A TRIBUTE TO HARRY ARONS: (1997):
1. TRIBUTE TO HARRY ARONS
2. NOTES FROM HANDBOOK OF SELF-HYPNOSIS
3. ARONS’ MASTER DEPTH RULE
4. HYPNOTIC CONDITIONING FOR CHILDBIRTH
5. INSTANTANEOUS HYPNOSIS
1. TRIBUTE TO HARRY ARONS
Back in the early 80's I took a hypnosis course, taught by Mr. A. M. Wolff, at the University of New Orleans. Harry Arons book’s Master Course in Hypnotism and Handbook of Self-Hypnosis were the text books for the course. During that semester, the Association for the Advancement of Ethical Hypnosis (AAEH), with Harry Arons as Director, had it conference in New Orleans. I regret that I did not attend that conference. I am sure I would have benefited from the seminars and could at least say that I had met Harry Arons. Those hypnotherapist trained by AAEH who were not professional medical people were called "hypno-technicians."
He contributed greatly to improving the image of hypnosis for the medical personnel and the general public. As a teenager, he came to America with his family. He said that he was trained in hypnosis by his grandfather, a friend of Rasputin, while still in Lithuania. He started out as a stage hypnotist working in the Northeast USA. In the last 40's, his book Master Course in Hypnotism was printed by Power Publishers and sold many copies.
He was Director of Ethical Hypnosis Training Center in New Jersey. He developed courses in hypnosis for his Center and trained others who opened Hypnosis Centers in several United States cities. He trained hundreds and perhaps thousands hypnosis at these Centers.
In the 50's he was an associate editor of the Journal of Hypnotism, the journal of the newly formed National Guild of Hypnotist which is today one of the largest, if not the largest, hypnotherapy groups in the world. Later in the 1954, he formed AAEH and devoted his time and energy to his new organization. In the early days of AAEH, only health professionals could be members, but he later admitted "hypno-technicians," who were only allowed to use hypnosis for therapeutic purposes only under medical supervision. Arons later included law enforcement employees who were properly trained in hypnosis. His textbook for law enforcement personnel was Hypnosis in Criminal Investigation. In time, AAEH consisted of physicians, psychologists, dentists, lawyers, ministers, hypno-techinicians, etc.,
For several years from 1954 to the late 80's AAEH had substantial growth and then went into declines. From the list of organization in the Council of Professional Hypnosis Organizations (CPHO), AAEH is still in existence headed by T. J. Farris of New Olmstead, OH.
Harry Arons died of heart failure, September 9, 1997.
2. NOTES FROM HANDBOOK OF SELF-HYPNOSIS: (By Harry Arrons, (1981) Power Publishers, Inc. So. Orange, NJ):
Christian Science condemns hypnotism violently but nonetheless uses it principles, perhaps unwittingly, in effecting whatever cures it claims. Their text-book and bible, Mary Baker Eddy's Keys to the Scriptures is the vehicle the therapist uses for conveying therapeutic suggestions to the sufferer. Its religious tone and flavor lend weight to the suggestions and also serve as the media through which the individual's prayer-suggestions reach the subconscious which actually does the work. What are the endless repetitions of their biblical quotations but indirect "sleep formulae?" (p. 24-25)
AUTOHYPNOSIS AND AUTOSUGGESTION: When we speak of autohypnosis or self-hypnosis, we refer to the actual trance state in which the usual hypnotic phenomena are manifested and through which definite post-hypnotic responses can be produced. When we speak of autosuggestion or Coueism, we mean conscious suggestion which the subject gives himself during his normal waking state, with the intention and hope that these suggestions will in due course of time and with sufficient repetition seep into the subconscious sphere and thereafter he realized. In auto hypnosis, the suggestions, though self-administered, are direct and unequivocal as in heterohypnosis and the results are generally immediately apparent; the critical conscious mind is in abeyance and therefore is not able to countermand or resist these suggestions. In autosuggestion, the conscious mind initiates the suggestions -- introduces them, as it were; the suggestions must then somehow circumvent the critical and antagonistic elements of the conscious, reasoning mind before they can be accepted by the powerful subconscious and carried out. (p. 27-28)
PRACTICAL USES OF SELF-HYPNOSIS: Autohypnosis can be put to practical use in a large variety of ways. Following is a practical list: The ability to relax can be easily and speedily learned through even a light degree of autohypnosis. This happy knack can be instrumental in changing a person's outlook on life. Resistance to fatigue can be substantially increased. Thus, a person can be rendered more productive in his work and more pleasant in his social contacts. relaxation is one of the primary factors in developing a resistance to fatigue.
