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Edsel Chiu
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I have been trying different methods (audio of hypnosis induction, talk to myself mentally...) to self hypnotize myself, but still no luck.

I heard it takes practice, but I have been practicing for a few times already and still cannot get into the hypnotic trance.

Any tips?

Thanks a bunch in advance.

Edsel
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Dannydoyle
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How about research?
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qichi
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Aum
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Powers of the Mime
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Hypnotic state is different for everyone. For me it is a deep feeling of relaxation.
I listen to a tape and start relaxing my body, starting with my toes and work my way up to my eyes. Then I picture myself by the ocean, the calming blue-green sea, it's waves flow over the warm yellow sand right up to my feet and I feel it's cooling touch as it revitalizes my body.

You have experienced hypnotic states and don't even know it. Did you ever get in the car to go to work, start it up, turn on the radio, and the next thing you know, you are parking at work? Or turn on the TV, sit down on the bed, then look at the clock and realize that 3 hours had passed? These are hypnotic experiences.

Just don't tell the big name hypno-dudes here that I said this. Smile
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Slim King
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Quote:
On 2006-12-28 19:18, Powers of the Mime wrote:

You have experienced hypnotic states and don't even know it. Did you ever get in the car to go to work, start it up, turn on the radio, and the next thing you know, you are parking at work? Or turn on the TV, sit down on the bed, then look at the clock and realize that 3 hours had passed? These are hypnotic experiences.

Just don't tell the big name hypno-dudes here that I said this. Smile


Many would call this "Alien Abduction" Smile
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mentalskeptic
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Is anyone here a skeptic of hypnotic states? I know some psychologists who seem skeptical, and even performanc hypnotists like Kreskin openly admit that there is no change of "state," but that it is just suggestion, and "playing along."

An old friend from St Louis, a busy working hypnotist, begins his school shows by saying, in his deep baritone voice, things like "Only the very well-adjusted and popular among you may *allow* yourselves to be hypnotized." So when one of the high-schoolers gets up on stage in front of his peer group, if he doesn't play along, he is admitting he is neither well-adjusted nor popular. Do the hypnotized just play along to fit in?

Regarding self-hypnosis, maybe you are referring to meditative states, like former paranormalist Susan Blackmore and best-selling author Sam Harris talk about. There is no mumbo-jumbo there; they are just describing certain well-developed disciplines of mind.

Info on Susan Blackmore's work on meditative states (what some would call self-hypnosis) can be found at her website, http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk

Sam Harris's first book, The End of Faith, ends with a protracted discussion on meditation and "self-hypnosis."
"Few have the courage of their convictions; fewer still, the courage for an attack on their convictions." — Nietzsche
suspectacts
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How many times must we go through this? All hypnosis is SELF-HYPNOSIS. Are you telling me you accept self-hypnosis but not hypnosis with help? what difference do you think exists?

Also,

- Whether your friends with degrees are skeptical or not, scientific research shows definate evidence of trance as something quite different then simply 'playing along'. All the same arguements can be made about meditation.

- For years MD's were skeptical of accupucture, vitamin suppliments, massage, and all sorts of theraputic treatments they now embrace. Skeptisim is good, but skeptisim in the face of scientific evidence is just stubburness. Ask someone who has done it if it's real.

- Everything Kreskin says is part of his induction

- If what you said is true, your St. Louis friend must make a lot of kids who have trouble finding trance feel terrible. Tell him to stop doing that. Some people find trance easy, some not. But either way the only one who sounds maladjusted is him.

In most cases I like to get rid of 'fakers' especially in school shows. Kids are usually terrible actors. They smirk and giggle when asked to do all the really fun stuff.


Edel,

It may be that you are expectations are set incorrectly. Most many people do not 'feel' a definate change when they enter trance. Try a induction tape that includes specific goals and directives. They you can judge your success in reaching trance by your change of behavior.

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
mentalskeptic
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I wouldnt say that meditative states are self-hypnosis, at least how many psychologists and cognitive neuroscientsits define it. But if that's how you define it, I see where youre coming from. But even the American Psychological Association refuses to claim that "altered states of consciousness" occur when people are hypnotized.

I was referring to meditative states of deep relaxation and focus, whuch aren't changes of state but rather merely functions of self-discipline, focus and expectation, at least according to the neuroscientists who study the Zen practitioners and other mystical traditions.

Looking at the history of hypnosis, from Mesemerism onward, we see that (as I think you'd probably agree) it has been over-hyped and used for the most unbelievable purposes (repressed memory recovery of supposed alien abduction, supposed childhood sexual abuse and satanic ritual abuse, and supposed memories of past lives). Elizabeth Loftus and others have shown conclusively how it has been abused in such circumstances by unscrupulous (or sometimes well-meaning) pschologists.

