Hypnosis Step #1 - Relaxation

The first step of hypnosis is to enter a state of complete relaxation, which includes the mind and body. One thing you need to remember is that you cannot force to relax the mind. If you are physically relaxed, your mind will follow as well. The time it takes varies for different individuals and different situations, it can be a few seconds to half an hour.

Place: Find a quiet room where you are undisturbed.
Position: All parts of your body must be comfortably supported. Find a bed, a couch, or a recliner.
Clothing: Wear loose clothing.
Breathing: Controlled breathing can slow down your heart rate and make you feel more peaceful and calm. Take a few minutes to regulate your breathing at the beginning of hypnosis session.

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  • Lie on your back and get comfortable.
  • Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Without trying to change your breathing, notice which hand is rising and falling with each breath. If your belly rises as you breathe in, you are breathing from your diaphragm. If not, you are breathing from your chest.
  • Shift your breathing from chest to diaphragm. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose into your abdomen to push up your hand as much as it feels comfortable. Smile slightly, inhale through your nose, and exhale through your mouth. Make a soft sound like the wind as you exhale. It should sound like "whoosh."
  • Continue taking slow deep breaths. Inhale. Exhale...whoosh. Inhale. Exhale...whoosh. Think of each whoosh as a sigh of relief.

Muscle Relaxation: Pioneered by physiologist and psychologist Edmund Jacobson, the Jacobson Progressive Relaxation Technique is an effective way to relax the body and the mind. Jacobson believed that if people could learn to relax their muscles through a precise method, mental relaxation would follow. Jacobson's technique involves tensing and relaxing various voluntary muscle groups throughout the body in an orderly sequence (foot, lower legs, upper legs, hip, abdomen, etc.). Progressive relaxation works because of the relationship between your muscle tension and your emotional tension. When your mind is tensed, you automatically tighten up your muscles. Progressive relaxation is perhaps the most reliable and effective procedure of all the different means of achieving relaxation.

Lie or sit in a comfortable position. Tighten and release tension of various parts of your body. Focus on one body part at a time. Get in touch with your breathing. Breathe-out, breathe-in. Imagine that as each body part is relaxed, all tension is gone.

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Proceed to tighten and release tension of each muscle group in the following order:

  • Tighten your toes. Release.
  • Tighten your knees. Release.
  • Tighten your right leg. Release.
  • You should feel your whole leg relaxing and settling into the bed.
  • Tighten your left leg. Release.
  • Tighten your buttocks. Release.
  • Press your lower back against the bed. Release.
  • Tighten your stomach. Release.
  • Tighten your rib cage. Release.
  • Feel the tension gone in your lower body.
  • Push your shoulders back. Release.
  • Pull your shoulders forward. Release.
  • Now work on your arms. Make a fist with one hand. Release.
  • Tighten that upper arm. Release.
  • Tighten that whole arm. Release.
  • Make a fist with the other hand. Release.
  • Tighten that upper arm. Release.
  • Tighten that whole arm. Release.
  • Now let's work on your face and head. Clench your jaw. Release.
  • Open your mouth wide. Release.
  • Grimace. Release.
  • Scrunch up your whole face. Release.
  • Eyes closed. Release.
  • Eyes wide. Release.
  • Now feel all the tension gone from everywhere in your whole body. Keep breathing. Breathe-out. Breathe-in. Feel completely relaxed.

Note: some people would pre-record these instructions with a voice-recorder and listen to them during hypnosis session.

You are now ready to move on to the next hypnosis step, Deepening.