Autohypnosis makes insomnia a thing of the past. The student can learn to fall asleep practically at will and to awaken refreshed and rested at any moment of the day or night.
Memory can be improved. The ability to concentrate can be markedly increased. (p. 30)
Visual and auditory acuity can be increased for specific tasks. Hearing or visual difficulties of a hysterical nature may be permanently corrected.
Learning can be speeded up, together with increased ability to retain the assimilated information.
The ability to recall long-"forgotten" events of the past can be promoted. A trained autohypnotic student, when taking an important exam, will find facts and figures flowing easily into his mind, unimpeded by memory "blocks." This phenomenon of hypermnesia had contributed immeasurably to psycho-analysis; quite a number of analysts today are using an accelerated form of psycho-analysis called hypnoanalysis.
Dental work can be made painless, even pleasant, through the use of hypnoanesthesia. More and more dentist are taking up hypnotism for this purpose.
Stage fright can be autohypnotically controlled. Public speakers, actors, singers, radio and television performers of all sorts can benefit immensely though use of this method. Not only does autohypnosis remove stage fright and the nervous tension usually associated with it, but it also helps the individual to put on a better performance by allowing whatever talents may be dormant in him to come to the fore. Autohypnosis may actually be used to advantage by persons who suspect that they have hidden talents but who, because of inhibitions, fears, or other adverse influences have never attempted to develop them.
Childbirth may be made painless and pleasant for prospective mothers trained in autohypnosis. (p. 31)
Stuttering, stammering and other psychogenic speech defects are amenable to correction.
Self-consciousness, bashfulness, and timidity, may be conquered.
A large variety of habits, including smoking, drinking, drug addiction, alcoholism, nail-biting, bedwetting, nervous ticks and twitches, undesirable sexual habits, are amenable to autohypnotic control. Habits which are symptoms of deep-seated neurosis require competent outside held in addition.
The flow of creative ideas may be stimulated. For example, a writer trained in autohypnosis need not wait for periods of inspiration -- he can create them practically at will.
In surgery, as in dentistry, hypnoanesthesia can be of great help. Actually, it has many advantages over chemical anesthesia, one being the fact that the usual post-operative pain and discomfort can be prevented.
In the field of medicine, numerous psychogenic complaints can be effectively treated by a combination of heterohypnosis and autohypnosis. It must be stressed that any disorder which seem to be with the province of the medical profession should be treated or as least supervised by a qualified physician.
Hypnosis has achieved signal success in the correction of obesity. A combination of hypnosis and autohypnosis is the ideal method for controlling the abnormal craving for the wrong types and qualities of food, which is a principal cause of overweight.
3. ARONS’ MASTER DEPTH RULE:
1. Lethargy, relaxation, eye catalepsy, arm catalepsy
2. Catalepsy of isolated muscle groups, heavy or floating feeling
3. Complete muscular control, rapport, smell and taste changes, number block (aphasia), partial amnesia
4. Amnesia, post hypnotic suggestion, glove anesthesia, amnesia, analgesia, automatic movements, partial hallucinations,
5. Positive hallucinations, visual and auditory bizarre post hypnotic suggestions
6. Anesthesia (no feeling), negative hallucinations, plenary or comatose, trance via suggestion. (From: Master Course in Hypnotism)
4. HYPNOTIC CONDITION I NG FOR CHILDBIRTH: HARRY ARONS: HYPNOSIS 1960
The press has brought to public attention the fact that in recent years hypnosis as anesthesia for childbirth has come into its own. We are left with the impression £rom these stories that hypnosis is an innovation in the practice of obstetrics. On the contrary, this method has been employed, not only for childbirth but also in general surgical procedures, since the time of Esdaile and Elliottson in the early 1840's. The discovery of chemical anaesthesia in 1846 and 1847 has, it is true, thrown hypnosis comparatively into the discard, but it is known in informed circles that natural anesthesia has continued to be utilized when specifically indicated, albeit surreptitiously, £or the past century and a half.
The most deplorable £act, of course, is that physicians have hesitated to recommend this method for fear of repercussions from the opposition of their more conservative brethren. But this situation is rapidly changing. Not only are physicians coming into the open, but they are beginning to employ the more highly skilled lay hypnotic technicians to aid in the conditioning of their patients. In the course of years a number of effective procedures have evolved which are not generally known either to the profession or the public. A brief exposition of the recommended procedures should not be remiss.
Conditioning Under Hypnosis A Basic Technique: Whether the obstetrician handles the case alone, or calls in a consultant, the initial induction of hypnosis should not be undertaken too near the time of delivery. The only exceptions to this rule might be cases in which the patient has previously undergone conditioning or cases in which hypnosis is resorted to as a last contingency. In the latter instance a somnambulic trance is helpful and the hypnotist, i£ one is employed, should be in continuous attendance in case 0£ emergency;
otherwise results would be unpredictable.