Did you see the Penn and Teller episode on Bull ****! where they were very skeptical of hypnosis? I'd be interested in your take on it.
"Few have the courage of their convictions; fewer still, the courage for an attack on their convictions." — Nietzsche
polkablues
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Quote:
Looking at the history of hypnosis, from Mesemerism onward, we see that (as I think you'd probably agree) it has been over-hyped and used for the most unbelievable purposes (repressed memory recovery of supposed alien abduction, supposed childhood sexual abuse and satanic ritual abuse, and supposed memories of past lives). Elizabeth Loftus and others have shown conclusively how it has been abused in such circumstances by unscrupulous (or sometimes well-meaning) pschologists.


True as this is, it's solely been the result of a lack of real research and understanding into what hypnosis is and is not. So much misunderstaning of hypnosis has been based on a faulty definition. I constantly see people attempting to dismiss it with statements like, "It's no different than meditation," or "Maybe it just works off the placebo effect." And they think those statements are actually dismissive, because they dismiss the definition they have of hypnosis, which is wrong. Too much is made of the role of the hypnotist, and even the hypnotic technique, which leads people away from what anyone who practices hypnosis will tell you: that it takes place entirely in the subject's mind.

Of course stage hypnosis is just playing along. The hypnotist is not a puppet-master, pulling strings from the rafters. He simply talks the participants into putting themselves into a state of mind (not to set off more state/non-state debates...) in which they are willing to follow the directions and suggestions of an authority (the hypnotist). But that doesn't suggest that hypnosis has no effect. When a subject is in, they truly do feel the warmth and coldness that the hypnotist suggests, and they do hear the music that they're playing on their invisible piano, because they want to and because they're letting themselves do so.

Hypnosis can't be dismissed by saying, "It's not this one thing, therefore it's not anything." It's clearly something, and as more legitimate research is finally being put into it, we're beginning to get a better understanding of what that really is.
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Jerome Finley
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Mentalskeptic,

Hypnosis and trance states are all too often shrouded by myth and fantasy stereotypes; "Look into my eyes . . ." type of B.S.

Then we get some practitioners who DO venture into past life regressions, satanic sexual abuse and alien abductions. It is not for us to say if the experience was real or not. Einstein said that "Imagination is more important than knowledge." If these supposed occurences exist only in their minds; they are still real to the one experiencing them, and as a result, when those issue's are worked through and transformed, in many cases the person heals.

It's all semantics. The person will always heal themselves. It is given to the mind to help, aid, assist and repair the body. If we are fortunate and well trained, well, then we can be tremendous catlysts for these transformational experiences.

Hypnotherapy is about doing specialist work with subjects while in an altered state of consciousness. I prefer to think of it as a relaxed and focused awareness. There is nothing mystic about trance or ecstatic states, though they may naturally lead to mystical experiences.

To defy hypnosis would essentially be to disregard any shift or change in consciousness and brainwave patterns, which have all been well mapped and documented and used by neurosurgeons, sleep therapists and other specialists all over the world.

Hans Berger discovered that simply by closing the eyes, visualizing (anything) and accompanied by full, deep breaths, that a person naturally enters what you would call a trance state; i.e. this is a self-hypnotic induction of sorts.

It also happens spontaneously, always naturally but NOT always easily. Different mental and emotional composites affect the modalities by which a person enters the altered state, and how connected or disconnected (aware/conscious) they are REGARDING said state.

Some people disconnect completely. Their will becomes free and unrestrained, and, with some suggestion, they will play these dreams and fantasies out on stage. We give them permission to do so, we make it safe for them to "let loose" and are blessed to pilot this joy ride of the subconscious.

Most sports teams use guided imagery and affirmations (even with prayer) to increase their performance as a team and as individuals. Why don't Penn and Teller dispute this?

If we could look at hypnosis as something natural, the very common occurence that it is, and strip it of its "mystical" connotations, we would find science. The effectiveness of NLP cannot be disputed either in therapy or self empowerment; influence marketing, relationship aid, etc. It is well documented and practiced by MILLIONS.

Rapid Eye Technology uses a grand model for self-development and facilitating a healing experience for others. Increased activity within lesser developed neuro-pathways and increased brain activitity have all been well researched and documented in their model.

Take it for what it is,
Jerome.
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mentalskeptic
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Smart, helpful posts, guys. Thanks!

As a rejoinder to Edsel Chiu's original question, what do you all think about Daniel Goleman on meditation? I have his CD series on it (he is the same best-selling author who wrote "Emotional Intelligence.") It might be a direction to explore. Goleman also wrote a couple books with the Dalai Lama, none of which are "mysticism" per se, but steeped in Western sciences, especially psychology.

Here is a description of the CD series, followed by a review.

