Most people generally associate hypnosis with the conventional swinging pendulum. However, there are various other methods of hypnosis that can be practiced. One such popular method is Erickson’s Handshake Induction.
This hypnosis induction method has been developed by the famous hypnotherapist Milton Erickson. This method is called the ‘handshake’ method because of the position of the individual’s hand at the beginning of the hypnotic process. Famous stage illusionists like Derren Brown have used this method to impress the audience.
So, how does this method work?
Erikson’s handshake induction ‘interrupts’ the pattern of handshake. When somebody follows a well-rehearsed behavior pattern that he/she has done hundreds of times, his/ her mind expects the pattern to go through the same routine and does not pay any attention to it when it takes place. In other words, the brain switches to the ‘auto pilot’ mode.
However, if the pattern is interrupted, the mind is forced to take note of the set of actions that has gone wrong. If, right at this stage, (when the mind is trying to figure out what went wrong), another pattern is initiated and in turn ‘interrupted’, the brain’s attention function is divided and a state of confusion is temporarily created. This confusion can be used to create a trance like state.
This was all about the theory! But how can you apply this theory in case of self hypnosis?
Steps to Self-hypnosis via the Erickson Handshake Induction method
Before you initiate the process, choose a comfortable posture. Even sitting in your favorite chair will do. Make sure that you will not be disturbed during this process.
- Begin with extending your hand in front of you as if you are going to shake someone’s hand.
- Some affirmative speech or music should be playing in the background.
- You can either close your eyes or focus them on your hand.
- Once you have assumed the handshake position, start paying attention to your breathing.
- Also, notice how your hand is simply hanging in midair.
- Imagine various ways in which your arm might be suspended. You can imagine it to be floating in water or dangling from balloons.
- You will notice that your hand is gradually becoming heavy.
- Count backwards from 20 and you will slowly feel that your hand is getting heavier.
- Your hand can – go up to touch your face/ fall down on your lap/simply stay in its original place – whichever way it moves, it indicates that you have entered the trance state.
- Relax and feel positive!
- Count again…this time to 20 and slowly come out of the trance.
Things to remember: Don’t be too strict with yourself and don’t have any unrealistic goals.
For more comprehensive ideas on this induction method, watch how this hypnotist works with his patient!
Once you get a hang of the basics of the handshake induction, you will find it easy to use any pattern interrupt instant hypnotic induction.