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Rapid inductions are difficult to describe because they usually involve physical actions and these need to be observed. You can, however, see many of these on YouTube. The hand interrupt is a good example. Before undertaking this the client is informed that a suggestion of ‘sleep’ will be given during the induction and that this is simply a symbol to denote going into a very relaxed state. It does not mean ‘sleep’ in the normal use of the term.

Why does such a rapid induction bring about a state of hypnosis? The initiated handshake leads to an unconscious reciprocated response on the part of the client. We have a whole lifespan of automatically responding to a handshake. When this is interrupted the mind is suddenly thrown off-guard, i.e. Into a state of disequilibrium. Both the body and the mind constantly monitor and attempt to re-establish equilibrium if this is disturbed. While the mind is attempting to do this (and so is pre-occupied) it is open and responsive to suggestion. So when ‘sleep’ is suggested forcibly, the client responds.

Stage hypnotists use a similar rapid induction by having a volunteer fall backwards. This is disorienting and creates a state of bodily disequilibrium. While falling backwards the hypnotist suggests ‘sleep’. Exactly the same principle is involved as in the hand interrupt induction.

It should be noted that the hand interrupt induction involves eye fixation. The client is asked to focus on the lines on their palm. In addition, when ‘sleep’ is suggested this is rapidly followed by suggestions of going deeper asleep (hypnotic deepening). This id done before the client has had a chance to re-establish equilibrium and so they are still highly suggestible.

Rapid Inductions - A Comment


You go to shake a person’s hand, but then interrupt this by gently taking the wrist and moving the hand up to the face (palm facing the face) and suggest to the client that they focus on the lines on their palm. Soon you say (forcibly) ‘sleep’ and gently move their head forward in the process..

This is illustrated in the video blow.