Signs Of Hypnosis

by Bob Walsh

How do you recognize if someone is hypnotized? Can you see it? Is there some kind of “test” that you can do in order to tell if someone is in a hypnotic trance? This is what we’re going to look at in this article.

We’ll find out how exactly to tell if someone is hypnotized, what the signs of hypnosis are. This is very important, because you need these skills in order to be a good hypnotist. You will be able to tell so much about what people are experiencing.

And you have a feedback mechanism that makes it possible for you to judge how a certain hypnotic induction or suggestion worked for your hypnotic subject. If it did work good, then great – utilize it. If it didn’t work, don’t worry – if YOU recognize it, you can actually turn that to your “hypnotic advantage”. Because that other person will feel that you know what you are doing, it’s subconscious mind will realize “he’s with me, he understands me” and trust you more.

hypnotic eye

Hypnotized Eyes
It’s said that the eyes are a mirror of the soul. I don’t know if that’s true or not – there surely are some pretty evil people with beautiful eyes. But I do know that the eyes are an indicator of the mental state a person is in. In other words: the eyes already give away clues about whether or not someone is in hypnosis. A couple of characteristics of “hypnotized eyes” are a glazed look and teary eyes. Because the muscles around the tearducts can get extremely relaxed during hypnosis, his makes the eyes watery. Another phenomenon that’s easy to observe is that a hypnotized person usually fixates it’s eyes on one point in the room. It looks like that daydreaming eye, kind of “staring at nothing”, looking in the distance, like you see it with absend-minded people. Also, the blinking reflex is surpressed in hypnosis – that means people blink less often than they do in normal waking state. (You have to distinguish what is different for that person from their normal, waking state). So observe their blinking rate while awake, and when it slows down you’ll know you’re on your way. Sometimes, people stop blinking alltogether, but this rarely happens.
Also, some people get blood shot eyes from hypnosis – just like drunken people. Because the muscles in the eyes relax, and that increases the blood flow in the eyes, resulting in red eyes. (So next time someone comments on your red eyes and asks what you did last night, you can just say: “Ah, I just got hypnotized”).

What if the eyes are closed?
Some people just close their eyes during hypnosis, and that is totally fine too. Oftentimes you will be able to see R.E.M. (Rapid Eye Movements) – movements of the eye that typically occurr during sleep when a person dreams. You can see that underneath the eyelids the eyeballs are going left and right, or more seldomly up and down or even more seldomly every way around, but the point being is that there are fast movements.
The eyelids are also often twitching. In rare occurences,

Breathing In Hypnosis
Breathing speed changes in hypnosis. If a person is hypnotized she breaths differently. In most cases, hypnotized people breath more slowly, and they take longer and deeper breaths compared to their normal, waking state respiratory rate. Sometimes people will have a higher respiratory rate when hypnotized, this occurs most frequently when they are having an exciting or upsetting experience in hypnosis. Specially when working with traumatizations or when doing a fast-phobia cure, there are times when the respiratory rate will probably be a lot higher.

Respiratory rate: How often does a person breath per minute. So the “unit” is “breaths per minute”.

How can you tell the change in the respiratory rate? Well, you just have to remember to find out the person’s normal respiratory rate in waking state. The way you do that is you just observe them. Observe the raising and falling of the chest. Now, you don’t want to be staring at other people’s chests, specially if it’s a woman. Rather, you use your peripheral vision. Might have to train that ability a bit first, but you’ll get the knack soon. Another way is to look at the raising and sinking of the neck/shoulder region. Or you can gently lay a hand on the shoulder or neck of a person and just feel the breathing. Some people have such a stuffed respiratory system, that you can just hear it.

Involuntary Muscle Twitches
Single, rapid muscle contractions often occur during hypnosis. The muscle contracts for a fragment of a second and then relaxed again immediately. This often causes a twitch in the face, or a small movement of a finger. These muscle twitches can occur in all muscles – the small ones and the big ones. They are simply a reaction of the muscle to the total relaxation, a kind of catarthic effect.


