Skip to main content

Dark clouds and silver linings

Today I heard about a grand wedding of an Indian tycoon (Ambani's son) from a friend of mine, and he showed me some videos of it too. He said famous and powerful people from around the world have been invited to it, and the cost of the event was going to be several Billions (of Indian Rupees or USD, I don't know). If you think about it, India is a country with a higher population of substandard living conditions. There are innocent and miserable children who are forced to work for a mere subsistence, being deprived of education, health facilities, and food and water. I remember a movie based on a true story in which Akshey Kumar was playing the leading role where he makes sanitary towels (pads) for poor women who could not afford it. In such a country, a single wedding event spends billions of money. What a crappy world we are living! You could imagine how much wealth this family has amassed. On the other, this "mental disease" of exorbitant spending must be highly we

Be a Hypnotist before Next Week
Having written a book on hypnosis in Sinhala language (my mother tongue) that you can freely read on this website, and having received lots of comments, emails, and phone calls from the general readership for that, I thought of writing a book on hypnosis in English.

There are tons of books, both good and bad, on this subject in English, but my way and style of writing is so different, and therefore I honestly think this book will be unique.

I always believe as a writer that the text should be simple and factual as much as possible.

This English version is not a literal translation of my Sinhala medium book, but rather an adaptation with much rewriting afresh.

Though my Sinhala medium book tries to teach hypnosis beyond just basic level, the English version is oriented towards the hobbyist.

This book covers all the basics and beyond that any hypnotist - amateur or expert, shall know.

The Table of the Contents of the book as shown here will attest the fact that this book is all comprehensive.

   What can HYPNOSIS do?

   Mind Model
      Conscious Mind
      Subconscious Mind
      Unconscious Mind
   Critical Factor

   Old school hypnosis
      Faulty Progressive Relaxation
   Basics of Hypnosis
   Hypnotic suggestions
      Pre-hypnotic suggestions
      Post-hypnotic suggestions

Brief History of Hypnosis
   Faith healing & Placebo effect
   Psychosomatic diseases

Hypnotizing Step by Step
      Sample Pre-talk
      Elman Induction Script

      Special characteristics of an induction

   First Technique
   Second Technique
   Emergency technique
   If the surrounding has background noise…
   Hypnotic amnesia

Depth of Hypnosis
   Deepening techniques
      Deepening with breathing
      Counting down
      Physical handling
      “I need an interval”
   Subsequent sessions


Further on hypnosis
      Direct Suggestion


Group hypnosis

Random thoughts…

Two paths of hypnosis

Types of induction
   Standard inductions
   Rapid inductions
   Instant inductions

How to write script
   What not to expect from hypnosis
   Sample script
   Hobbyist script

   How to regress

   Anchoring self-hypnosis

A few more inductions
   Hand drop induction
   Progressive relaxation induction
   Play a game induction

Final notes

The following are some excerpts from the book.

What can HYPNOSIS do?

Well, the list may be so long, but I would love to list down the main ones as follows. The following list is actually a set of cases/situations/conditions where hypnosis can be used to mitigate or solve the problems.

   ·         Addictions like smoking, alcoholism

   ·         Bad habits like nail biting

   ·         Phobias like fear to speak publicly

   ·         Unnecessary stress as in uncontrollable exam stress

   ·         Psychosomatic disorders as in getting stomachache when you are about to face a challenge or bitter experience.

   ·         Incessant negative/gloomy feelings

   ·         Lack of self-esteem and self-confidence

   ·         Chronic pains

   ·         Laziness and lack of interest for studies

In fact, the above list is abbreviated and symbolic only, and under each category, there are lots of subcategories in each. For example, there are a few dozens of phobias – fear of public speaking, fear of copperware, fear of being in high places from ground, fear of being in open areas, fear of glittering materials, fear of women, and so on and so forth.


“Hypnosis is the bypass of the critical mind of the person, and establishment of acceptable selective thinking.”

This is the most comprehensive best definition with the least number of words. That can be considered the standard definition too. There are a few other definitions (such as “hypnosis is to cause an altered state of mind”, “hypnosis is highly focused mind”, etc). According the above standard definition, hypnosis is of two important facts.

    1.      It bypasses the critical factor. It is the most essential part. This is the active and challenging part for the hypnotist too. Somebody may regard this stage as “you make the mind fall asleep”.

