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How To Do Hypnosis

Lesson One: Hypnosis is natural

The first thing you need to know is that hypnosis is a very natural state. It requires no special power to hypnotise someone. If you can talk you can hypnotise. In fact, it is such a natural state that people go into hypnosis regularly without even realising it. The most common natural states occur while gazing into the flames of a fire or driving (it's that moment when you suddenly realise that you are unsure as to which route you have just driven home!) If you were to listen to some positive suggestions while in these naturally occurring trance states they would have an effect on you... so be aware of commercial radio on long journeys!

When you intentionally hypnotise someone what you are doing is operating the switch that puts them into this natural state at a time of your (and their) choosing, so that you can use it productively.

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Lesson Two: Relaxation causes trance

There are many things that have been found to cause trance, these include confusion, shock, repetition, focussed attention and relaxation. For the purposes of your studies we are going to be concentrating on relaxation, as it is the easiest to produce without offending your client. We will also be using focussed attention as this will help to stop your clients mind from wandering during the induction process. The initial induction process is all about getting the client to relax and, as many people have completely forgotten how to do this, you do need to help them out a little; most people are much more tense than they realise.

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Lesson Three: Relaxing the client

Before you actually begin the hypnotic process it is a good idea to have your client do a few physical relaxation exercises. This will put them in a much more responsive state during the actual induction and save you a great deal of time.

The easiest and most effective way to do this is to have them tense and relax their muscles. Start with the face, by having them screw it up nice and tight, hold it for a few seconds and then relax. Next have them scrunch up their shoulders, hold them relax. Move on to arms, torso, stomach area, upper (then lower) legs and finally feet. When tensing the legs and feet be sure to tell your client to pull their toes and feet up towards the body rather than pointing them out straight as this could cause cramp. You should also tell your client that if tensing a certain area might be unwise due to health problems, then they can simply skip that area. An example might be someone who has suffered with a hernia. Once you have systematically tensed and relaxed each area have them tense and relax their entire body in one go. This simple exercise will release a lot of tension and set them up nicely for the induction process.

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Lesson Four: The induction process

Now that you know that relaxation and focussed attention are two of the keys to successfully induction, you are ready to learn the induction script. You will find a basic script below that you can use to get started. It's important to remember that these words are not some kind of mystical incantation, they are not a spell that produces trance, they are simply a suggestive list of instructions and commands that will produce a relaxed state.

You can just as easily make up your own induction script using this one as a guide. The goal here is to get your client to relax, so use your imagination and embellish on what I have given you here. When you deliver the script, do so in an authoritative confident tone.

Do not be overly forceful, or your client may object to being ordered about and resist. As you learn more about trance from further studies you will learn a lot about the hypnotic voice; however at this stage my advice is to keep things very simple. Use a basic monotone, speak clearly and slowly.

As the trance progresses your voice should slow down so that you compliment their relaxed state. To induce trance have your client sit in a position that they find comfortable and continue with the script on the following pages.

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Lesson Five: The induction script

You are sitting here listening to the sound of my voice, perhaps wondering how it is that you are going to go into trance.

As you listen to these words I would like you to focus your gaze on an imaginary spot on the ceiling.

That's good, in a few moments I will begin counting, when I say the number one, I would like you to close your eyes and then on the number two, slowly open them, continue to open and close your eyes on alternating numbers in this way until your eyes feel so heavy that it would be easier and more comfortable to just let them remain closed.

Whether you eyes are closed or open I would like you to keep your focus on that spot on the ceiling. Do not lower your gaze during the numbers on which your eyes are closed, keep your eyes fixed in position and imagine that you are still gazing at the spot.


(As you progress through the numbers, begin to lower the tempo of your voice, by number 11 you should be at a relaxingly slow easy tempo. When the eyes no longer open at all go onto the next section)

  1. Close your eyes now, but keep them in position.
  2. Now slowly open them.
  3. Closing your eyes now, noticing how comfortable it feels to let them rest.
  4. Now slowly open them, continue to gaze at the spot.
  5. Closing down easily and slowly while you listen to the sound of my voice.
  6. Slowly open.
  7. Closing down now and very soon your eyelids will begin to feel very tired and heavy.
  8. Nice and slowly open.
  9. Just letting them close down now, so comfortable, so heavy and relaxed.
  10. Slowly open them and focus on that spot.
  11. More and more heavy with each number now, that's fine. More and more relaxed as your eyes begin to feel so tired now.
  12. Softly and slowly opening them again now.
  13. And closed, each time you open them it becomes more and more difficult. Heavier and heavier.
  14. Feel the heaviness in your eyelids as you open them now.
  15. And let them close down. Your eyelids are getting heavier and heavier, more and more tired with each number. That's fine. As it becomes more comfortable to just keep them closed you can allow yourself to keep them closed now.
  16. And open... so heavy... so tired.
  17. And close them down again. So comfortable and relaxed. As you listen to my voice you eyelids are becoming heavier and heavier, more and more relaxed now. Heavy and heavy with each number.
  18. Feel the heaviness increasing now as you open them.
  19. Let them close down again. Heavier and heavier now, so heavy, so tired, so relaxed, that's fine.
  20. And open.
  21. And closed. Your eyelids are so heavy now that as I continue to count it becomes increasingly difficult to open your eyes, do not try to resist this, just feel their heaviness and when it is more comfortable to keep your eyes closed, simply enjoy keeping them closed. That's fine.
  22. And slowly open.
  23. Now close them down, just let them rest for a moment and enjoy feeling your eyes resting in their sockets, that's fine.