Ideally, conditioning should begin with the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy. The reader is reminded that by the term conditioning we mean the induction of hypnosis and the gradual deepening of the trance state to the most profound degree possible, as well as the setting-up of adequate post-hypnotic responses, transference 0£ control to the obstetrician and other responses consistent with the requirements of the case. Conditioning as employed here is not to be con£used with "reflex conditioning" as used by Salter and others of the Pavlovian school. The writer puts no stock in the theory that hypnosis is strictly a result 0£ reflex conditioning; he believes that "conditioned reflex therapy" is a make-shift ruse devised by some hypnotists to whitewash the word "hypnosis." Should the obstetrician be an expert hypnotist who has the time and facilities to do the conditioning hims6lf, the matter becomes quite a simple one. He induces hypnosis in his patient by any method that is applicable and makes tests to determine the degree of trance. Rarely does a subject enter somnambulism at the first session: neither can a subject be rushed or pushed into deep trance. It is necessary to hypnotize her at regular intervals, once or twice a week, until six to eight sessions have brought her to the maximum depth of hypnosis possible. A subject will not usually go any deeper than the depth attained at the eighth hypnosis.
In the course of the conditioning careful tests must be made to determine the degree of trance as accurately as possible. Using the six arbitrary stages described in my MASTER COURSE IN HYPNOTISM as a yardstick, it might be said that should the subject not have progressed beyond the cataleptic stages ( the first two) hypnosis as an aid to painless childbirth is likely to be of minor importance. The third stage (in which there is glove analgesia and partial post-hypnotic amnesia) might serve the purpose if by continuing the sessions for a longer period it is possible to condition the patient into producing glove anesthesia post-hypnotically for brief periods. Also, the conditioning process must be continued without interruption and perhaps at more frequent intervals. This should
be sufficient for normal deliveries especially if the patient has a good degree of acceptance (or faith).
The fourth stage and the somnambulic stages are ideal for the purpose. The former is characterized by complete amnesia (suggested or spontaneous), glove anesthesia ( analgesia), hypermnesia, and good post-hypnotic responses. Somnambulism elicits complete anesthesia (insensibility to all sensation as well as to pain), positive and negative hallucinations, systemized amnesias, automatic writing ( in some types of subjects) and instantaneous responses to post-hypnotic sleep suggestions. These subjects are capable of learning ( via post-hypnotic suggestion) how to induce self-hypnosis at will and to respond to self-directed post-hypnotic suggestions in the waking state.
With the degree of trance determined, the second phase of conditioning begins: the setting-up of specific responses for the particular job at hand. But before we go into this, let us consider the role of the hypnotic consultant in the scheme of things.
Role of Hypnotic Consultant: When the physician is not an adept hypnotist, or lacks the time for this phase of the work, he calls in a hypnotic consultant, who may be a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or a lay hypnotist with adequate background. Should the patient have initiated the suggestion of using hypnosis, and neither knows of a qualified hypnotist, the physician can make the appropriate contact via the Association to Advance Ethical Hypnosis, which maintains a nationwide Directory of Hypnosis Practitioners.
Ideally again, the hypnotist goes to work in the physician's off Ire, directly under his supervision. However, because of time and facility limitations, the physician usually prefers to have the first phase of the conditioning done in the hypnotist's office. Of course, the periodic visits to the obstetrician remain unaffected by the hypnotic work. The hypnotist keeps the doctor informed of his progress.
Hypnosis is produced as in the former method and regular repetitions bring the subject to the maximum degree of trance. Throughout this phase of conditioning, the hypnotist, particularly if he should be a layman, is warned to refrain from any psychological probing not directly connected with attaining the desired trance state. The reason for this is that the patient, for best results, must be mentally free from the anxiety that may be attendant upon psycho-therapeutic procedures.
Transferring Control to Physician: When it is apparent that the maximum degree of trance has been reached, the consultant proceeds to transfer hypnotic control to the obstetrician. The procedure for this is very simple: with both men present, the hypnotist instructs the hypnotized patient to react to the physician in the same fashion as she reacts to him. He does not, however , relinquish his own control; both hypnotist and doctor now maintain the same degree of rapport with the patient.
