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nispelsm

USA
61 Posts

Posted - 07/28/2009 :  4:51:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had a few questions on how to improve my experience with hypnosis. If these have been answered or discussed already in other threads, I apologize. I tried using the Search, but didnt turn up much info.

I have been making progress, though at times it feels like I keep taking a step back in one area each time I take a step forward in another.

My eyelids press uncomfortably tight against my eyes during induction, and it's not voluntary. This becomes very uncomfortable, unless I stop and make an effort to relax them. However, the time and effort spent relaxing them takes me back up. Is there something I am missing, or something I need to do prior to a session to relieve this? I have the same problem whether using an eye-fixation induction, or one where you keep your eyes closed through the whole session.

The rare few sessions where my eyes somehow stayed relaxed on their own, I was able to go deeper. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions on what may have gone right those times?

If anyone is willing to help, I 'd like some pointers on how to take full advantage of these rare few sessions.

If you feel yourself coming back up too early, are there any tips on how to stay down? Should I even try?

If you feel your mind wandering from what you are supposed to be focusing on, is it better to direct your focus back, or just wander off?

When listening to the voice, just how much attention should you pay to it? Should you listen intently, or allow it to become like background music? It may be noobish of me, but I am worried that if I don't pay enough attention to the voice, I will miss an important suggestion (like eyes open, counting numbers, etc). Or even worse, my conscious mind realizes I missed it, and ends up asserting itself to correct the mistake.

How have you resolved the Sleep-vs-Focus conflict?
When my mind hears these suggestions in sentences back to back, part of me ends up conflicted. I associate "Sleep" with deliberately *not* focusing on anything, whereas "Focus" means I need to pay closer attention to something. In my mind, they cannot exist at the same time, so my mind has to reject/ignore one, triggering the critical portion of my mind. (Dare I say, it's like my conscious mind is waiting to pounce on the opportunity to re-assert itself).

patrickg

USA
724 Posts

Posted - 07/28/2009 :  6:45:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit patrickg's Homepage  Reply with Quote
eyelids pressing closed - sounds like you may be 'trying' to hard? If that is the case.. try testing the difference between 'making' your eyes close and 'allowing' your eyes to be closed?? If there is a mental sense of 'trying' or too much focus to make things happen, it would interfere with the hypnotic state.

For the problem of coming 'up' too soon.. work on teaching yourself a post-hypnotic.. like a finger tap or pinch.. something that you can learn to respond to with physical relaxation and mental hypnotic state.

Mental wandering - if you notice it, just bring your attention back to whatever the focus is. If there is trouble achieving this, there may be other issues involved... like a mental/emotional rejection of the material.

Attention - listening to the voice as you would when watching a movie that you are very involved in... there is an effortless hyper-focus on the movie... you don't miss anything when watching that movie.. Your mind picks it up.

Sleep/focus - sounds like the suggestions your listening to may not be properly thought out. The word "sleep" should not be used... makes things confusing for the listener. When you hear the word "sleep" in your audio, associate it with the mental sensation of watching that good movie.. or TV, or when you're very immersed in a good book. Try this "When I hear the word sleep in my self-hypnosis audio, I know it means physical and mental relaxation. That sense of letting-go, or stepping-back from myself. Letting my mind comfortably focus on my goals."... or use your own words...

Conscious mind - I agree it sounds like you have a significant amount of 'conscious interference' in your sessions... that can be easy or difficult to work through, depending on the person. Sometimes there is a behavioral aspect to it and that is best worked through with a hypnotist. Sometimes a person can work through it with practice.


Patrick Glancy, CI, BCH
www.salemhypnosissolutions.com
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nispelsm

USA
61 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2009 :  2:01:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for the quick reply, and I will try your suggestions. I would also like to thank you for giving more detailed explanations, rather than the canned responses of "Just let go" and "practice more" I've read elsewhere.

You may be right about the trying too hard. I thought about it, and realized my definition of "focus" was what I do at my job. I am a software developer, which entails a lot of mental focus and actively tracking multiple things at once. I may have been trying to apply that level of intensity to the session.

That said, I did a thorough hunt online for a new session mp3 that would specifically address muscle tension. I found one that is just 10 minutes of having you focus exclusively on relaxing one muscle group at a time. I played the session for the first time, relaxing the areas around my eyes, and worked my way to the neck and shoulders. After a few seconds, my shoulders drop loose, and I realize I had been slightly hunching them (they've NEVER dropped like that during any other sessions). The whole of my neck and shoulders felt loose and more relaxed than I can remember them ever being, except now I started to notice a pinching sensation at the base of my skull, and my eyelids tightening again over my eyes.

When mentaly relaxing alone didn't work, I lightly began massaging that point with my finger. A few seconds in, the muscle released, the tightness on my eyelids subsided, and I felt this wave just fall down through my whole body. I had been doing muscle massaging before sessions for the week prior, so I thought I had already dealt with neck tension causing the eyestrain. I was wrong.