(Your client's eyes should remain closed some time between numbers 10 and 15. Some clients will try to resist this and continue further; simply tell them that this is not an exercise to see how long they can last and they should allow their eyes to close when they feel comfortable doing so. If their eyes still open on number 22 tell them to close them and keep them closed on number 23. Then continue with the following.)

Now that your eyes are closed, I would like you to continue listening to the sound of my voice as you continue to relax. In a few short moments you will be so completely relaxed and comfortable that it will be easy for you to go into trance.

As you go into trance you will still hear my voice. You are still able to think thoughts, thoughts can be thought, but you do not have to think them, as you listen to the sound of my voice you may like to imagine your thoughts floating away, as though they are tied to a helium filled balloon that carries them effortlessly into the distance.

As you relax I wonder if you can recall how it feels when you are so completely relaxed that you lose awareness of your body. Or perhaps, what's it like when you are so comfortable, so snuggled and warm that you can sink right down into the comfort.

And maybe, sometimes when you listen so intently to what someone is saying everything else seems to melt away and as you listen to this voice now, perhaps you can imagine how does it feel as all of your tensions melt away, allowing you to sink right down into the comfort.

That's right.

I don't want you to loose awareness of your body... just yet. For now just enjoy the process. I don't know if you will go into trance quickly, or maybe take a little longer to really enjoy the process as it begins to happen right.... Now.

That's fine. Just relax and listen to the sound of my voice. You are doing just fine. To help you to relax I would like you to imagine that you are outdoors, on a wonderful summers day.

You find yourself in a safe and relaxing place, where you are free to really relax and enjoy the environment. Find a comfortable place to sit down; where you can rest for a moment, perhaps leaning against a tree or a rock, that's fine.

You are safe and secure here, safe to relax completely, and no matter how deeply you go into trance, my voice will go with you.

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Lesson Six: Relaxation through imagination

By the time you reach this section your client will already be in a suggestible state, but the induction is not complete. It is now time to relax them even further. Continue with the induction process using the following script.

As you find your comfortable place to rest and listen to my voice you can begin to allow any tensions to simply melt away from you, as though they are simply dripping out from your body and soaking down into the earth, that's fine.

To help you to relax I would like you to imagine that a small orb of positive relaxing energy is floating effortlessly above your head now. Just hovering there waiting.

You can imagine this orb any way you choose, you might see it as a light or a colour, or perhaps you can simply sense its presence.

In a few moments this orb of energy will slowly move through your body, as it does, every muscle that it touches instantly becomes twice as relaxed, allowing you to feel a soft heavy sweetness deep inside your muscles, causing your muscles to feel so very heavy, so limp and loose.

As you relax you can imagine this orb is beginning its journey now, slowly lowering deeper and deeper as it eases gentle through your scalp and deep, deep down to the very base of your brain, that's fine, relaxing you completely as it does.

As this energy begins to soak around the sides of your head it sinks deep inside your ears now, and no matter how deep into trance you go into trance my voice will always be here with you. Gliding around each side of your head now and gently soaking in and around your eyes, maybe bringing wonderfully relaxing warmth, or a cooling ease to your eyes as it does.

You can just take a few moments now to really relax all of those tiny muscles in and around your eyes, that's fine. Feel your brow ease as you relax your face, your eyes just resting in their sockets now, so comfortable, so easy and so relaxed.

As you notice your eyes relaxing this energy continues down through your cheeks and slowly into the muscles of your jaw. This wonderfully relaxed sensation soaking deep into the bones of your jaw now and as it does I would like you to just let your jaw hang limp and loose, that's fine, you are doing really well.

As you continue to relax this sensation eases its way down into the powerful muscles of your neck, muscles that have been working so hard holding your heavy head upright all day. That's fine; just allow them to relax as this sensation gently spreads out across your shoulders. Notice how your shoulders can drop a little more with each relaxing out- breath, until you feel quite free.

