Elmanian hypnosis: hypnosis techniques and hypnotic inductions

The hand shake technic

Elman : I’m going to shake your hand three times. The first time your eyes will get tired… Let them. The second time, they’ll want to close… Let them. The third time they will lock and you won’t be able to open them… Want that to happen, and watch it happen… Now, one… two… now close your eyes… Now three.. .And they’re locked and you’ll find they just won’t work, no matter how hard you try. The harder you try, the less they’ll work. Test them, and you’ll find they won’t work at all… That’s right. Now, that’s perfect eye closure. »

I used to think that was hypnosis. Later, I realized it was merely the opening wedge into hypnosis, and this is an important finding, as you will see.

Two finger eye closure method

Elman : Take a good long breath. Now open your eyes wide. I’m going to pull your eyelids shut with my forefinger and my thumb. Now I want you to relax the muscles that are under my fingers. Now I will take my hand away. Relax your eye muscles that are under my fingers. Relax your eye muscles to the point where they won’t work. Then, when you are sure those eye muscles won’t work, test them and make sure they won’t work. Test them hard. That’s right. Now let the feeling of relaxation go right down to your toes, and when I lift your hand and drop it, that hand will be so relaxes i twill just plop down into your lap. And just let it plop. That’s it…

Now (addressing to class) :, i order not to have her feel discomfort, it is necessary that you do give the proper suggestions. This is where you put on selective thinking…

Elman (to patient again) : Any work that I do from this point on in your mouth or any other part of your body you just won’t mind. Just stay relaxed like that. Make sure at all times that your eye muscles won’t work and you won’t feel a thing…

Elman (to class) : I’m going to show you the degree of anesthesia that she has already as a result of the suggestion…

Elman to patient : I’m going to stroke your arm in the area where I’m going to work and you just won’t feel anything. You will now I’m working there, but nothing will bother, nothing will disturb. I’m ready to do my work now and you have complete anesthesia in your right arm…

Elman to class : Watch me make this test… That was an allis clamp to the third notch…

Elman to patient : Now when I have you open your eyes notice how good you feel. Open your eyes. How do you feel ?

Patient : Fine.

Elman : What did you feel ?

Patient : Well, I felt you do something. But I didn’t feel any pain.

Elman hypnotic process

Elman (to patient) :

Take a long deep breath and close your eyes. Now relax those muscles around the eyes to the point where they won’t work. Then test them and make sure they won’t work… Test them hard… That’s right… Now let that feeling of relaxation go right down to your toes… Now we’ll do that over again, and the next time I have you open and close your eyes, that relaxation will be twice as great as it is now – and let it be… Now, open your eyes – really relax – close your eyes again… That’s it… The next time you do this you’ll be able to relax even more than you have relaxed… Open your eyes… Now close your eyes… Now I’m going to lift your hand and drop it. I want it to be as limp as a dishrag… If you’ve followed instructions, that relaxation will have gone down to your toes. And when I lift your hand it will just plop down – let it plop down….

That’s right… Now physically you have all the relaxation we need. We want your mind to be just as relaxed as your body is, so I want you to start counting from one hundred backwards, when I tell you to. Each time you say a number, double your relaxation. By the time you get down to ninety-eight, you’ll be so relaxed, the numbers won’t be there. Start from one hundred and watch them disappear before you get to ninety-eight… Double your relaxation and watch them fading… Now watch them disappear… Now they’ll be gone… Isn’t that a nice feeling ? Are they all gone ? Let them disappear… Are they all gone ? That’s right…

Addressing doctors  : Now this is the very important part. We must make those numbers disappear if she wants real help at delivery time. I’m working with your patients for delivery or for any other cause, if they still have the numbers, you cannot help them to any great extent. That’s why I made sure she made those numbers disappear, notice the beautiful things that happen instantly. See how relaxed she is.

And ( to patient) the feeling within is pretty good, isn’t that right ?

Patient : yes

Elman : Now, I will stroke your right hand, and watch the anesthesia come in. I’ll stroke it three times. One… two… three… How’s your hand ?

Patient : I feels cold.

Elman : All right, that means the anesthesia is starting. When I have open your eyes, that anesthesia is going to get ten times as strong… Open your eyes… How is your hand now ?

Patient : I feels funny.

Elman (to the doctors) : This is somnambulism with the eyes wide open, for we have retained the somnambulistic state with the eyes wide open. If we want to have that anesthesia get stronger we can have her do almost anything and act she goes through – any suggestion she follows – will make that anesthesia stronger. For example (to patient) raise your left hand and drop it… What happened to your right hand when you did that ?

Patient : I feel funnier.

Elman : Funnier than before, is that right ?