I was so impressed, that when it was over, I went and downloaded a related mp3 from the same place, a formal induction/deepening session for mental stress that could be used alone or following the muscle relaxation above.

To say I was floored is an understatement.

There were a few spots where I was so relaxed, I started drifting to sleep during pauses in the soundtrack. However, as soon as the voice started talking again, I was gently pulled back to it (no jolt of "what'd I miss?" from my consciousness). I found I didn't have to "actively" keep my focus on the voice.

At one point, I wanted to "test" to see how far down I really was. I tried to raise my arm, just to see if I could. Other audio sessions had taken me to a point where I could not lift my arm, but it was more of a stiff/numb feeling. This time around, the arm was "there", not numb, but remained completely limp.

Finally, the breakthrough. At some point, the voice suggested that I think back to a happy memory, where I felt completely loved (sounds a bit cheesy when I write this). I didn't have to "search" for a memory like I normally would; one just materialized in front of me. It was my nephew when he was first learning to crawl. I had just walked in to my sister's house, when he spots me from across the room. His face lights up in a huge smile, and he starts pulling himself across the floor as fast as he can to get to me, cooing and giggling the whole way. As soon as I pick him up, I (the present me) am reduced to a mass of tears, wanting nothing more at that moment than to hug him.

Now, I've read that you experience deeper emotions when under hypnosis, but I didn't think it would be THAT intense. Even writing about it has me choking up a bit. The experience was intense, wonderful, and a bit frightening. I may have to wait a few days before I'm ready to use that particular session again.

I also feel a bit of shame, because my reasons for trying self-hypnosis was more about the novelty, not about self-improvement. I have always been curious to see what it would be like to have my body respond to an external suggestion, similar to stage-hypnosis. I also must admit that some of the appeal has to do with the classic seduction fantasy. I never went to a hypnosis show due to the fear of losing control, driven (ironically) by the belief that I could be easily hypnotized.

I saw self-hypnosis as a way to overcome my fear, and to see how easily I could be hypnotized. I admit, the desire to try the novelty stuff is still there, though I may shift my focus to the relaxation and self-improvement aspects.
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patrickg

USA
724 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2009 :  3:02:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit patrickg's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Nice work on getting 'there'. :)

If you do some of the deeper self-improvement work, the novelty stuff just looks like cheap, meaningless junk... IMHO hehe

Patrick Glancy, CI, BCH
www.salemhypnosissolutions.com
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nispelsm

USA
61 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2009 :  2:44:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, I've decided to follow your advice about seeing a hypnotherapist, even if it's only to experience it with a live person instead of a recording. I am concerned however, that since I'm not going in with a problem to be solved, they would be less inclined to work with me, or worse, they may reject me entirely at the notion that I want to experience some of the more "novel" stuff.

What can I say? I can't help it. The idea still fascinates me, and has my curiosity piqued. The hit-n-miss nature of the audio sessions is a bit of a dissapointment, but each "hit" ramps the fascination up again.

I played with the "hot-n-cold pen" session again last night. I got all the way to the part where they give the hot/cold suggestions, and ... nothing. I felt dissapointed, and was telling myself "better luck next time". I next heard a finger-snap, and my hand suddenly spun the pen around into a writing position and jerked towards the paper on the desk. The motion jolted me awake, and I realized that while I was consoling myself, the session had moved on to the next suggestion, to write a word on the paper.

I'm confused, to say the least. The audio tapes emphasize that you listen and concentrate on the voice. Yet, the "twitch" happened at a moment when my mind wasn't paying attention to the voice. Does this mean my mind has to be distracted away from the voice for my subconscious to respond?

Come to think of it, the session that elicited the emotional response (from my previous post) used a counting technique, though instead of "leading" you, it has you count down to yourself until you "forget" the next number.

I have one final thing I'd like to ask. Since I began actively trying out the hypnosis audios, I've been "trancing" just before falling asleep, or immediately after waking in the middle of the night. The fog of being almost asleep will clear, my eyes will focus behind my eyelids, and I will get that "sinking into your favorite chair" feeling.

Sometimes, I get a floating sensation after. Other times, my eyes will spring open and just lock onto something in the room. My arms and legs feel free to move about, though they move lazily and won't support any kind of weight.

There is no direction going on, and my mind is silent (or at least, I can't "hear" any thoughts). After about a minute, it all fades, and I slip back into regular sleep.

Is this a good sign or not? It feels good during the experience, but it also kinda scares me, because I didn't initiate it, and have no idea how to turn it on or off.