As you continue relaxing more and more this wonderful sensation eases its way deeper and deeper now, that's fine, deeper and deeper and just as you can go deeper and deeper into trance, this wonderful feeling can drift so deeply now so deeply down, soaking deep into your shoulders and slowly down your arms. Your arms getting heavier and heavier as you relax, more and more relaxed, until they feel nice and limp and loose, that's good.

The muscles of your arms are so relaxed now, like a handful of limp elastic bands, that's fine. As you enjoy these sensations a gentle wave of relaxation begins at your shoulders and flows all the way down your back, taking you even deeper into trance.

Deeper and deeper into trance now, with no effort required at all, it is so easy to just relax and let it happen all by itself. Just like when you go to sleep at night, you just relax and let it happen all by itself. Trance is like that now, just let go into trance and really enjoy the process as you relax deeper and deeper, that's fine.

As these feelings move down into your legs you can imagine you have been running so fast for such a long time that you are so tired now, so tired that all you want to do is rest... and now you can rest, that's right, just allow your legs to relax now, relax and let go completely, feeling the tired heaviness taking you deeper and deeper.

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Lesson Seven: Deepening the trance

The previous script will have put your client into a light state of trance. At this stage, due to relaxation, they will be more susceptible to suggestion than in normal waking consciousness; however, to ensure the hypnosis is successful you need to deepen the trance state.

Deepening scripts create an association with moving in a downward direction and going into a deeper state of trance. We are going to use a very simply script that is easy to learn here, it is very effective and many hypnotists use this method. Simply continue from where you left off with the following deepening instructions.

As a simple exercise, we have systematically relaxed your entire body, and this has been very easy for you to do. Now, it is time to go even deeper into trance and to help you to go into trance, I would like you to imagine that you are standing at the top of an escalator.

In a few moments I will begin to count down from 10 to 1. When I say the number 10 you will step onto this escalator and as I count slowly down you will ride the escalator down until I reach the number 1, where you will find yourself at the bottom of the escalator and step off.

Before we begin I would like to inform you of the magical qualities of this imaginary escalator. This is the escalator of trance, and the further down you ride the deeper into trance you will go. As I count down slowly, each number that I count takes you even deeper into trance and the deeper into trance you go the more relaxed you become. The more relaxed you become the deeper into trance you go.

So, as you stand at the top looking down I would like you to reach out now ready to step onto this escalator of trance, and...

  • 10. Step onto the escalator now and hold the hand rail as you begin your journey, deeper and deeper into trance. Each number that I
  • count takes you even deeper into trance, and the further down the escalator you ride the deeper and deeper into trance you go.
  • 9. Further down the escalator now, effortlessly gliding down into trance.
  • 8. That's fine, each number taking you deeper and deeper into trance.
  • 7. Comfortably gliding down into trance, so easily, so effortlessly, just relax and let it happen all by itself.
  • 6. Deeper and deeper now, that's fine. As you listen to the sound of my voice, taking you deeper and deeper into trance.
  • 5. Half way down the escalator now, relaxing so easily, each number taking you deeper and deeper into trance.
  • 4. Deeper and deeper, gliding effortlessly deeper and deeper down, becoming more and more relaxed with every number that passes
  • 3. As you approach the bottom of the escalator you drift deeper and deeper into trance, becoming increasingly open to the suggestions that you hear. That's fine, so deeply relaxed now.
  • 2. Almost at the bottom now, and as you reach the bottom you can step off the escalator easily and naturally, the moment you step off the escalator you fall into a deep, deep trance.... And.....
  • 1. At the very bottom now, as you step off the escalator you become ten times as relaxed, going even deeper into trance. That's fine, you are doing really well...

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Lesson Eight: The transition

Now that you have completed the deepening process, your client will be in a very suggestible state of trance. However, through experience I have noticed that the trance state can be further deepened if you take a moment here to use a little confusion and a transitional process that will already be associated with sleep in the mind of the client. To accomplish this, as soon as you have finished the escalator script continue with the following.

You find yourself standing at the bottom of the escalator now, just in front of you there is a bed, a very special bed, a bed of dreams. Should you clamber onto this bed, you will instantly fall into a deep, deep sleep. But not the kind of sleep that you enter at night, a special kind of sleep, for this is the bed of trance and when you clamber upon it you will enter a deep, deep hypnotic sleep.

Clamber upon the bed now and allow yourself to sink deeper and deeper into the soft comfort. As you sink into the comfort you fall into a deep, deep....... SLEEEEEP!

That's fine... The kind of sleep where you can dream, a special kind of hypnotic sleep, where you can dream that you are standing before a wonderfully comfortable bed, a magical bed, a bed that can realise your dreams. As you clamber upon this bed you fall into a deep, deep... SLEEEEP!

The kind of sleep where you can dream... Dream that you are going deeper and deeper now, deeper and deeper to.... SLEEEEP!

A special kind of sleep, where you can still hear my voice, a wonderfully relaxing sleep, where you are free to dream, dream that you are listening to the sound of my voice, hearing these suggestions like seeds, planted deep in your subconscious mind.