Setting up instantaneous of hypnosis Responses: In testing the subject for trance depth, it has already been established that she will, as a result of a post-hypnotic suggestion, resume the hypnotic state almost instantly. This response is produced at a signal arranged between hypnotist and subject during hypnosis: she is to fall asleep at the sound of the word "sleep!" (uttered by the hypnotist), at a snap of the fingers, at a meaningful glance, or at a command written on paper. It does not matter what the stimulus-signal is, so long as the subject understands that it is intended to produce hypnosis. When making the post-hypnotic suggestion, it should be specified that the subject will react to it only if it is given by the consultant or the doctor, and that she will so react only if she is willing to be hypnotized. In some cases, particularly if the obstetrician is a busy man and is not certain that he can be in continuous attendance on the fateful day, it may be advisable to condition the patient to the post-hypnotic suggestion that she will fall asleep if he simply calls her on the phone and order8 her to sleep. Similarly, he can have the stimulus-signal written on slips of paper which a trained nurse can deliver to the patient at the appropriate time.
With suitable post-hypnotic responses to the physician established, the hypnotist can, if it be considered desirable, bow out of the picture entirely. However, it is preferred that he remain at least on the outskirts of the proceedings throughout the remainder of pregnancy and during labor and delivery. Even should the patient turn out to be an ideal subject in every respect, contingencies of one sort or another may occur with which the hypnotist will be more adept in dealing than the physician, particularly if the latter is new at hypnotic work. For example, there are right and wrong ways of making verbal suggestions in hypnosis. The intelligent physician will invite instruction in this regard, and will consult the hypnotist whenever he is uncertain about any eventuality connected with hypnosis and its application to the individual patient. Moreover, the later will derive a considerable amount of reassurance from the knowledge that an expert hypnotist is at her beck and call.
Tests For Anaesthesia: With both men en rapport with the patient, they proceed to determine the exact degree of anaesthesia that can be produced. It will usually suffice to stick a sterilized needle through the second layer of skin in the fleshy part of the forearm, after suitable suggestions have been made that the arm is insensible to pain.
1. The subject will evince no pain whatsoever, and will deny feeling even the slightest sensation in the arm. This is complete anaesthesia and is sufficient evidence that the patient can safely undergo childbirth without the aid of any other anaesthetic.
2. The patient feels no pain, but is aware of a light touch every time her arm is pricked with the needle. This is analgesia ( insensibility to pain); anaesthesia (insensibility to sensation or touch) is incomplete To be safe, several other tests with which a physician is familiar should be made to ascertain that a sufficient degree of analgesia for the intended purpose exists. The same degree of analgesia should be attainable posthypnotically. Also, the subject should be capable of amnesia.
3. The patient feels no sharp pain, but upon deep probing evinces unpleasant sensations. Modifications in respiration and pulse-rate further denote her distress, whereas in the previous instances no such changes are in evidence, With this type of subject hypnotic anaesthesia is not to be relied upon, but may be employed instead of the usual premedication to promote relaxation as wt~ll as to help prepare the patient for the coming event mentally. Since the anticipation of pain is an important factor in the intensity with which it is felt, such expectations and fears can be effectively relieved with the aid of even light hypnosis. For perfectly normal deliveries this stage may suffice, or supplementary chemical agents may be employed if necessary.
In discussing the first type (complete anaesthesia), I mentioned that the subject "will deny feeling even the slightest sensation" when probed with the needle. This statement is literally true, but requires some clarification. While there seem to be no modifications of respiration, heart-action, and pulse-rate, careful tests with the polygraph ("lie-detector") indicate that the subject does know that she is being pricked and is even aware of the number of times that she was stuck with the needle. This can be proved in a number of ways, one of which is simply by questioning her in a subsequent hypnosis. Another method involves the marking off of a rough rectangle on the forearm, with the suggestion that the area within this space will be anaesthetic while the rest of the arm will remain normal. With the subject's eyes closed, the arm is then pricked in different places, while she is instructed to say "yes" every time she feels the prick, "No" when she doesn't. It is quite easy to deceive the subject by stimulating the uneven fringe areas. Moreover, the subject will often respond with "No" when stuck well within the anaesthetic area! In other words, she says in effect "No, I didn't feel it that time," although she is supposed to be totally unaware that she is being stuck with that needle!