"Learn to quiet your mind and calm your body, ease physical discomfort and strengthen your immune system, and discover new powers of concentration. Acclaimed author Dr. Daniel Goleman teaches you how to attain these benefits in four distinctly different ways.The Breath Meditation: One of the simplest and most widespread of meditative methods, found in almost every ancient spiritual traditionThe Body Scan Meditation: A powerful way to become deeply relaxed by moving your mind throughout your body to soothe and ease your muscles.The Walking Meditation: An ancient method particularly useful for people who find it difficult to sit still while meditating, or who have trouble maintaining concentration.The Mindfulness Meditation: A technique to enrich perception and gain direct insight into the inner workings of your mind.Learn all the proven, life-enhancing benefits of meditation with this practical, accessible, comprehensive guide to this ancient discipline."

REVIEW from AUDIOFILE:

"Psychologist Goleman has written half a dozen books, including Vital Lies, Simple Truths, and The Meditative Mind. He also does a regular behavioral science column for The New York Times. His approach to teaching mental techniques is exemplary, both in its practicality of content and in its straightforward manner of presentation. Goleman offers no pep-talks for meditation but cites experimental evidence to support his claim that the practice can produce benefits in bodily relaxation, mental calm, pain reduction and the strengthening of the immune system. He talks listeners through four separate methods: breathing, body scan, mindfulness and walking meditations. E.T. An AUDIOFILE Earphones Award winner (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine."

So here's the question I have: would you consider the kind of meditation advanced by Goleman and his corhorts to be "self-hypnosis."?

And has anyone seen Penn and Teller's skeptical episode on hypnosis?
"Few have the courage of their convictions; fewer still, the courage for an attack on their convictions." — Nietzsche
mentalskeptic
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Edsel Chiu: Here is something else along these lines that you might find interesting :

http://psyphz.psych.wisc.edu/web/News/Time_Jan06.html
"Few have the courage of their convictions; fewer still, the courage for an attack on their convictions." — Nietzsche
Jerome Finley
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I don't believe there are any "new powers" of concentration; but that we may learn innovative ways to re-focus that concentration we already have and use.

Hypnosis does not rely on concentration either. It is a subconscious modality; concentration is a conscious thought process, and personally, I don't want TOO much logical/left brain interference during my sessions. Further "proof" (that intense concentration does not matter) comes by way of the personal experiences I have had while working with ADD, hyper senstive and dyslexic clients.

If they are attentive and able to respond, that is conscious enough for me. No mental gymnastics; this process should take place with a certain smoothness about it; not hard labors of concentration.

I'm not familiar with the cited tapes and materials, so I am not at liberty to judge. It could be useful, but too much thought may impede the process at times. Over analyzing the process is a sure step to failure.

J.
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mentalskeptic
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Quote:
On 2006-12-30 20:30, TT2 wrote:
. . . .but too much thought may impede the process at times. Over analyzing the process is a sure step to failure.


I'm certainly no expert, but what I have learned about meditative practice is that it is exactly what you're talking about—the opposite of thought and analysis. Called "no-mind" in Zen Buddhism. Something like "emptying the mind of all thought." Others with more experience should be able to elaborate more on this. There are probably better sources for info on this, but Susan Blackmore discusses it a little in an online audio interview we did: http://www.pointofinquiry.org/?p=88 (that part of the discussion is near the end of the interview)
"Few have the courage of their convictions; fewer still, the courage for an attack on their convictions." — Nietzsche
Jerome Finley
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MS,
Exactly! The final destinations are very similar. Thanks for the link.

j.
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polkablues
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Quote:
And has anyone seen Penn and Teller's skeptical episode on hypnosis?


I haven't seen the episode, so I can't say too much about it, but from what I've heard of it, it sounds like they fell into the exact pitfalls I brought up in my previous post: basing their criticism of hypnosis on a faulty definition of hypnosis, and using the most outrageous claims made by practitioners as evidence against all hypnosis.
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Slim King
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Penn is not a very deep thinker Smile
But perhaps he IS?
Playing the middle against the ends and getting a big paycheck from HBO.
Penn is a deep thinker Smile
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mentalskeptic
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Well, it is true that they have done some retractions on their show. But at least that means they are open to admitting theyre wrong when someone persuades them that they are. -- D.J.
"Few have the courage of their convictions; fewer still, the courage for an attack on their convictions." — Nietzsche
bobser
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Quote:
On 2006-12-30 10:58, mentalskeptic wrote:
.... even performance hypnotists like Kreskin openly admit that there is no change of "state," but that it is just suggestion, and "playing along."


I don't have any problem with the statement with regard to some instances of stage hypnosis.
However,
when you consider surgical procedures (amputations etc) the chances are more than probable that no one was playing along during the operations.
This suggests that Kreskin, although not a complete eejit, was not allowing for those other than dog-barkers.
Bobser
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