Suggestibility Tests

A suggestibility test measures your potential to enter a hypnotic trance. The more you are able to experience the suggestions, the deeper you may go into trance. Even if you don't have much success, it doesn't mean that you cannot reach a good trance level. In a light trance you are aware of everything that happens, and yet you experience some of the suggestions.

To see how suggestible you are, try the following five tests. You can read each test first and repeat it from memory, or you can record it and play it back. Or ask someone to read it to you, while you give it a try. It's fun to do the exercises with others and compare the results. (You should all be a little different.)

Eyelid Closure Test

Don't try this test if you have an eye condition. The first experience is quite simple. Look straight forward with your eyes open. Now try to look up while pulling your eyelids down over your eyes.

Can you do this? Do your eyelids flutter? Did you resist the exercise? This test is a good indicator of your ability to enter a hypnotic trance.

If for any reason you feel uncomfortable while participating in an exercise, discontinue the exercise, open your eyes, and relax. Don't force yourself to do anything that makes you uncomfortable.

Arms Rising and Falling Test

Stand up, put your feet together, and hold both arms straight out in front of you. Turn your left hand over so the palm is facing up, and with your right hand, make a fist with the thumb upward. Now close your eyes and imagine that you are holding a bucket filled with heavy cement in your left hand, while your right hand is holding on to a rope that is gently tugging your hand and arm upward. It is almost impossible to hold them down.

Up and up your right arm and hand are pulled — up and up and up. You are feeling the heavy weight on your left arm and hand from the bucket of cement — heavier and heavier, pulling your hand and arm down and down, heavier and heavier. It is so hard to hold the left arm up. At the same time, your right hand and arm are being pulled up and up, rising and rising, up and up and up.

Your left arm and hand are going down and down, heavier and heavier, heavier and heavier. Your right hand is doing the best it can to hang on to the rope. Up and up it is pulled. Now stop. Hold that position and open your eyes.

Did your arms move? Did you feel the heavy weight in the bucket and the upward pull of the rope? There was, of course, no difference in actual weight on either arm or hand. If you felt a difference, it was because your mind followed the suggestions. You just experienced hypnosis.

Balancing Test

Stand with your feet together and your hands and arms down at your side. Close your eyes and imagine you are standing on the deck of a boat. If you have never been on one, imagine standing on a big round beach ball, or perhaps on a train or subway car. Let yourself feel it rocking back and forth, back and forth. You feel yourself swaying back and forth, back and forth, and you have to move your body to keep your balance.

Now imagine you've arrived back on shore. Before you can get comfortable, however, you find yourself standing on a wide wooden plank one foot above the ground. It holds your weight easily, and you stand on it comfortably, gently bouncing up and down, up and down. Now you're on firm ground again.

Now you are back on the deck of the boat, rocking back and forth, back and forth, adjusting your body to keep your balance, back and forth, back and forth. Now you're back on firm ground. Oh dear, now you are standing on the plank again, but it is fifty feet up in the air! You can feel it bounce up and down, up and down, as the wind blows against your body. You look around; you are way up in the air, bouncing and bouncing and bouncing.

Finally you are back on firm ground! Take a deep breath and open your eyes. What were your experiences like? Did you work to keep your balance on the moving boat or react to the height of the plank as it was raised into the air? If you did, you entered into a hypnotic trance.

Warm and Cold Test

Let's try something easier. You can stay seated for this one. Take a deep breath of air and slowly exhale. Close your eyes. Let your body relax.

Imagine that beside your right hand there is a large pail of ice. You can feel the cold as you place your hand on the ice. Now push your hand into the ice. You can feel the cold, colder and colder.

As you continue to keep your hand in the ice, it becomes so cold that you can feel it turning numb. Your hand is getting colder and colder, so numb it does not even feel a light pinch by your left hand. Take it out of the ice. It is still numb.

Now imagine you are placing that hand in a pan of slightly warm water. Your hand begins to feel the warmth, warmer and warmer. It is returning to its normal temperature. You feel comfortable again.

The deeper into hypnosis you go, the more vividly you'll experience this.

Pendulum Test

Now you can try a focus experiment. You will need some kind of pendulum: it can be a necklace with a pendent, a string with a washer, a pocket watch on a chain, a set of keys on a ring — anything with a small weight that you can dangle from your hand.

Hold the chain or string between your thumb and forefinger so the heavy part (the pendulum) is able to swing freely. Place your hand about eighteen inches in front of your eyes and focus on the pendulum. Try to keep your hand and arm as still as possible. Take a deep breath and relax.

Mentally ask the object to turn in a circular motion. Watch the pendulum turn, and ask the circle to get bigger and bigger. Now tell it to change directions, and watch it begin to swing in the opposite direction. Focus on it, and ask it to stop swinging. Concentrate on it coming to a stop.

Set the object down, take another deep breath, and notice how relaxed and calm this exercise has made you feel. Focusing on a pendulum can produce positive, relaxing results. This technique can be used for many things.

Many dowsers use a pendulum to get answers from the unconscious mind. The first step, as you hold it, is to ask it to show which way it swings for yes. Then ask it to show you no. Next ask if it is appropriate to ask questions. If the answer is yes, you may begin. Remember to ask short yes-or-no questions.

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