How Hypnosis Induction Works
How Hypnosis Induction Works - A classic image that comes
to mind when we think of hypnosis induction is a pocket watch, gently swaying back and forth in a steady rhythm.
The subject gazes at the smooth, melodic motion of the watch, while the melancholy voice of the hypnotist lulls the
subject into the land of dreams.
“You're eyes are getting heavy,” says the soothing voice. “You are feeling very sleepy.”
Sure enough, even if you're sitting in the audience, you may feel the urge to force yourself awake. Inducing a
person into a state of hypnosis is in fact, a natural occurring phenomenon that many people reach on their own
Consider your conscious mind like a light fixture with a dimmer switch to understand how hypnosis induction
works. When the conscious mind is fully alert and in charge, the light is fully bright. However, as the conscious
mind gives way to the subconscious, the light becomes dimmer and dimmer. When you are deeply engrossed in reading a
novel, the light dims and you may not be able to hear someone speaking to you. The subconscious mind has taken over
the story, pushing the waking mind aside. This is why heavy reading often makes people sleepy.
Our waking mind frequently wanders and drifts, allowing us to enter a mild hypnotic state. How hypnosis
induction works is merely the act of recreating what the mind does quite naturally; removing distractions and
letting the waking mind become relaxed..
Self Hypnosis Induction
Self hypnosis induction is commonly an act of meditation. Clearing the mind, letting the consciousness rest and
the deeper parts of the mind take over. Some people use melodic rhythms to induce a trance-like state. Others may
use a visual image to concentrate on.
Have you every quietly sat and stared at a shoreline, watching the waves lap against the shore? Your mind will
naturally wander, and you may lose all sense of time. Sounds and images become distant, until you no longer even
see the waves. When you “come out of it” you will likely have no recollection of what you were thinking about or
how long you had been there. This is a self induced hypnotic state.
Hypnotic Handshake Induction
Naturally occurring, learned and repetitive behaviours form an auto-pilot type of function in our minds. Many
experienced hypnotists can use these automated functions that are implemented by the subconscious as a catalyst for
rapid hypnotic induction. They do this by interrupting a common chain of events, such as the actions of a
During a hypnotic handshake induction, the hypnotist will interrupt a regular unconscious action (shaking hands)
with something unexpected. For example, rather than shake the subject's hand, the hypnotist may instead hold the
subject by the wrist. This move temporarily stalls the unconscious action, leaving the mind open to suggestion.
It's like leaving a gap in the natural chain of events, and the mind can't continue until the gap is filled.
Therefore, the hypnotist has the opportunity to fill in the gap with simple hypnotic suggestion.
Stage Hypnosis Induction
Primarily used for entertainment purposes, stage hypnosis induction involves inducing a group or crowd into the
hypnotic state, and then implanting a suggestion, such as a silly act for the participants to perform.
Most hypnotists use volunteers from the audience, since it's much more likely that willing participants will
respond to the induction. The hypnotist may speak to each participant individually, to assure they are responsive.
More experienced performers, however, are able to pull the attention of the entire group to a focused level, enough
to induce them all into a light hypnotic state simultaneously.
Instant Hypnosis Induction
The true nature of instant hypnosis induction requires the subject to have already undergone hypnosis, during which
time, a specific trigger was suggested to induce or release the state of hypnosis. For example, when the hypnotist
claps their hands, the person may come fully out of hypnosis. By the same token, a word, symbol or gesture, may
cause the person to fall into the trance of hypnosis.
The widely believed myth that an experienced hypnotist can instantly put a total stranger into a deep, hypnotic
sleep with merely a word or action is untrue. Instant hypnosis induction, while sometimes used in stage
performances, is commonly used for therapeutic purposes, to help a person reach the necessary level of
unconsciousness, and subsequently, to pull them from this state of receptiveness to protect their emotional well