When your mind’s CF is bypassed, it reduces the noise in your mind. It becomes so calm that outsiders just see the person in hypnosis as “sleeping”; but remember that she is in fact not sleeping.

However much you try to bypass the CF, the hypnotist can never bypass it completely. The deeper (further) you bypass it, the better and the easier for the suggestions to reach the subconscious.

Sometimes you may have seen such terms as light hypnosis, medium hypnosis, and deep hypnosis. These relative words (light, medium, deep) refer to the level the CF has been bypassed. This is called the level of hypnosis, also known as depth of hypnosis. It is an important factor to know, and each hypnotist must know how to check it while hypnotizing somebody. A hypnotist must try to get the client to the deepest level as much as possible.

    2.      It establishes the acceptable selective thinking. This is as important too (that’s why it is included in the definition itself). Simply it says that the client in hypnosis is only accepting what he is really ready to accept. That means a hypnotist cannot change a person by giving instructions that the client is not ready to accept or belief. For example, you cannot make a person kill another person by hypnotizing him – leave such scenes only to movies.

The reason for this is that still the CF exists subtly. There may be some other techniques that can actually make a person do things he would not have loved to do if he were conscious (like brain washing, covert hypnosis). Yet, those are not covered in this book, and if the client knows he is being hypnotized, and then it is guaranteed the client DOES NOT accept suggestions he is not willing to comply with.

That is a relief – you do not have to be afraid of being hypnotized at least for fun. Therefore remember the following important facts.

·         You cannot be hypnotized by force. One may say he is going to hypnotize you without your consent. Don’t be afraid; challenge him to do it, and you keep confident, and relaxed. He cannot!

·         If you give your consent to be hypnotized, then most probably you will get into hypnosis. Still, the hypnotist cannot give suggestions to do say or do things you don’t like to do. You will not be embarrassed if you really do not want to comply with the suggestions. Even in hypnosis, the client is still IN TOTAL CONTROL.

·         The hypnotist cannot find your secrets in hypnosis. If you really do not want to reveal them, you can still keep them as secret even in hypnosis.

Due to above reasons, if a person cannot by hypnotized, at least one of following conditions exist.

    1.      She is afraid.

Fear is the number one foe of the hypnotist. She may be fearful because of various reasons. I am 100% sure, those reasons are baseless. They may have the fear because they do not have a correct understanding of hypnosis, and they think of scenes they have seen in movies. They may be afraid thinking that their well-kept secrets be revealed; or they may “be stuck in” the hypnosis for the rest of their life; or their body may be possessed by some spirits/demons. However, all of these claims are absolutely false.

    2.      She is doubtful.

If she has doubts on the hypnotist or hypnosis itself, then she is a hard case again. You have to get their trust in you. Act, Say, and Think Professional. Nobody likes to be a toy of another. Fair enough?

Actually this fact is very crucial. Do not underestimate it. You may think that after hypnotizing some person you can change her belief system. NO WAY! Unless she is willing to change it, a hypnotist cannot do anything about it. The only thing that could happen is that she might find it out suddenly whilst in hypnosis and get out of the hypnosis. From that moment on, she may lose trust in you and you would never be able to hypnotize her again.

It may be possible to change one’s belief system and things the client is not willing to change without her consent. This is done in another variety of hypnosis which is called covert hypnosis. Here, the person does not know that he is being hypnotized even. It happens without her knowing and awareness. Therefore, it has to be done in subtle ways. The covert hypnotist here does not get any cooperation from the hypnotee, so it is challenging. However, it cannot be done in the normal standard (and professional) hypnosis process that you are going to learn in this book.

Now you can understand that for a successful hypnotic session, the hypnotist must expel fear and doubt from the client’s mind. I will explain in a moment how to do it nicely and simply.

Hypnosis is clearly not an instance of meditation or vice versa. They are completely different. I must stress here that meditation on its own is such a wonderful soothing medicative experience. Meditation brings you lots of benefits. Anybody can meditate; no formal training is needed. Meditation does not bypass the CF, nor does it give any suggestions to the mind as usually happening in hypnosis. It just tranquilizes the mind, and thus lowers stress and improves personal well-being. Hypnosis too can bring you calmness in mind, and that is why some people see them as same.

Hypnotic suggestions

In hypnosis, everything happens through your voice. The client just keeps listening to your talking (voice), and sometimes the client is asked to give some answers to your questions. The “good directions” the hypnotist gives to the client in hypnosis is called hypnotic suggestions. In a hypnotic session, there are two types of suggestions.