Patient : Yes

Elman : Now put your head back and bring it forward… How’s your right hand ?

Elman (to doctors) : By this time it’s so numb that she probably won’t feel anything. In order to let you see the depth of anesthesia we obtain, I’m going to be working on that right hand and she won’t even feel what I’m doing. In fact, to prove that she won’t feel what I’m doing, I’m going to have her close her eyes While I work on it…

Elman (to patient) : Then I want you, with your eyes closed – after I work on your hand – I want you to try to locate where I worked on it… Now try to find, without opening your eyes, where I touched you.

Elman (to doctors) : Notice how far she’s missing it… She’s about seven inches away… That’s pretty good anesthesia when you’re about seven inches away from allis clamps closed to the third notch… Let her tell us how little she felt.

Elman (to patient) : I want you to open your eyes, and that anesthesia will be stronger that ever, but I want you to tell us what you felt.

Patient : Nothing

Elman induction with explanations

Elman : Now, let’s start over again and explain why we’re doing this and why we did exactly as we did.

Elman (To patient) : When I next talk to you and have you close your eyes, you’ll be in exactly the same state as you were before. That is, the number will have disappeared and you’ll be completely relaxed.

Elman (To doctors) : For over fifty years I have been studying the subject of hypnosis, and in my early studies, I came across a book by Doctor H. Bernheim. In this book he states that when a patient came to him for the first visit, he hypnotized the patient and he went into a light state of hypnosis. A week later, when the patient returned for the second visit, he went into the same state. This happened for four successive weeks. But on the fifth visit, the doctor noticed that the patient went into a much deeper state identifiable by the fact that the patient developed amnesia within the state, or suggestions for amnesia would be readily accepted. He called this state somnambulism. It was the same state which the Marquis de Puysegur had described. It occurred to me that if the patient had returned day after day instead of week after week, the somnambulism could have been achieved in five days instead of five weeks. Then the thought occurred that could have made these visits an hour apart and would then have gotten the somnambulism in five hours instead of weeks. Continuing along these lines, I wondered if the state could not be produced even faster. I experimented and found that I could produce the somnambulistic state by hypnotizing a person repeatedly, in a much shorter interval. I was able to achieve in three minutes, what it took Doctor Bernheim five weeks to accomplish. I call this method the repeated induction technique. (It was used in the excerpt from the class session which you have just read). Here again, is the repeated induction method of achieving the deep state of somnambulism.

Elman (Addressing Patient) : Close your eyes. Relax every muscle so that the eye muscles just won’t work… No test them.

Elman (To doctors) : This is the first visit

Elman (To patient) : In a moment I’m going to have you open and close your eyes and you’ll be more relaxed than before… Close your eyes.

Elman (To doctors) : Now we have given the second visit. Already we have the benefit of a posthypnotic suggestion, for while in the hypnotic state I am suggesting to her that in the next time she opens and closes her eyes she will be more relaxed than ever.

Elman (To patient) : Now, open and close your eyes.

Elman (To doctors) And now we have a patient who is more relaxed then ever. This is the third visit. Three visits plus two posthypnotic suggestions are certainly the equivalent of five visits to Doctor Bernheim.

Now we’re ready to test for the somnambulism. If she has followed orders up to this point we should be able to give her a suggestion for amnesia, or she would be able to develop amnesia within the state itself if she has really reached the somnambulistic state. We have determined upon a test which has this peculiar faculty : if it does not indicate that the somnambulism is there, it tends to produce somnambulism. In other words, the very test suggests somnambulism.

Elman (To patient) : I want you to relax your mind as you’ve relaxed your body. Start counting from one hundred backwards. Each time you say a number double your relaxation. By the time you get down to ninety-eight, there won’t be any more numbers, you’ll be so relaxed…

Now start from one hundred and make that happen… Are the numbers gone?

Patient : Yes.

Elman (to doctors) : You remember, I stroke her hand three times and said, “Anesthesia will come onto that hand”, and I think it’s still there.

Elman (to patient): How’s your hand ?

Patient : Pretty numb.

Elman : I’ll stroke it and it will be very numb. One… Two… Three.

Elman (to doctors) : Remember what I did. After I got the numbness started I said, “When I have you open your eyes, that numbness is going to be about ten times stronger that it is now.”

Elman (to patient) : Now open your eyes. How’s your hand ?

Patient : Numb.

Elman (to doctors) : Now what have I done ? I’ve coumpouned the anesthesia. Y have her in the somnambulistic state with the eyes wide open. Now we want to increase that anesthesia. Anything I do will increase it. Watch. Ask her if she doesn’t feel an increase in the anesthesia when I light this cigarette.

