A Relaxation Exercise

The first step in establishing a hypnotic trance is to use a basic relaxation exercise. You should now be ready to try it. This is a good way to get yourself focused and ready to go deeper into hypnosis.

The choice of words and the manner and speed in which they are said is very important. You will notice that key words are used over and over in an induction. “Relax” is one of them; repeat it slowly, and feel relaxed while you are saying it. When you say the word “heavy,” feel the heaviness. The same goes for “lighter” and “deeper.” When you come back to normal consciousness, feel refreshed in your mind and body.

Get Comfortable and Relax

Make yourself as comfortable as possible. You may sit or lie down, and loosen your clothing. Take a breath of air, fill your lungs to a comfortable level, and focus on an object in front of you. (Or you may prefer to look up with your eyes, as if you were peeking under your eyelids.) Slowly exhale your breath, and then fill your lungs again. Slowly let your eyes go out of focus, as you continue breathing in this slow manner.

Now start relaxing the muscles throughout your entire body. You can work either from the feet upward or from the head down. Locate individual muscles that are tense, and relax each one. Every time you relax a muscle, you will relax a little more. Breathe in and out, in and out, relaxing and relaxing.

Count Down

In a moment you may begin counting slowly down from five to zero. As you count, you may continue to breathe slowly and relax your body, as you feel yourself going deeper and deeper. It is very relaxing, and you know that you may come back to full consciousness anytime you want. Nothing is keeping you in this relaxed state except your wish to be there.

When you start to count back from five to zero, you may want to close your eyes. You can open them anytime you want. If you are ready, you may begin to count slowly:

  • FIVE, relax, breathe deeply

  • FOUR, relax, breathe in and out

  • THREE, relax, breathe deeply

  • TWO, relax, breathe deeply

  • ONE, relax, breathe in and out, in and out

  • ZERO, so peaceful, so calm, so relaxing

Count Up

Remain in this state for a brief moment, or for a little longer if you like. It is so peaceful, so calm, so relaxing. When you are ready, slowly count yourself back up to five. At five, you will open your eyes and feel calm and relaxed, refreshed and positive:

  • ZERO, slowly

  • ONE, breathe

  • TWO, coming back up to the surface

  • THREE, coming back, slowly and positively

  • FOUR, almost there

  • FIVE, deep breath in and exhale, back at the surface, fully awake, positive and relaxed, feeling very refreshed

Take a moment to reaccustom yourself to your environment. Even with this short exercise, it is possible to feel relaxed and refreshed. The more you practice this induction, the easier it will be to do, and the easier it will be to relax yourself.

The next time you try this relaxation induction, when you have counted down to zero, you may want add the following suggestion: “You will now remain relaxed for five minutes. You are comfortable and relaxed. At the end of five minutes you will count yourself back up to five.”

There are many mechanical aids to help induce a trance. You can use a “hypnosis wheel,” a strobe light, a candle, soft music, a metronome, a clock, the sound of water, a smell, or even the sound of traffic.

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