Pre-hypnotic suggestions

These are the statements you deliver by your voice to put the client into hypnosis. While the client is listening to them, she is gradually going into hypnosis. 

Not only that, usually you should try to bring her into the deepest possible trance (we call it deepening). To achieve that, again you give suggestions, and these suggestions also come under pre-hypnotic suggestions.

The process of giving pre-hypnotic suggestions in order to hypnotize somebody is called induction. There are many techniques of induction, such as progressive relaxation, fixation, fascination, pendulum swinging, Elman induction, etc. Most of the induction methods are very old (ineffective “old fashioned”), and has drawbacks mentioned earlier. One of the best modern highly effective and efficient induction techniques is Elman. I will teach it in a moment.

Post-hypnotic suggestions

If I ask “why do you hypnotize somebody?”, I may get two possible answers. One answer would be like “just for fun and entertainment”. Another may answer like “to mitigate some problem”.  Either answer is valid and good. However, the latter answer is more serious.

With pre-hypnotic suggestions, the client is now in hypnosis. Next, the hypnotist has to give further suggestions to her subconscious mind to make the difference (that is, to solve her problem). These suggestions are called post-hypnotic suggestions.

The post-hypnotic suggestions are very seriously important because these suggestions are going to make huge effect on the client’s life. These suggestions may linger in her subconscious mind for years (and the impact may last a life time). Therefore, post-hypnotic suggestions have to be carefully prepared. Usually the hypnotist has the list of these suggestions prepared before the client is put into hypnosis. This list of post-hypnotic suggestions is called the hypnotic script or patter.

As you can see writing a script is a serious business. I will teach how to write best scripts. Otherwise, you may have to buy them. When you become an experienced and well-read hypnotist you may do it without a script on paper. You may be able to make the suggestions instantly in your head.


The first step in hypnotizing a person for the first time in her life is to do the pre-talk. If the client has been hypnotized previously by you, then it is not needed. However, if she had been hypnotized not by you, then it is still better to do it. It may take around 10 minutes.

Actually, in a pre-talk, what you do is to describe (or explain) what hypnosis really is, how it works, how it is different from the descriptions in folklore and movie scenes. You have to describe and convince her. 

Even after a good pre-talk, if she still has fears and doubts, well, it is better to leave her. Do not knowingly attempt to fail in the end.

To do a good pretalk, you yourself must have a very comprehensive knowledge about hypnosis. However, I will note down below a sample pre-talk. You may memorize, or make some alterations and adapt it, or else make a brand new original one on your own by understanding the points in this sample pre-talk.


We learned earlier that the set of instructions/suggestions given by the hypnotist to the client is called the induction. There are a lot of inductions, and we are going to learn the very famous and effective one called Elman induction. There are several characteristics any induction should have, and I will talk about them later. First let’s see the script.

Elman Induction Script

All right… What you have to do is to simply listen to me, and to do what I am telling you. Don’t try to focus on other sounds and things except my voice.

Okay… Now take a deep breath slowly… that’s right… Now slowly exhale it… [If she does it quickly tell her to do it slowly]… that’s right… again take a deep breath sloooooowly, and hold it for a few moments… [Now you wait two or three seconds; don’t have to keep looking at a watch] Now slowly exhale, closing your eyes. Let your whole body relax as much as possible, and feel that relaxation…

That’s right… Now focus your attention on your eyes… Relax those muscles in and around your eyes… Yes… Let them relax till those muscles become so relaxed that they can’t open up. 

Yeah… That’s right… If you have really relaxed those muscles around the eyes, you cannot open your eyes. As long as they are relaxed like that, those muscles won’t work. Yeah… eyes and the muscles around the eyes are so relaxed and you can feel it now.

If you are sure that you have made those muscles relax, now check that you really cannot open your eyes. [Now let her try opening her eyes for two seconds. Most probably she will be struggling to open them, but will fail. Keep looking at her eyes. Don’t give her more than two or three seconds because very soon she will be able to open her eyes. Sometimes, she may open her eyes as soon as you say it. Then she may be a hard case. Here she still might have doubts or fears; or you may have to use another induction method. However, in such a case, you may continue to do the rest of the induction telling her to close her eyes again, as if nothing wrong happened.]

