Hand levitation in hypnosis

Hypnosis / Self Hypnosis - discuss this most useful, and misunderstood, of therapeutic tools.

Postby grovelli » Tue Oct 28, 2003 7:35 am

A few recent posts have mentioned hand levitation.

Can hand levitation be achieved only if there's someone else actively telling you to keep your eyes on your hand and to study carefully the moment at which it lifts off?

I've been trying to do that by myself for a quarter of an hour but I get no unconscious activation.

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Postby kfedouloff » Tue Oct 28, 2003 9:27 am

Hi grovelli

I love hand levitation - it's fascinating. I don't think you need someone telling you to watch it and study it. When I want to experience this, I close my eyes and "give it permission" to do whatever it wants. Sometimes nothing happens. Usually I will get levitation, movement and quite strange behaviour (so i don't indulge in this anywhere I can be seen!). I have once experienced my hand picking up pen and paper and commencing to draw. That was amazing. It's awfully slow, so you need to allow lots of time. I find if I get impatient, I will consciously interfere, and then I 'lose' it.

I can see the usefuleness of automatic writing and drawing, but I do still puzzle about simple levitation. What exactly is going on?

I used it for a sceptical client the other day - she was amazed. She wasn't in trance at the time (at least, I had not set out to induce trance!), and watched it the whole way through.

It would be interesting to hear other people's experiences and thoughts about this phenomenon.

Kathleen
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Postby Anthony Jacquin » Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:27 pm

Hand levitation certainly is an interesting hypnotic phenomena. Beyond interest the question is how to use it. I have given an example of how I use it to gauge the progress of an NLP technique - a parts reframe - (see my post in NLP vs Hypnosis). This is the way I have learnt to use it so it is natural for me to do so. In fact I struggle to see how you can work through such a technique without and am keen to hear someone hear tell me how they work.

The benefits of using hand levitation are threefold.

One - it ratifies the trance experience for your client. In trance if you ask them to try and move their hand down and find they cannot that will make it clear to them that something is occuring beyond just feeling relaxed. This surely has a value. If you ask them to open their eyes and put al their strength into moving that hand down and it lifts higher that is going to give them an experience is it not? I find it opens them up to bigger suggestions and other phenomena, so suggest that hand will come down only as quickly as they enjoy complete physical relaxation/they drop down into a deeper trance/that part applies that new choice or whatever you want to suggest.

Two - it is the most effective progress bar you can have as you do your work. You can tell when they are in a trance, when the unconscious has recalled a memory or worked througha process or come up with new choices.

Thirdly - its fun. I go with whatever signal I get but certainly make an effort to steer towards hand or arm levitation. be aware that sometimes it wil be a tiny finger movement - probably quite imperceptible to them or even you if you do not look carefully. Other times it will be something much more creative. Recently after struggling to get a signal with mone of my clients I switched from suggesting that hand ay feel light to it can feel heavy and i got a signal. His knees started to move - flapping away like wings on a motor. I took that as a signal, asked him to try and stop them moving etc. Now with an arm lift you have a nice digital signal up for yes and down for no maybe. With flapping knees it is not so easy. It got to the point where i needed a yes so I suggested when the part has made that choice those knees will stick like two magnets that simply will not be kept apart. Got him to open his eyes and try to keep them apart. he tried then snap - bang they went together. Now he laughed as he looked quite comical sitting there pigeon toed, knees stuck together, I laughed, totally lost professionalism, I find laughter quite infectious. I had to get him to close his eyes again and did most of the rest of the session with my hands over mine as i simply could not look without laughing. Even told him that his unconscious had a great sense of humour. He came in skeptical about hypnosis even though he was referred. He left a non smoker and may well have left a non smoker but remained skeptical had he not had that experience.

Ideomotor signals are certainly interesting, they are also of great value to the hypnotherapist. Get over the amazement and simply ask the unconscious mind to signal to you. Expect it to happen.

Ant
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Postby Roger Elliott » Tue Oct 28, 2003 1:45 pm

And if I may, a fourth benefit of using phenomena:

In some cases, part of your aim may be to teach the client to be less conscious in certain situations - for example, when socialising. True comfort when socialising comes when you lose self consciousness and become absorbed in the interchange.

Having a client do something unconsciously can be a valuable lesson in just sitting back and 'letting it happen'.

I would say though, that if you client has any paranoid tendencies, it may not be a good idea, it may be interpreted as you controlling them! ;)
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Postby grovelli » Tue Oct 28, 2003 7:26 pm

Anthony Jacquin wrote: Get over the amazement and simply ask the unconscious mind to signal to you. Expect it to happen.

