in the way that is right for you, you are unique and respond in your own unique way.
Then take a nice deep breath and as you exhale, allow your eyes to comfortably close and begin.
As I say in many of my audio programmes, you don’t have to sit perfectly still throughout these self-hypnosis induction processes, but the more still you are, the less awareness you’ll start to have of your physical body as the session progresses and so, the deeper your experience may well be, so experiment with stillness as much as you find it comfortable to do so. Stillness means you tend to get less distractions and so do consider benefiting from incorporating stillness into your sessions.
Then move on to the next step.
Step Two: In this nice seated posture, with the crown of your head pointing to the ceiling and your shoulders relaxed.
It is an attentive posture you want to have, with your feet flat on the floor and your hands by your sides or on your lap and not touching each other. I prefer to be attentive than too slouched and relaxed which tends to encourage people to wander off, lack focus and even fall asleep, which is not all that useful – unless you want and need more sleep.
With your eyes closed, take your right hand and arm and hold it straight out in front of you, palm facing down. Simply hold your right arm and hand straight out in front of you, palm facing down and with it there in that position, be aware of the feelings that you are having in your right arm and hand right now at this time while it is being held aloft and in front of you like that.
Imagine that there is a bucket resting on your hand, and every relaxed breath you breathe from here onwards and for the duration of this induction process, fills the bucket with more water, making it feel as if it is getting heavier and heavier.
Get really mindful of the sensation that exists within the arm, become aware of as much as you possibly can about the arm. Scan along it and within it with your mind.
Start to notice what you notice. Is there tension anywhere? Are any (even tiny and subtle) movements occurring? What else are you noticing? Tell yourself and feedback to yourself what you notice as you hold you arm out. Become as aware of the entire arm as possible in these moments.
Imagine the bucket continuing to fill with water with each breath you breathe, getting heavier and heavier and harder to keep in that position and move on to the next step.
Step Three: Now continue to pay attention to that arm because this is the stage all the fun and hypnosis is going to start happening.
Imagine it (your arm) is beginning to feel heavier and heavier, imagine it is getting heavier and let it feel heavier and heavier. This is made easier by the fact it is being held and gravity is naturally pulling on it, but start to let it take over a little bit by advancing that sensation of heaviness using your imagination.
As you imagine the arm getting heavier, notice that thinking about the heaviness creates a tendency for your arm to become heavier, feeling as if it is getting heavier and heavier. Affirm this by saying to yourself those words “heavier and heavier” repeatedly as you continue to let your imagination make the arm feel heavy.
As it feels as if it is getting heavier and heavier, also imagine the arm starts to very slowly, but surely move downwards.
Tell yourself what that feels like, tell yourself using your internal dialogue in your own head, feeding back as you did earlier. State to yourself that your arm is moving downwards.
The heaviness in your arm grows with your continued imagination of such and as it grows and feels heavier, so you want to also become more relaxed, more comfortable and at ease. So imagine that each movement of your arm going downwards starts to make every other muscle in your body more relaxed and comfortable.
Continue paying attention to your arm all the time as it feels as if it is getting heavier, you imagine it getting heavier, as it moves downwards, so you relax and now start to tell yourself you are going deeper into hypnosis.
Tell yourself this with volition, do not allow other thoughts in to distract, repeat that sentiment, relax with the sentiment (too much effort or stress can impede the progress you make) and repeatedly tell yourself you go into hypnosis as you focus on the arm moving downwards and the body relaxing everywhere else.
You might notice your breathing changing as you relax more, if so, enjoy that and tell yourself that it is happening.
You are creating a chain of progressive things occurring here:
Imagine your arm is moving lower and feeling heavier in order to show you how deeply hypnotised you are becoming and how much more relaxed you are right now…
Just as you think your hand is going to reach the chair or your lap or anything else, move on to the next step.
Step Four: When your hand reaches your lap, it rests, it relaxes and flops into a comfortable position where the relaxation continues to spread through your body. Imagine the newly experienced relaxation in the resting arm spreading to everywhere else. Maybe even let out an audible ‘sigh’ as the arm reaches the lap or chair and then enjoy the relaxation developing from it.
Use words like “relaxing” and “comforting” to describe your ongoing experience and enjoy the arm no longer being heavy, just relaxed and feeling so good. Continue to affirm that you are drifting deeper into hypnosis, and you can commence with the latter stages of the self-hypnosis session.
Step Five: Use any deepening process you wish to use should you require it before moving on to the next step.
Step Six: Do the content/changework of your session, following instructions taught to you, or following a protocol, or simply giving yourself suggestions or affirmations.
Step Seven: Exit hypnosis. You can follow the full protocol that I usually recommend if you feel it is necessary, as outlined in my book or elsewhere. Alternatively, take a good couple of deep, energising breaths, wiggle your fingers and toes and open your eyes while you gradually reorient yourself to the environment you are in.
There you have it, another self-hypnosis induction procedure to follow and use as you see fit. Enjoy it.
For a full, evidence based approach to learning self-hypnosis and it’s many applications, grab a copy of my book The Science of Self-Hypnosis: The Evidence Based Way to Hypnotise Yourself.
an effective way to induce self hypnosis but can also be used by the therapist to induce a hypnotic state for therapy. It is the patient’s imagination that is changing the therapist suggestion into reality
It certainly can Bobby, you are quite right. Best wishes, Adam.
I am a family physician n a hypnotherapist n thank you for sharing this induction technique. My question is how do we know if client moves the stretched out arm down because of a building up sensation of strain over the arm n taking the easy way out to allow it to drop down to a more comfortable rest position on the lap? This happens when used on older folks in their mid fifties n having some cervical spondylosis that is common ailment that comes with the ageing wear n tear process. Regards
That is part of the reason for using such a process – that the arm gets heavy naturally anyway. It is a great example of what the famous hypnosis researcher, Ted Barber, used to refer to as ‘coupling’ of suggestions. Eye fixation inductions work in a very similar way. The arm is going to get heavy from being held there anyway, that is gravity and natural sensation in the arm, but you couple that real-life sensation with the imagined response of it getting heavier, the subsequent elicitation of ideo-motor response and the ensuing responsiveness to the suggestion.
Best wishes to you, Adam.