Let’s talk about the five things that assist to induce hypnosis so that you can take note of them and be more successful with hypnosis. Let’s begin

The nature of the mind is such that it will respond to certain events and actions by creating a state that is very susceptible to suggestion. These events and actions are relaxation” surprise, physical disorientation” confusion and emotions. When you understand how these situations effect the mind you’ll be better able to induce hypnosis in others.


The neophyte to hypnosis is most often introduced to hypnotic induction by means of relaxation. This is where the subject is guided through a relaxation process starting at one end of the body and slowly progressing through the parts of the body to the other end.

The reason this works is that by relaxing the body it is supposed to remove resistance to any suggestions.

The downside of a hypnotic induction that uses relaxation is that it sometimes puts the subject into a state of sleep instead of hypnosis. Many hypnotists become “married” to the progressive relaxation induction and unknowingly limit themselves because it does not easily lend itself to testing the hypnotic state.


When a person experiences surprise they are forced to make sense of the experience. This pushes out all other distractions and forces their awareness to a single focus.

The most common hypnotic induction process using surprise is when the hypnotist shouts “SLEEP!” at the subject. With few exceptions this will seldom work without the pre-talk.

Physical Disorientation

Most people have experienced the sensations of swinging on a swing and closing their eyes. Likewise you may have sat in a rotating chair and spun around with your eyes closed. The experience tends turn ones attention inward and away from the external environment. This is an ideal inroads to create a meaningful internal experience for the hypnotist.

Some cultures would do this by building a “witches chair.” This is a comfortable chair or bed that is suspended from the ceiling. The subject would close their eyes and others would swing and rotate the chair as the subject focused on creating an meaningful internal mental state.

In modern hypnosis there are inductions which rely on very gently rocking the subject as you give suggestions. The rocking or movement is not so much for the standing subject to fall over (the hypnotists arm is holding them steady by the shoulders) but it is just enough to create a gentle disorientation.


If you have ever experienced something confusing it is not pleasant. In the state of confusion the mind will quickly begin to search for anything that will help make sense of the situation. This search seldom takes more than a second but within the brief moment the mind is highly suggestible and will accept any suggestion that might fit.

It should be noted that surprise, physical disorientation and confusion make up many of the rapid hypnotic inductions. These will be discussed in the next section.


Hypnotic Inductions that use emotions are seldom used by anyone other than the most skilled hypnotists and are often used to deal with severe emotional pain and trauma.

To understand how emotions are used to induce hypnosis one can start by understanding that emotional reactions are seldom within our conscious control and have their origins deep within the unconscious mind. When someone is beginning to feel and express an emotion they have pushed aside most other distractions and are becoming very focused.

A skilled hypnotist will use this focus as a starting point for the induction by asking the subject to focus on the feeling and it’s origins. Most often this emotion will be based in pain or fear. The hypnotist’s intent would be to remove the negative emotion and help the subject reframe the experience.

The use of an emotion based hypnotic induction is best left to the skilled and experienced professionals who know how to deal with pain and trauma.

A Comment on Inductions

People are not cookies cut from the same mold so you will find that some people respond better to one induction process than another. You may find some subjects get nauseous when they imagine themselves spinning, for example, so be flexible.

You will find that your best work comes from your most challenging subjects. Take it in stride and adapt.

You may also find that some subjects respond better to a long drawn out induction that includes lots of counting backwards.

Once you’ve worked with a subject enough times it’s likely they will have learned how to enter the hypnotic state at will and very rapidly. Even when they have reached that level of skill as a hypnosis subject you are still likely to hear from them the best ways to phrase their suggestions.

In the next section we’ll discuss inducing hypnosis in the most rapid ways imaginable.