Day- dreaming is a simple from of self- hypnosis in which we all indulge from time to time. The rhythm of a car engine and the humming sound that speeding tyres produce can together induce varying degrees of hypnosis, particularly when accompanied by monotonous motorway scenery. Absorption in a novel or a television presentation can also induce a hypnotic trance. As these occasions illustrate, you can become fully hypnotized though your eyes remain open, and this holds true even at the deeper levels.
If we all knew the extent to which self-hypnosis enters into the phenomenon of falling in love, much agony and many unhappy marriages could be avoided. Falling is often a more aptly descriptive verb than we are aware of at the time.
As you read the next few dozen sentences, make yourself more comfortable, tense your neck, arms, shoulders- tense them now and then relax them as fully as you can. Take a deep breath, then slowly exhale and imagine you are reading these words to someone sitting nearby. You are reading perhaps a little more slowly and clearly than you customarily speak. Clarity is assured if you place some stress or emphasis on the ‘ess’ sounds. Speak aloud if it is convenient to do so. And you are saying “please relax now, as much as you can, and now listen closely and discover that just by listening you can relax even more. Tense and then relax each part of the body a little at a time, starting with the toes, tense them a little then just let them go limp, lazy, relaxed. And next, the rest of the foot, and the ankles, so that your ankles and feel - feel limp, lazy and relaxed. And this sensation of relaxation rises up and passes to the legs, the knees, the thighs, progressing upwards slowly to the shoulders and back muscles, to the neck and head. Now as you are listening to my voice and only to my voice and only to my voice you will notice a stiffness in your jaw muscles and you will tense and relax your jaw do it now. Sensing a dryness in your throat you will pause a moment to swallow and you will swallow now and go deeper in to relaxation. Counting now from one to five, at the count of five you will become fully alert, feeling rested and revitalized….. One, two, three, four, five, fully awake, feeling great…..!”
If you are as susceptible to verbal persuasion as most of us are, you may have noticed that your own voice has a natural hypnotic effect, and you will have guessed the reason. All skillful manipulators introduce sibilant sounds in their speech to lull the mind into a state of ready suggestibility, of hypnosis. Watch how often this is used in advertising presentations. Incidentally, a competent hypnotist has no need to resort to trick vocabulary though he will tend, quite naturally, to avoid harsh sounding words and phrases, as inducing a state of relaxation is the aim. The need to use precise, literal phrases in guiding the subconscious is essential, as you will fully appreciate later.