Yesterday, I showed one of my students a lovely little technique that started out being a suggestibility test written about by Ormond McGill and other stage hypnotists, but that I had adapted slightly to be used as a fun and slightly novel hypnosis induction.

Firstly, I took out a rubber band and placed it around my own hand. It is important to demonstrate first and then explain the other person that this is what I am going to do with their hand in just a minute. I asked for permission to do so and he agreed.

Next, I then asked him to raise his hand up and stare at the back of it, while I placed the rubber band around his hand and asked him to resist the sensation and hold his hand out strong, stretching the rubber band for a few moments and to remember every detail of the experience prior to us talking it off his hand again.

So then we take it off and now that they have a real life example of the sensation, they are asked to use their imagination and I asked him to keep his eyes fixed on the back of his hand and imagine that the rubber band was still there.

Now, while imagining the rubber band is wrapped around their hand, they are to really engage their imagination and strain against it and force their fingers as far apart as they possibly can.

As they do this, the hypnotist now suggests that this imaginary rubber band is continually pulling against their fingers as they stretch them out. When used as a suggestibility test, this ascertains the ability of the individual to use their imagination and demonstrates ideo-motor responses and so on.

As hypnotist using this as an induction, you now start to suggest that they imagine the rubber band holding on strong and beginning to win out over the hand: “Imagine the rubber band is pulling in tighter as it’s natural stretch continues to pull your fingers in as you strain harder and harder to keep them in that weakening position… Start thinking to yourself that the harder you try to keep your fingers from drawing together the more they start to move closer together” you can embellish this some more and repeat it with some force.

Suggest that they are imagining the fingers closing as they strain to keep them open. Then you can do one of two things.

Firstly, you can suggest that as the fingers touch close, the persona eyes close and they go inside themselves and become hypnotised, and you start the deepening process.

Secondly, you can ask them to close their eyes and continue to imagine the fingers closing and use the fingers drawing together as a deepener itself: “As your fingers draw closer, so you reach deeper inside your mind and go deeper down now…” Again, of course you embellish and develop and repeat.
You can make suggestions that you are trying very hard to resist the fingers closing, but the strength in the fingers is lessening and the rubber band keeps on relentlessly drawing them in. You may even suggest that it becomes inevitable that the fingers close.

“And as you reach the conclusion that the inevitable is soon to happen, and the fingers close, so you close off all connection with all other distractions and just go deep inside, focusing on going deeper…”

You can then take this even further should you wish and suggest that the fingers become clamped or welded together and are stuck shut if you want to use it for a convincer or further suggestibility test. You could then just suggest that the hand drops to their lap as they go deeper, or be a bit Ericksonian and suggest that all the time it takes for the hand to move to a resting position in their lap is all the time that it takes for them to go to the deepest level of hypnosis available to them today.

of course, when you bring them out of the hypnosis session, you tell them that it was all the imagination and that the sensation in the fingers and that hand are back to their usual way of being and the fingers do separate easily as they would usually expect.

It is a neat little way of having some fun and inducing hypnosis with a highly advanced prop of a rubber band… Though, you could of course do it all without the prop, the reality of the experience is heightened with the demonstration and actual experience of the rubber band used before hand.

Hope you get to have a go at using this.