Lest the uninitiated feel that fraud is involved here, let me hasten to stress that hypnosis is entirely a mental state, in which the dominant subjective mind believes implicitly whatever it is told to believe. Regarding anaesthesia specifically, the subject has to be aware that she is being pricked with the needle before she can deny that she feels the pain. This is putting it in the simplest terms possible. For all practical purposes, however, the anaesthesia is as effective as the chemical types, limited only by the degree 0£ hypnosis, i.e., the extent to which the archaic and credulous subjective mind dominates the individual. Putting it somewhat differently, the pain impulses are actually received by the brain, but the subjective mind immediately inhibits the pain-sensations. I shall not presume to deal with the obstetrical aspects of childbirth. The application of hypnosis does not affect any of the usual routines employed in hospitals except the administration of anaesthetics. After the prospective mother is admitted, she is hypnotized and one of two alternative procedures is followed :
Post-Hypnosis: If the patient is a profound somnambule with good post-hypnotic responses, it is entirely unnecessary to keep her under hypnosis for extended periods of time. It is simpler and far more convenient to "set her up" for post-hypnotic control. This is done somewhat as follows: She is told that after she awakens from the hypnosis, she will be normal in every way, alert and happy, free £rom any but the pleasantness thoughts and anticipations; that for the remainder of labor, during delivery and even post-natally, she will feel no pain or distress of any sort ; that throughout this period she will, though wide awake, obey nonetheless all suggestions made by the obstetrician and/or the consultant in the same manner as when she is under hypnosis. These suggestions are repeated a number of times for emphasis. It is even possible, should she desire to experience some of the sensations of childbirth, to permit her to do so without feeling the attendant pain and distress. She is then awakened.
It must be understood that though the patient is awake to all appearances, and is able to converse, reason and behave as if in full control of all her conscious faculties, she is nevertheless to all intents and purposes in a condition tantamount to hypnosis. This condition is sometimes called "waking hypnosis." All suggestions made by doctor and hypnotist will be carried out as completely as if she were in the usual hypnotic trance. This startling fact can be fully appreciated only by persons who have observed and understand the phenomena of post-hypnosis.
In the Trance State: Should her post-hypnotic responses be inadequate, the patient can be hypnotized shortly after entering the hospital, given the necessary suggestions and then awakened. When the pains become severe, she can be quickly re-hypnotized and kept under as long as necessary. If this procedure is followed, the patient should not be awakened soon after delivery, but kept under hypnosis as long afterwards as it is expected that distress might be experienced. The hypnotic trance can be prolonged almost indefinitely, providing suggestion is administered almost continuously to prevent the trance from becoming passive and lapsing into natural sleep.
Following is the method I now employ in most cases:
The Self-Hypnotic Method: Once the subject is under any degree of hypnosis, no matter how slight, she is given a post-hypnotic suggestion for hypnotizing herself. A method I favor is having the subject takes five deep breaths, holding the fifth for about five seconds (counting mentally from 5 to if she desires) and then exhaling, closing her eyes, and going into hypnosis. In the first two stages, the subject may not even feel that she is actually in a hypnotic state, but this does not matter.
Next, she is to count backwards from .10 mentally; this back count serves the purpose of keeping her in hypnosis, maintaining the hypnotic level ( the act of counting is itself 11 post-hypnotic suggestion).
When she reaches the count of 1, she is then to awaken herself by counting forward from 1 to 5. This exercise is to be performed three times a day, once in the morning, once about noon, and the third time late afternoon or early evening. Thus she conditions herself to go into hypnosis quickly, to remain there for about three or four minutes (that's about how long it takes to count back from 50 to 1) and then to awaken herself. Then the real purpose of this exercise is revealed to her .
When the time comes to go to the hospital, and while she is in the labor room, she is to hypnotize herself just before she feels a contraction coming on. Then, as she counts slowly back from 50, the counting causes her to become as anaesthetic of her hypnotic depth will allow, so that she will feel the contraction but not the pain usually associated with it. In other words, the counting takes the place of anaesthesia suggestions by the operator. Then, when the contraction is over, she simply awakens herself by counting from I to 5. Between contractions she is awake in all respects.
Of course, once she is taken into the labor room, the doctor will be there and he takes over. From that point she is kept under hypnosis until the baby is born, with the doctor, or possibly a nurse, giving her reassuring anaesthesia suggestions almost continuously.
Some Helpful Hints: The following hints about hypnotic conditioning for childbirth should be helpful to the obstetrician-and to the patient :
1. Do not permit the patient to be given any premedication while in the labor room. Such premedication tends to dull the higher centers of the brain and, in cases of light or medium hypnosis, seems to take "the edge" off hypnotic depth.
2. Do not allow the nurses or anyone else around the patient, to refer to the contractions as "pains". So often a nurse will pop in and ask solicitously "How are the pains?" Such negative suggestions should be avoided.
3. Keep talking reassuringly. The usual suggestions are: "You are relaxed and at ease. You are completely free from any discomfort (avoid the word pain) . You are completely anesthetic in the saddle area or from the breasts to the knees . The anesthesia is becoming deeper and more profound every moment. As you count backwards the patient may do this as an extra aid your anesthesia is becoming more complete on every count."