Very good… Now I want you to spread that relaxation in your eyes throughout your whole body… that’s right… You are doing good… Let that feeling of smoothing refreshing relaxation and limpness flow from your top of head to your tip of toe… Yes, let your whole body feel it… that’s right…

So good… Now let’s increase this current level of physical relaxation further. In a moment, I am saying to you to open your eyes and close them… Then you will open your eyes and close them… Just when you close your eyes, it will be a hint to your body to let you feel at least ten times the relaxation you are in now. Yes… you will feel ten times the relaxation… It is very easy to do… Just love to have it… love it… It automatically happens… 

Okay… Now open your eyes… [She should open her eyes now. If she does not, you say “open your eyes now” with a somewhat strong voice. If she still does not say “I told you to open the eyes for a moment; you must do what I am telling you; right?; Just because I tell, you can open your eyes now; okay, open your eyes”. She will open her eyes. Remember that a stronger voice does not mean like you are angry. You must not get angry or show anger to the client in any way. It’s the stupidest thing to do. Make sure there is nothing distracting in her vision when she opens eyes. Or else place your palm in front of her eyes before she opens it so only your palm she can see. Do not ever touch your hand on her face while doing this. ]

Now close your eyes; let your whole body feel at least ten times the relaxation you currently have… You now feel that the refreshing relaxation going all over your body… yes… feel it. Excellent… [After her opening eyes, don’t let her be for more than a second or so with open eyes. Tell her to close. She will. If you were holding your palm in front of her eyes, you can lower your palms slowly while you say to close her eyes, and it would work like a hand gesture to close it too]

All right… You are already in a good relaxation, and you can feel further relaxation… You can go deeper… Again like we did earlier, in a moment I am telling you to open and close your eyes, and when you do it, you will feel two times the relaxation you are currently having.

Okay… Open your eyes… [Wait a second] Close your eyes, and let your body feel two times the relaxation you are having now… Go deeper…. [This time too, you can hold your palm as described earlier]

Okay… let’s do it one more time, and go to a deeper relaxation. In a moment I am saying to you to open and close your eyes, and you will feel at least twice the relaxation you are having now. Open your eyes… Close them, and let you relax your body deeper and deeper… Very good… You are doing fine…

You are now deeply relaxed. As long as you keep that relaxation in your body, you cannot move your body, and your muscles are limp…

In a moment, I am going to hold your right hand a little bit up and let it fall back on your lap… [You said “right hand”, so remember to hold the right hand] If you really followed me, and if you really wanted to feel the relaxation, when your hand drops like that, your body should have been relaxed so much that your hand would be limp and heavy and falls down on your lap like a piece of rock or wood falls down. Yes, your hand should have been relaxed and limp to that much level. Don’t try to help me. Leave to me the task of lifting your hand. Your hand should be heavy and limp.

Okay, now I lift up your hand and let it fall on your lap like this… [You do it while saying it. While lifting her hand you can feel if she tries to help you or resist the lifting. Then say to her not to help or resist it, and just relax them; say to her “don’t help/resist to lift your hand; let me do it; you just let it relax and be limp like a piece of wood”. While saying it you just slowly swing her hand side to side by her wrist. Keep repeating it while doing this till her hand becomes limp and lifeless. If she still shows no relaxation after a few attempts, go back to the previous stage of opening and closing eye without hinting her that she has not been successful. If she did it in the first attempt, then you can go to the next level. Otherwise, do this on her other hand too before going to the next level.]

Hmm… You are now in good state of relaxation… fantastic… Let that relaxation go deeper and deeper… Let’s now go to a deeper mental relaxation just as you are having a deeper physical relaxation. Actually, you are already in a good state of mental relaxation. Physical relaxation and mental relaxation go hand in hand. They help each other. So, let’s increase your mental relaxation further…

You proved you can go to a deeper physical relaxation. Likewise, you can go to an even deeper mental relaxation. In a moment, I am telling you to slooooooooowly count backwards… like… 100… 99… 98… 97… and so on… loud enough for me to hear. [Here, when you pronounce the numbers, you should act it out in the way she is supposed to count. I suggest taking two or three seconds for counting each digit. If she counts too quickly, tell her to do it slowly.]