Elman (to patient): Watch me light this cigarette and then tell me how that hand feels… How does your hand feel?

Patient : Numb.

Elman : More numb then before ?

Patient : Yes.

Elman (to doctors) : Notice the desire for relaxation. Any suggestion given can be employed to increase relaxation.

Elman (to patient) : Now you can close your eyes again. I’m taking away the anesthesia, and when you open your eyes you’re going to feel better than you’ve felt all day, all evening, all month. And you’re going to be in beautiful shape to be helped for you delivery. You will have that baby without feeling a solitary thing. Now open your eyes and notice how good you feel… How do you feel?

Patient : Fine.

Elman (to doctors) : Why was I able to get deeper anesthesia every time I gave a suggestion ? Because suggestions can be compounded. The first one you give may be relatively weak. It becomes stronger, however when you follow it with a second suggestion, even though the second one may be entirely different. You give suggestion one and that’s weak. Then you give suggestion two and number one gets stronger. Then you give suggestion three and numbers one and two get stronger. Give suggestion four and one, two and three all get stronger. Give suggestion five, and one, two, three and four get stronger. The progression extends back to the beginning.

The technique I use when the numbers don’t disappear

Elman : let me show you again the technique I use when the numbers don’t disappear. I lift his hand and say ; “When I drop your hand the lights will go out and you won’t see any more numbers… There you are… The lights are out and all the numbers are gone…

That’s how you change artificial to true somnambulism. In compounding anesthesia, all you need to begin with is a little anesthesia. But if you ask the patient how he feels after you have given an anesthesia suggestion, and he says, “Not much different”, and then you compound – you can go on compounding to the end of time, and nothing times nothing equals nothing. He’s got to have a little anesthesia to compound for greater anesthesia.

The Esdaile state

This is the way to prepare a patient for surgery (or delivery) in the coma state of hypnosis :

The first thing you must to do is to get the patient into somnambulism. Then explain that there is a basement to relaxation – a bottom floor – and you want to take the patient down to this bottom floor. Take him down a floor A, and you will find he is able to voice the letter A quite plainly. Tell him that in order to get down to floor B, he will have to relax twice as much as he did at floor 1. When he gets to floor B, he may find difficulty in saying the letter B out loud, but tell him to do his utmost to say it out loud. Some patients will fail to be able to do it. This is good sign.

Now, using the same procedure, take him down to floor C, at which point he should not be able to move his lips sufficiently to form the letter C.

When you are sure he is in floor C, without giving suggestions of any kind for anesthesia, take a pair of allis clamps or towel clips, and make a test for anesthesia. Don’t use a word of suggestion for this. If it is necessary to give suggestions for hypnotic anesthesia, you don’t have the coma state.

When the patient hass passed the test for anesthesia, he is ready for test number two.

Ask him to try to move a large group of muscles such as an arm or leg. Ih he is unable to move the big muscles, he is ready for the third test.

This should involve a small group of muscles as the around eyes. Ask him to try to open his eyes. If he does, he is not in the coma state, and you must take him down a flight further, until the eye muscle will not work.

In somnambulism when the patient tries to open his eyes you will see a movement of the muscles even thought the eyes don’t open. But in the true coma state, those tiny muscles don’t work at all, and you see no movement whatever.

Your fourth test should be for catatonia. Realize that catatonia can be obtained in the lightest state of hypnosis.

Therefore, it means nothing unless it is the fourth test you make in coma state. When a patient passes all these four tests in the exact order given, you may be sure you have the true hypnotic coma and can proceed from there. In your test for catatonia, no suggestions should be given. The catatonia must arrive by itself, without suggestions of any kind.

Never go on to a further test until the patient has passed the first one. Don’t make test two until the patient has definitively passed test one; don’t make test tree until the patient has passed test one and two, and so on.

When you obtain the Esdaile state, you will notice that the patient is truly incapable of taking a “physical” suggestion. When he is asked to raise his arm, the muscles may quiver. Then movement ceases. We have found that many patients, after coming out of the coma, are certain in their own minds that they followed the suggestions of the operator, and did raise the arm as requested. Remember, they can hear and understand every word you say.

In the true state of coma, though the patient’s physical activities are immobilized – he truly cannot follow physical suggestions much as he might wish to do so – he is quite capable of talking “mental suggestions” – in which there is no physical movement. Our doctors have proved this in various ways. They have taken patients suffering from headaches, dysmenorrhea, and many other functional symptoms, put them into the coma state and given them suggestions for the relief of these symptoms. The patient did not have these symptoms at the time of induction. The suggestions were given as post-hypnotics, for the relief of these symptoms, quite successfully.