Some Advantages of Hypnotic Anesthesia: Through hypnosis, childbirth becomes as natural a phenomenon as can reasonably be expected. A partial enumeration of the advantages of natural over chemical anesthesia shows that this method certainly merits the attention of more medical men.
1. Elimination of fear, pain and distress before and during labor and delivery as well as post-natally.
2. Possibility of alleviating the mother to experience the sensations of childbirth without the attendant
3. The contractions can be either accelerated or retarded, purely through the medium of verbal suggestion.
4. Hemorrhage reduced.
5. Elimination of pain after the baby is born facilitates recovery.
6. The patient will respond to the doctor's suggestions and cooperate in any way he desires.
7. There are no undesirable postoperative effects from the use of hypnosis as there are from other anaesthetics.
8. Frequently the baby is born narcotized or cyanotic or with excessive amounts of mucous due to the use of narcotics or chemical anaesthesia. Hypnosis precludes these possibilities.
5. INSTANTANEOUS HYPNOSIS: HARRY ARONS
A classic re-print from the Journal of Hypnotism - Vol. I No.5, January 1952: Numerous inquiries, from practicing hypnotists as well as from beginners, have led me to the conclusion that the underlying principles of inducing hypnosis speedily or instantaneously are but little understood. A dearth of information on this phase of the subject in standard books and courses accounts partly for this lack of understanding.
But I feel that the main reason is the fact that those writers and instructors who are masters of this art are reluctant to divulge the true secrets involved. In line with the Journal '5 policy of giving its readers really worthwhile information, I now propose to set forth as clearly as I am able not only the basic principles behind instantaneous hypnosis but also a good deal of the modus operandi.
Hypnosis and Interpersonal Relationship: Probably the most important principle' and the least understood, is that hypnosis is an interpersonal relationship of the utmost delicacy. It is not an artificial state of mind that you induce simply by following a rigid formula, or a set of prescribed rules; it is not a condition that invariably occurs with a variety of subjects upon the application of the same or similar methods. Upon analysis, it is found that all states of hypnosis have but a single common denominator: all types and degrees of trance, with all types of subjects, have in common the one condition of exaggerated suggestibility. And even this condition is not exclusively a property of the hypnotic state, as it is present, though in milder forms and to varying degrees. in our everyday normal waking lives.
Hypnosis may therefore be conceived as a quasi-normal condition, with the transition from waking to hypnosis very vague and often fleeting. In fact, with some subjects hypnotic phenomena may be elicited without recourse at all to hypnosis in the usual sense, while conversely, it is often reported that a subject in profound somnambulism will suddenly, for no apparent reason cease to react in the expected manner. Also, many hypnotists admit that at least 900/c of the hypnotizing is done before the operator even begins the induction process. I would go a step further, and say that under certain conditions, to be discussed later, the subject to all intents and purposes is already hypnotized before the operator even approaches him. The astute hypnotist, recognizing the symptoms, simply puts the clincher on the situation by employing one of the speedy methods of hypnotization. Thus, by snapping his fingers as I do, or by twisting his head slightly as Salter does, or by shaking his hands ala Polgar, or by snapping the command of SLEEP, the operator simply punctuates the sentence that has already been written by adding the period !
It may help to think of hypnosis as a delicate mental state produced by the interplay of two personalities. The peculiar and unpredictable nature of some hypnotic behavior is due in large part to affinities or antagonisms between the two personalities. The truly successful hypnotist is one who understands hypnosis as an interpersonal relationship, one who can skillfully minimize the effects of the natural antagonisms and put to maximum use the existing affinities.
Once the operator understands the true nature of the hypnotist-subject relationship, the production of instantaneous hypnosis becomes more easily conceivable. The hypnotist must now study the important factors that contribute toward creating the favorable conditions mentioned above.
Expectation: The most important of these is probably a high degree of expectation or anticipation of the desired effect on part of the subject. In ordinary hypnotization, the operator is constantly telling he subject what to expect: "When I count to 20 you will fall fast asleep:' "When I say 3 you will be unable to open your eyes." The operator describes the sensations the subject is to expect to feel as he approaches sleep, that his arms or legs will get numb and dull, that his eyes will get tired and bleary, that his head will nod and fall forward, etc. The operator describes in minute detail what the subject will feel as each step in the induction process progresses. He leads him gradually to the point where he expects to lose contact with the external world and enter the realm of the subconscious.
Thus, in ordinary hypnotization, expectation is built up gradually and reaches its peak when the hypnotist feels the time is ripe to state authoritatively that the subject is asleep and in hypnosis. In instantaneous hypnotization expectation is built up indirectly, before the actual induction process begins. The subject is keyed up to a high pitch of expectancy by the action and interaction of several other factors, to be described below, so that when the operator approaches him he needs but to deliver the coup de grace at the best psychological moment and the subject is hypnotized to outward appearances as well as in actuality.