When you say each number, let your mental relaxation go deeper at least as twice as it was before the number counting… You can do it… After each count, your mental relaxation goes deeper and deeper, and after a few counts, you will be so much relaxed that you will automatically forget the counting too. Yes, maybe at the count of 95 or even before you will be forgetting the counting and numbers, and you will be just experiencing the relaxation only. Actually, that is what I want… 

Okay… Now start counting backward from 100… slooooowly…. [Now she will say 100. Once she says or murmurs the number, you just say “double the mental relaxation”. She will say/murmur the next number 99. If she is quick, tell her to slow down. Once she says the number, you say “double the mental relaxation”.  You must further say to her “let the numbers be forgotten… forget the counting… relax your mind”. Remember that the client will wait till you finish your instructions, and will say the next number. She will say the next number. Now you say “double the mental relaxation… let them be forgotten”. Use the word “them” instead of “numbers” from this moment on. She will be counting a number or two further, and then she will stop. However, if you feel like she would be counting without stopping, then after around 94, you give her a strong instruction like “double the mental relaxation… forget the numbers and forget the counting… let them become smaller and thinner… expel the numbers from your mind… let your mind and body feel the refreshing relaxation… focus on that relaxation only…” If she still goes on to count, it is better to stop the induction gracefully and use another induction on her. If she did it perfectly, then it is the end of a successful induction.]


Regression is a wonderful hypnotic experience. Here the client is “taken to the past”. Some mistake it as going back to a past life. No, it is not. Everything that happens in hypnosis does happen in this life. I do not know whether past lives and future lives exist as a matter of fact.

In a regression, the client is taken to the past along her memory lanes. Most of the memories are lurking in the subconscious mind even without you conscious knowing and awareness. Regression wakes up those memories too. Therefore, this “time traveling” experience can be vivid, exciting, and fun.

Memories are not constant. Brain activity is a set of chemical reactions. They may fade and weaken. That essentially means your memories may not reflect the real experience. Your past memories may not be true; they might have been modified automatically without your knowing. It’s not your fault. Therefore, when regression is used to find out the past memories, remember they may not be accurate. Do not get the false conviction that you find true evidence/memories by regression.

Moreover, the client in hypnosis creates stories. Yes they do it. They would fill the gaps in faded memories with fabricated stories. You may not even notice it. They may not do it to deceive others. They have the discretion, so they may not reveal the real truth and instead give a modified account on purpose.

You can take the client back in time as far as you like. That means you can take her to her infancy, or to a time when she was still in the womb of the mother, or even to a previous life. When the client is taken to a past life, regression is known as “past-life therapy”.

However, it is not really going back to a past life. Some may believe in past life and regressing to a past life. As for me, it is just a model or mechanism where the mind creates episodes with its creativity. I do not want to create a holy war here (whether there is past life or not), so I leave it to you.

Not only that, you can take a client to a future time with hypnosis. It’s called progression. Now you can understand that regression and progression are not about real past or future lives. However, regression can be effectively used for therapies. It is indeed a technique of hypno-analysis.

Apart from being used as a therapeutic purpose, regression can be used for entertainment. This is called recreational regression

Even though the purpose of this book is not to teach hypnosis for therapy, I will briefly describe how regression can be used for a remedy.

Take for example a case of a phobia – a phobia of darkness. The person who is having the phobia of darkness got it in one time of his life. Didn’t he? So, when she comes to get a remedy for it, the hypnotist may regress her to that time/occasion in the past. Then she is made to look at the situation logically and rationally. Most of the time, at that particular moment in the past, the person would not have a right awareness of the incident and that’s why he is having a phobia, but now she is guided to look at it in different angles. Thus, the irrational fear can be removed, and the phobia is cured. Furthermore, to cement the remedy tight, the client is also given direct suggestions after the regression.

The deeper the client is in, the more dramatic and the more effective the regression becomes. If the client is not in a deeper state when he regresses, he might just recall the incidents of his past. He would be recalling the chain of actions as if he is re-telling a film he watched previous day. Often he would be describing it in past tenses (like, “… the thief looked at me, and I got frightened…”). Because it is just a remembering, he does not get afraid or excited now. His breathing will be normal.

However, if he is in a deeper state, he would not just recall it, but rather re-experience it. It is like really happening right now for him. Therefore, he describes it in present tense (like “… the thief is now looking at me, and I am so afraid…”). He can be afraid and excited. His breathing rate may increase. His voice may change. He may tremble. If the past incident had been so excited or frightened, then he would get into an abreaction even.

Roughly there are two main ways of doing a regression. You may guide the client directly to a single incident in the past. Or you may guide her to go back to a certain time in the past. These two ways have their own benefits, and of course you can mix them too.