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Lesson Nine: Trance suggestions for stage

The transitional script that you have just read makes it easy to follow through with your suggestions. This is the actual purpose of the hypnosis, without hypnotic suggestion you are doing nothing more than relaxing the client and although this is incredibly beneficial in itself, it is unlikely to elicit positive life changes and certainly is not very entertaining.

What you use the trance state for depends on your particular area of interest, you may choose to develop trance for entertainment or be interested in developing your skills as a hypnotherapist.

Perhaps one of the most important suggestions that you should include at this stage is that your client will be able to get back into this state easily. This will prove valuable in all situations, but it is essential for stage hypnosis. This is done using a post hypnotic cue by attaching a trigger to a desired action. Stage hypnosis is completely dependant upon post hypnotic suggestions, such as, 'When you hear this piece of music you will leap onto the stage and start dancing.' Then the volunteer is woken from the trance state and asked a few questions before the trigger music is played and the action carried out as requested.

The most important post hypnotic suggestion that stage hypnotists use is, 'For the rest of the evening, whenever I click my fingers and say the word "Sleep" you will instantly go back into trance.' Everything else a stage hypnotist does will come down to personal taste and imagination. Note that I did say for the rest of the evening, you should include these 'safeguards' to ensure that your volunteers do not walk away with suggestions still active.

A post hypnotic suggestions can theoretically last a life time, the longest I know of has been 29 years, so be sure to use time limits and to remove them at the end of the show by telling your subjects that they are completely back to their normal waking consciousness and that the suggestions that you have given them during the show no longer have any affect.

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Lesson Ten: Trance suggestions for therapy

As already stated, this area of hypnosis is simply for information at this stage, if you want to develop your ability as a hypnotherapist, please first complete a course of study. If you obey the three golden rules of therapy creation you will be able to develop effective hypnotic scripts for almost any situation. But, as I say, this is not an area an amateur should experiment with and under no circumstances should you diagnose or treat any ailment, no matter how obvious it may seem, without correct training.

The three essential rules of hypnotic suggestions are...

  1. Keep your suggestions positive
  2. Keep your suggestions in the present tense
  3. Test everything by future pacing before you make any changes

By adhering to these simple rules you avoid some of the common pitfalls of hypnotherapy. For example, if you are treating someone for smoking a statement such as, 'You will stop smoking in 2 weeks' would break the first two rules, yet you are making a similar suggestion with the statement, 'In 2 weeks time, you are a non- smoker' while at the same time keeping it positively focussed and in the present tense, it might, at first glance, appear to be future tensed, but the statement, 'You are a non-smoker' Is set in the present and this will have an affect on how the clients subconscious mind accepts and acts upon it.

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Lesson Eleven: Waking the client from trance

One of the most commonly accepted misconceptions of trance is that it is possible to become 'stuck' in hypnosis. This simply is not true. It is no more possible to get stuck in hypnosis as it is to get stuck in normal sleep. If a situation arose where a person was left in a very deep state of trance they would either wake the moment the hypnotist leaves, wake because of boredom, lack of comfort or a full bladder or, if they are very tired, fall into normal sleep and wake in the morning as usual.

It is actually very difficult to remain in the hypnotic state for a prolonged period of time without the assistance of a hypnotist. Having said that, you still need to know the correct way to wake your client and the following script should serve you well.

The golden rule here is to not wake your client too abruptly, and to always wake them in a good mood! Just as you progressively reduced your tempo during the induction it is now time to turn things up... increase in tempo and volume as you run through the wake up script, be enthusiastic and make your voice vibrant and exciting.

In the next few moments I will count from 1 to 5. When I reach the number 5 you will be completely awake and feeling absolutely fantastic. With each number that I count you become more and more alert, until on the number 5, you open your eyes and are wide awake.

  1. Beginning to awaken now, aware of my voice and the room around you.
  2. Waking from the trance state feeling fantastic, bringing with you all that you have learned.
  3. Aware of your body now, and the position of your arms and legs.
  4. Stretch your arms now as you begin to open your eyes, feeling refreshed and excited about your trance experience.
  5. Eyes open and wide awake. Feeling fantastic! Well done!

And that is all there is to it! If you have their consent, you can use these techniques to practise on your friends, but as the author of this material I can accept no responsibility for your actions. Be sensible and think about your suggestions before you use them, prepare everything you are going to say before you start, if you make things up on the spur of the moment you could say something that you, or your volunteer, later regret.

As with all new skills practise makes perfect, and you will learn a great deal about trance from your experiments with friends. That's what got me started and in the early days I knew less about trance than you have just learned from this short introduction!

Sometimes my inductions worked, sometimes they didn't, as your skills develop you will find that your successes increase, so will your fascination with everything hypnotic!

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