This Is Your Face On Hypnosis
Faces don’t stay the same when states of consciousness change. That’s why you can see changes in the way the face of a hypnotic subject looks. Generally, the face of a hypnotized person is more symmetric than it is during waking state. This is caused by the relaxation of all the facial muscles. This can give hypnotized people a bit of a “waxy” look. Another thing that commonly happens is that the color of the skin changes a bit. It can be either a bid redder or a bit paler. That is because of the change in bloodflow – if blood vessels widen and more blood gets circulated, then the face get’s a bit redder, if they contract and less blood gets pumped through the face, then the person gets a bit paler. The changes in color are most easily detect in people with bright skin – the darker the skin, the more difficult it is to detect any changes in skin color.

Hypnotic Heartbeat
The pulse also changes in hypnosis. Usually it slows down – less heart beats per minute. Simply because of the relaxation. Sometimes it speeds up, specially when a person is excited or emotionally upset. You could of course grab their wrists and feel the pulse, but there’s a way more elegant and smooth way of checking their pulse rate. Just look at the side of their neck, where the blood vessels are close under the surface of the skin. There, you can see the pulsation.

Hypnotic Body Language
If a person usually uses a lot of hand gestures and “talks with his body” a lot, then this one is a lot easier to spot. People often become kind of “immobile” during hypnosis, they move a lot less than in waking state.

Tone Of Voice
If during the hypnotic session there is a conversation going on, or the hypnotic subject says something, the voice will often sound a bit different. Usually hypnotized people speak a bit slower, and the pitch of their voice is a bit lower.

100% Attention
focusThis one is not as clearcut as the other ones – but you can spot if a person is paying full attention to you or if they are doing something else in their mind. During hypnosis, they give you (or more precisely: your hypnotic induction and your hypnotic suggestions) full and undivided attention. They are not as easily distracted as they usually are.

There Are No Hard Rules
Finally, I also want to point out one important fact: You’ve already learned many of the signs of hypnosis. But if a person doesn’t show certain signs, that does not mean they are not hypnotized. Or if they show that sign at one point, and then they stop doing it, it doesn’t mean they are out of hypnosis now.

(For example: if a person shows R.E.M and then all of the sudden it stops and the eyeballs are just calm – does that mean the person is now out of trance? No. It just means that this particular hypnotic state is over, and now another [probably still hypnotic] state has begun.)

I know all those “usually X means that, but it can also mean Y, or just about anything else” can be frustrating if you are just getting introduced to hypnosis. Many people want “hard and fast” rules that make it easier for them to learn things. And in fact – hypnosis WOULD be a lot easier to learn if we could just say: “if a person shows R.E.M. then that means they are in deep delta. But that’s part of mastering hypnosis – you got to use your brain, you got to use your analytics abilities, you got to develop your judgement if you really want to be able to hypnotize anyone. But if you stick with it – if you push through that frustration that comes from not having “hard rules”, then you’ll be rewarded a thousandfold by the amazing things that you can do with other people’s and your own mind.

How To Become Great At Reading Body Language

The more you practice and hone your observation, the better you’ll be at being a hypnotist. It’s often the smallest signals that give away the most information about a hypnotic subject. You want to be a avid reader of human behaviour and body language. Milton H. Erickson, the legendary hypnotist, was able to pick up the smallest details from people, and this probably was one of his most valuable talents in his profession. How did Erickson got so good at “reading people”?

It’s actually a bit of a sad story. He got paralized from polio when he was a kid. He couldn’t move. He couldn’t talk. The only muscles that he had conscious control of where the muscles of his eyeballs. He could hear and he could see, and that was it. So what did he do? He just observed. He looked at what his family did. He watched how they behaved. And soon, he discovered the people often say yes, when their bodies say no. He learned to see all those little things that we usually don’t see, because we don’t pay enough attention to it. But the attention you pay to what’s happening around you is like a muscle. The more you train it, the stronger it will become. So I recommend – commit to observing people daily. Don’t try to do it all the time. But decide: I’m going to just observe people 10 minutes a day, and schedule a time where you’re going to do just that. Observe precisely.

Get Out Of Your Head
One common mistake people make here is that they observe just the same, but they interpret a lot more. That’s not what you want to do. It’s not about fantazing, or guessing, or interpreting. That’s only getting you deeper inside your head. What you want to do is get out of your head more. Become more conscious of what’s going on outside. Just observe more and don’t give in to the urge to understand. If you stick with that for a couple of weeks, you’ll be surprised at how much more you understand. I know a couple of weeks sounds like a lot of time, but I’m just talking ten minutes a day for a skill that will be a lot more valuable to you for the rest of your life than stock trading or learning how to use this or that computer program, or how to operate that new phone.

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