Hi Anthony,
you ask them to try and move their hand down and find they cannot
you ask them to open their eyes and put all their strength into moving that hand down and it lifts higher
His knees started to move - flapping away like wings on a motor.
Got him to open his eyes and try to keep them apart. he tried then snap - bang they went together.
my hand picking up pen and paper and commencing to draw. (this is from Kathleen :) )

I guess I've never really experienced trance because I've never experienced any of the above.
But isn't trance an everyday occurrence?
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Postby Anthony Jacquin » Tue Oct 28, 2003 9:32 pm

Yes trance is an everyday occurance. So sure you have experienced a trance. I cannot comment on self hypnosis and hand levitation - some people find it easy and others do not. I find it a lot easier to bring on in others than I do myself.

I know the phenomena described in the last few posts sound a bit freaky if you have not witnessed them but do not let this put you off using them I can assure it all seems quite natural at the time.

Ever been so engrossed in a sports match that you find you move in the direction you want the action to go, or ever put your foot on the invisible brake when being a passenger for a driver you do not trust. Ever had a conversationn at dinner and been so keen to make your point you pause with that fork a few inches from your mouth. Ever been unsure whether you wil change gear or just keep trundling along in traffic and your arm just hovers above the gear stick. Ever automatically stuck out your hand to someone who has offered theirs even though you did not think about it.

These are all unconscious movements.

All I am doing with my clients is cultivating an unconscious movement and using that as a communication. It would be as easy to ask for a verbal response however I find that it is more difficult to deny that an arm levitation is an unconscious movement. It is actually quite obvious when it is done consciously - the movement is too smooth.

If you are interested i will happily post verbatim a couple of exercises i work through with my clients. As I say I cannot say how much success you will have using this for self hypnosis as I just do not know enough about it. Roger made the point that it allows you to just go with it once you realise it is happening - I thinkk that goes for pretty much any altered state or reality typoe experience, so I guess once you experience it it will be easier after that.

Still very interested to hear how other therapists use ideomotor signals. You all seem to be fans of ole Milton and as i understand it he used them a fair bit - have they fallen from favour? The work of Rossi is certainly cutting edge and scientific to boot and is heavily reliant on using these signals as a way of communicatng with the unconscious - I strongly recommend you read his books and you will see just how easy it is to use this stuff.

All the best

Ant
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Postby grovelli » Tue Oct 28, 2003 9:55 pm

Anthony Jacquin wrote:If you are interested i will happily post verbatim a couple of exercises i work through with my clients.


By all means Anthony, do so please.
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Postby grovelli » Tue Oct 28, 2003 10:30 pm

Being Ernest Rossi of Italian ancestry, I ought to feel right at home. :lol:
You know, most people in Italy consider hypnosis as akin to black magic and it's a feeling that stems from centuries of chastizing anything that cannot be understood right away because it goes beyond our immediate sensory perception and that feeling is fostered by stories you read from time to time in newspapers of people being robbed while hypnotized. There was one article published recently on a local newspaper detailing how a couple of women entered a jeweller's in Bergamo and convinced the owners, just by using a particular tone and inflection of voice, to let them try on some expensive jewelry which they kept on while walking out of the shop and the owners told the police they realized the trick only a few moments after the women had gone because they felt kind of dazed right after the women used that tone of voice.
I'm mesmerized by the fact that, considering how powerful our brain is, it can be so (supposedly)easily tricked just by using an inflection in your voice. Do you think such a feat is possible? I'm beginning to think so after your description of the amazing behavior people might display while in trance although I guess to get that kind of behavior there must be some kind of rapport between the hypnotizer and his/her subject and I don't know how that can be achieved between people who've never met before in a jewellery.
Last edited by grovelli on Sat Nov 01, 2003 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby kfedouloff » Wed Oct 29, 2003 11:28 am

I use IM signals quite a lot with my clients, whether via hand levitation, finger movement, nodding or other signal. It's usually quite easy to tell the difference between conscious and unconscious movements - the conscious movements tend to be quicker, and smoother (as Roger said), and altogether more deliberate. The unconscious movements are much slower, happen in tiny, sometimes jerky steps. This makes sense, I think. Each muscle which is involved in the movement is receiving its signal in turn and responding before the next one comes in. In conscious movement, the flow of signals is steadier. Although, come to think of it, I'm sitting here typing and I certainly wouldn't say that the movement my fingers are making is at all conscious - in fact, if i stop to think about it, I start making typos! So there is a distinction between a movement which is unconscious because it is so well learned that it can operate in the background, and an unconscious movement which is NOT learned, and is being directed from the unconscious (whater THAT is!).

I love Erickson and Rossi both - inspiring stuff!

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