Should I be attempting to anchor this?
What method would I use to anchor it?
Is it even possible to anchor it yourself when in that state?
Your thoughts on how to proceed?
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patrickg

USA
724 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2009 :  6:26:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit patrickg's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If someone came to me for the 'novel' stage tricks, I'd send them somewhere else.. :]

You have described problems achieving depth before... it would be logical to presume you have trouble sustaining depth.. depth will fluctuate anyway.. and you may be 'emerging' during the session... that would allow some of the reduced experience you're describing now.

The audio tapes are probably misleading in their terminology of listening and concentrating... you will not want to listen/concentrate anymore than you would while watching a movie you're really 'into'. That is more of an effortless watching/concentration.

A GOOD hypnotist will be better able to gauge your depth and help train you to sustain it.

The counting until you 'forget' the next number is a form of 'suggested amnesia' which is typically an acceptable form of depth testing for somnambulism.

The bed experiences are not 'normal'... if anything is 'normal'... do they worry you? do you feel you can 'waken' if you chose to?

I'd want to make sure you know you can get out of the state before anchoring to it??

Patrick Glancy, CI, BCH
www.salemhypnosissolutions.com
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nispelsm

USA
61 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2009 :  9:10:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm not looking for "cluck like a chicken" novelty, more like some kind of external way to verify that I am not just consciously playing along. And, I will admit, there is a part of me that is curious to experience a thorough "did my arm just respond on its own?".

To clarify a bit on the sleep episodes. I can wake myself from it, but if I do, I have to start over going back to sleep. and it will initiate again once I get back into the fog. If I just lay there and let it play out, I either gently wake up or drift off to sleep.

I don't know how else to describe it. Part of me is annoyed, because I was almost asleep. The other part wants to enjoy the moment, and is disappointed when it starts to fade.

I wonder if it's a case of my subconscious taking advantage of the situation to fulfill a desire, since this is the time of night where my conscious mind is finally "off". It does concern me, though, that you consider this an unusual response to hypnosis.

Looks like I may be booking that therapist session for a problem-solving reason after all.

Edited by - nispelsm on 07/30/2009 9:33:07 PM
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patrickg

USA
724 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2009 :  9:16:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit patrickg's Homepage  Reply with Quote
It's an unusual comment to me.. in fact, not one I've heard before.. That does NOT mean there is anything wrong. You say you can wake up from it if you want to. That's a good thing...

Brain wave-wise, people pass through hypnosis on the way to sleep and on the way back. People spend different amounts of time doing this.

It is possible, with your hypnosis practice, your mind now knows what it feels like so when you feel it.. you just know what it is.. possibly it was happening before and just didn't recognize it?

Or, like you said, you're just enjoying/experiencing it more fully now.??

Patrick Glancy, CI, BCH
www.salemhypnosissolutions.com
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nispelsm

USA
61 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2009 :  10:34:44 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The closest thing to the current sleep episodes would be a few sporadic incidents (at most 2 or 3 times in a year). I would start to wake from a pleasant dream. My eyes would gently open and I'd become hazily aware of my room, but the dream is still playing out. I'd see the walls of my room, but could still see the dream environment through the walls. After a few minutes, the dream would fade and I'd be awake.

I'd always chalked it up to not wanting to leave the dream, like a favorite show you want to keep watching. For lack of a better term, the "end credits" would play themselves out as I woke up. And certainly, I never felt "pulled out" of sleep like with the recent episodes.

As for the more recent episodes, I have been letting myself enjoy them. Though, I do still find it a little annoying that they happen at a time when I'm trying to just go to sleep.
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patrickg

USA
724 Posts

Posted - 07/30/2009 :  11:03:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit patrickg's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I think that type of thing is referred to as 'lucid dreaming'? Were you able to 'control' the dream activity/actions?


Patrick Glancy, CI, BCH
www.salemhypnosissolutions.com
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nispelsm

USA
61 Posts

Posted - 07/31/2009 :  01:10:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
From time to time, I recognize I am in a dream, and I've learned (through trial and error) how to do basic stuff.

I can pull myself back like I'm watching TV, and re-insert myself as if I was never "gone". Mostly, I end up using it as an excuse to explore while the dream continues to play out, or just let myself experience it, especially if it's a chance to get into the middle of a favorite movie, or replaying a pleasant memory. And yes, I've tried flying in the dream (I usually just end up floating slowly down, or hovering just above the ground). Any more than that, I end up waking.

In the past, if I found myself in a nightmare, I'd find a doorway or other threshold within the dream to step-through to another. If I was inside, I'd end up outside, or vice-versa. It was a mechanism a family friend taught me when I was a kid, to help me through a bad phase of nightmares.

Other than that, I've never done formal training lucid dreaming. Maybe I'm just weird, but for me, dreams are a pleasant break from having to think and analyze. Maybe that's the appeal of the "novelty" aspects of hypnosis.

Edited by - nispelsm on 07/31/2009 01:11:17 AM
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