Expectation can be aroused through the medium of fear as well as through the medium of pleasurable anticipation. A subject may be in great awe of the hypnotist and fears that he will easily succumb to his influence. Experience will best teach you how to recognize the symptoms of fearful expectancy in a subject. Or a person may be fascinated by the idea of being hypnotized. Thus his suggestibility is accentuated and he volunteers in full anticipation of an experience from which he expects to derive pleasure, benefit or satisfaction. Whether subjects react with fear or pleasure depends on their individual personality makeup. Either reaction is definitely favorable to instantaneous hypnosis.
Prestige of the Operator: Another almost indispensable factor in instantaneous hypnotization is the prestige of the operator. Let us suppose that a certain well-known hypnotist is booked to play your hometown's largest theater. His reputation precedes him. Many suggestible persons are drawn to the theater on opening night as if impelled by some inner urge beyond their control or comprehension. A sizeable percentage of these will volunteer to be hypnotized when the call is made. They regard the hypnotist as a person of unusual power and talents. Moreover, stage conditions are particularly conducive to raising the subject's susceptibility to the maximum degree. They are often actually hypnotized before they mount the stage. Thus instantaneous hypnosis becomes a fairly simple matter for the stage hypnotist.
The laboratory or clinical psychologist commands considerably less prestige than the stage hypnotist, mainly because he usually works with individuals rather than groups, thus missing the advantages derived from mob psychology. Moreover, being a scientist he or she does not employ embellishments in order to lend the proceedings a mysterious or awesome influence. Prestige is derived principally from the fact that the hypnotist is a professional psychologist and may be an authority on the subject. The clinician can use instantaneous hypnotization, but must rely on the most suggestible subjects and must really be a more capable operator than the stage hypnotist.
Mass Suggestibility (Mob Psychology): Man is a gregarious animal. He likes to "travel with the crowd," to be "one of the boys," to "follow the leader." Herd instinct is very strong with the human animal. His reactions while in a crowd are very different from his reactions in individual situations. We have all heard of what happens in mass revival meetings, in lynchings and in various types of mass hysteria. Man's suggestibility becomes peculiarly enhanced when he finds himself (or rather loses himself) in a crowd, so that he becomes capable of a type of behavior that would be foreign to him as a thinking individual.
The hysterical panic following Orson Welles' radio broadcast depicting an invasion from Mars is an example of one type of mob behavior; Hitlerism is another example, where an entire nation fell under the influence of a strong but depraved leader who understood mob psychology.
Man's mind, in mob situations, loses its individuality; it becomes apart of the mass mind, seems to lose its ability of critical reasoning and moves helterskelter with the tide of the mob. The skilled stage hypnotist makes ample use of mass suggestibility. Thus we find that group hypnotization is much easier than the individual kind. And instantaneous hypnosis becomes child's play in the hands of the operator who understands mob psychology as well as the previously mentioned factors of prestige and expectation. Subjects who would otherwise be difficult or altogether refractory often fall into hypnosis speedily if not instantly in situations where these important factors prevail.
Before proceeding to the modus operandi, it is necessary to say a few words about imitativeness as a significant factor in hypnotizability. Human beings are, after all is said and done, very much like sheep. They will often be induced to do things that they see others do before them that they would not be inclined to lend themselves to in individual situations.
In hypnotization, the operator must keep this fact constantly in mind, and must so arrange the setting and the sequence of the proceedings that this quality of imitativeness will be allowed free reign. As an example, I can cite the practice of arranging the chairs on the stage in a semicircle so that each subject is able to see the others. thus. when the more suggestible ones begin to enter hypnosis, the rest notice this fact and are in a position to be influenced to react in a similar fashion.
The stage hypnotist always selects the best of the "volunteers" for the first instantaneous hypnosis, as success or failure with the first subject largely determines the course of the rest of the demonstration. The quotation marks around the word "volunteers" are not intended to imply that they are not indeed volunteers, but refers to the recommended practice of testing the entire audience or large portions of it with preliminaries like the Arms Rising and Falling Test and selecting the volunteers from among those who reacted favorably, thus eliminating really "cold" volunteers without impressing the audience too strongly with the fact that a subterfuge was employed. The same principle operated in clinic situations like Emile Coue`'s clinic at Nancy and is behind the so-called miracles at Lourdes and other shrines, Mesmer's old practice of grouping his patients around his famous "banquet" probably resulted in a greater degree of success than would have been possible had he worked on his patients individually.
