fascinating hypnosis experiences

by mike

I have been hypnotised many times: initially to help a university friend with a psychology project on hypnosis and cognition; because I found the experience interesting, she then hypnotised me 6 times "for fun". Currently, I am undergoing psychotherapy, and my therapist hypnotises me regularly during the sessions. I am very responsive to hypnosis, and always find it an interesting and enjoyable experience.

Trance induction for my first experiences involved "eye fixation" and direct instruction: I focused on a dot on the ceiling placed slightly above my natural line of sight, and followed the instructions given. After a short time, my eyelids became very heavy, then closed. Thereafter, apart from general awareness of my friend's voice, I recalled little of what happened...

I was somnambulistic - in a very deep trance which lasted 2 hours, during which, apparently, my eyes were open, I walked around, and completed all tasks required for my friend's study. I later estimated my trance had lasted "about 10 minutes"!

According to my friend, only about 10% of people can enter such profound hypnosis. She had reckoned I'd be very responsive because I can concentrate hard for long periods; enjoy role play/ acting, theatre and film, and am an avid reader. Also, I can roll my eyes right up into my head, and easily keep them there - often a good indicator of hypnosis capability. I am also playful, and am interested in the mind, psychology, human behaviour etc: i.e. I'm open to new interpersonal experiences; will suspend critical judgement, and don't mind experimenting - providing, I'll add, that the other person is trustworthy!

Subsequent sessions (for fun) were different: I remembered everything because she instructed me to. Each of the 6 sessions lasted about an hour, and during them I experienced numerous hypnosis phenomena. She induced limb rigidity and paralysis, "taking control" of my arms, and placing them in different positions, where they remained until she moved them again. She had me dancing with non-existent people, juggling imaginary balls, and holding "conversations" with famous people from history. My hand was numbed, and a needle passed through the skin on its back - there was no pain, and no significant bleeding! Most amazingly, I was able to recall and discuss long forgotten events from my childhood.

My current hypnosis experiences are different. My therapist induces trance by the "conversational method": I listen to the stories she weaves, and rapidly enter a very relaxed, immobile, but highly focused state. My eyes remain open, but often, I'm told, roll up into my head. I don't really "see" anything other than a bluish/ grey "blur", but I hear my therapist's voice, and respond to her questions and comments. I am usually in trance for about 30 minutes, during which we discuss difficult issues and things that trouble me. It's very helpful for advancing discussion of tricky subjects. She then talks me out of trance, and afterwards I always feel great - "supercharged".

The "conversational method" is very interesting. The first time I was hypnotised this way, I didn't know it was happening - until I "came to" some time later having discussed matters about which I'd previously been inhibited! This does not mean someone can be hypnotised against their will, but in the right context, with a trusted therapist, someone who has a need (who is "blocked") may be hypnotised without their conscious awareness of the process.

To summarise, I enjoy hypnosis, and find it fascinating: I have had some fun experiences of it, but it has also been helpful to me in my life. Anyone considering hypnotherapy can rest assured that in the hands of a competent, ethical, hypnotist there is nothing to fear. No-one can be hypnotised against their will, and you're never "under" the hypnotist's control: it's a cooperative process of focused interpersonal communication, which is why trust and confidence in the hypnotist is so important - a good rapport is vital for it to be effective. I am unusually responsive to hypnosis, but most people can be hypnotised if they want to be: as with much in life, the more you practice something the better at it you tend to become.

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