Prehypnotic Suggestion: You have all had experience with posthypnotic suggestion and the marvelous results that it can produce. But few of you, I am quite certain, have given Prehypnotic Suggestion much thought. Actually, prehypnotic suggestion is an underlying factor not only in instantaneous hypnotization, but also determines the types and varieties of responses that will be elicited in the resulting hypnotic trance.
There are two main types of prehypnotic suggestion: 1) heterosuggestion suggestion received from an extraneous source, and 2) autosuggestion suggestion that has been somehow self -administered. The latter refers to any and all types of preconditioned ideas and notions about hypnotism that the subject has somehow gained through past experience. Thus, a subject who believes that he may have difficulty awakening from hypnosis, or may awaken with a headache, may, if the hypnotist does not eradicate these fears while the person is in hypnosis, react in this fashion.
The hypnotist usually administers hetero-prehypnotic suggestion by accident or design. In general, whatever the operator can make the subject believe before the induction has a tendency to be subsequently realized. For example, if the hypnotist succeeds in convincing the prospective subject that he can hypnotize him instantly, and especially if the hypnotist proceeds to demonstrate this feat on another subject (presumably another volunteer, but actually in most cases a pre-tested "sure thing") the chances are good in favor of the accomplishment. Most stage hypnotists make very strong and often-exaggerated claims in their brief preliminary talks. This is designed to enhance their prestige in the eyes of prospective subjects in the audience and serves as a vehicle for any prehypnotic suggestions that the operator wants to impart prior to hypnotization proper.
Methods Based on Posthypnotic Suggestion: The simplest and most spectacular methods of instantaneous hypnotization are based on posthypnotic suggestion. One need not be an expert to use these methods. The primary requirement is that the subject be previously hypnotized into a fairly deep trance and told that after awakening he is to resume the hypnotic state instantly whenever a certain signal is given. The signal may be a word, a meaningful glance, a snap of the fingers, a cough, -any signal that is arranged between the subject and operator during the previous hypnosis. Should the subject have posthypnotic amnesia, the subject will not know consciously what the signal is, but it will work nonetheless.
When these methods are used in front of an audience, the spectators rarely realize that it is not the hypnotist's skill that is causing subject after subject to fall asleep instantly, but a simple posthypnotic suggestion given during the previous hypnosis. Here are a few of the ruses that stage hypnotists employ:
Preliminary tests are performed in the usual manner. Then a group of "volunteers" are hypnotized while seated in a semicircle on the stage. They are taken though some of the simpler experiments, during the course of which the hypnotist tells them, either audibly or in aloud stage whisper, that they will fall asleep again any time that evening when the operator snaps his fingers and says, "sleep"! Or the hypnotist may give each suitable (deep) subject an individual specific signal, so that each one reacts to something else. If this is done during some interesting action, the audience is none the wiser even if the posthypnotic suggestions are made aloud. Thus, Polgar's subjects fall asleep when he points his finger at them dramatically, or when he shakes their hands: or he may pass out cards on which the posthypnotic suggestion is written, whereupon the subjects reading the cards fall asleep in a matter of seconds. Slater barks a staccato command and gives the subject's head a peculiar sideways twist. Weisbrod's subjects fall asleep when they hear the word ..moonlight." I gaze fixedly into my subject's eyes for a few seconds, snap my fingers, and make a short pass without contact over his face from the eyes downward. And so on, ad infinitum.
Most stage exhibitions are divided into four parts. The firs! consists of an introductory talk and a preliminary testing period, during which 15 to 20 susceptibles are brought up on stage. In the second part the entire group is hypnotized, the refractory element unobtrusively eliminated and the remainder tested for hypnotic depth. It is during this second period that the deeper subjects receive the posthypnotic suggestions for instantaneously resuming the hypnotic trance. The third part is the main and most spectacular part of the exhibition. Subjects are quickly hypnotized individually and in small groups and taken through the most fascinating and breathtaking experiments possible.
The last part consists of a question and answer period.
In radio and television shows, the studio audience witnesses the entire demonstration, but the radio and television audiences see and hear only the third part, It is therefore small wonder that the radio listeners and televiewers are amazed at the speed and ease with which the hypnotist induces hypnosis, since they are unaware that these subjects had already been taken through their paces before the show hit the airwaves and were thoroughly conditioned to react instantaneously to the hypnotist's posthypnotic sleep suggestions.
Instantaneous induction methods based on post hypnosis, if judiciously employed, will tend to convince the average audience that the hypnotist using them is indeed a master of the art. However, the operator cannot be considered an expert in informed circles unless he has also developed the flair for speedily hypnotizing suitable subjects by means of methods other than those based on posthypnotic suggestion.