asking my subject(s) to “get comfortable and start by taking four deep breaths…”
I honestly couldn’t say what percentage of other hypnotists use that particular
format to begin their sessions. If I am doing a faster induction, I generally
won’t use this opening line, but I would have to say that it is indeed my bread
and butter opening. So why would I use it? I’m glad I pretended you asked,
Breathing is nearly always a key component to relaxation, and since relaxation is a key component to most hypnosis experiences, breathing is also important in the hypnotic process. If you are a yoga enthusiast, you are already aware of the
important role breathing plays in proper execution of posing. If you meditate,
you are definitely aware of the important role breathing plays, especially for novice meditators (I can’t actually say that is a real word; if it is, I’m pretty sure I’ve never used it before) while they master the art of emptying the mind. So what is so special about breathing (besides being a necessity for, you know, staying alive)? I’m glad (I pretended) you asked that, too!
Only a little bit of research is necessary to learn the history, if you will, of
breathing. We’re pretty certain Adam and Eve did it, and we’re pretty certain
our children’s children’s children will also be doing it. So why does it play an
important role in activities such as yoga, meditation, and hypnosis? We’re
going to go a little deep here, so strap your seatbelt on or get out of the car!
The word Spirit comes from the Latin word spiritus, which means breath. OK, not bad for starters. The word Inspire comes from the Latin word inspirare, which means to breathe upon. Oh, I see a trend developing.
Breathing is mentioned in numerous ancient spiritual teachings, including the first book of the Bible – Genesis. “God took the dust of the earth and formed the body, or man, and breathed into the nostrils of man the Breath of Life, and man became a living soul.” Chi, as in Tai Chi, comes from an ancient word for breath, and also references the life energy of the soul. Yogis believe that the breath is the connecting thread between mind and soul. The list goes on, so now I’ll tie this into hypnosis and my website.
If you are feeling tense, upset, angry, anxious, fearful or any other unwanted
feeling, you can immediately start to feel better by … you guessed it … taking
four deep breaths. Try it. Close your eyes on the third or fourth breath, and
after the fourth, resume normal, natural breathing, but imagine your body
becoming more relaxed with every exhale. If you imagined whatever negative
feeling inside you as a black cloud, imagine breathing that black cloud out of
your body with every exhale, including the first four deep breaths. You might be
surprised at how easy it is to let something go or to start relaxing, just by
taking four (or more) deep breaths. And once you can start to feel your body
physically relaxing just after taking these breaths, you’re one step closer to
entering into a full-blown hypnotic trance. Relax the body, then relax the mind,
and you’re just about there. It really is that simple. I urge you to try this,
and when you notice how much better you feel, just after doing breath work only,
then take it a step further. Imagine breathing IN a powerful white energy, with
every inhale. The white, positive, healing, light that you are breathing in is
replacing the heavy, dark, negative feeling inside you. Out with the bad, in
with the good. There are more steps you can take beyond this, and I’d love to
show you in person what they are!
One last thought for you about breaths and breathing. How many millions of times have you breathed throughout your life without giving it a second (or even first) thought? A bunch, no doubt. Breathing is one of those functions that your body miraculously does on autopilot. And I’m not advocating that we all become aware of every time we take a breath. That would just be annoying and ridiculous. But, what if two or three times a day you focused your awareness on your breathing? It would only take a couple of minutes of your day to do this. And during this one or two minutes of awareness, you thought of the air that you breathe … as the Currency of Life? That’s what it is, you know. And thinking of breathing as this wonderful exchange using the Currency of Life, can you start to get a grasp of how amazingly wealthy you are? Not just you, but how wealthy all of us are? Throw a party, man, this is cause for celebration! OK, I’ll keep a lid on my excitement, but you see where I’m going with this, right? This discussion could easily segue into a discussion on Gratitude, but alas, I’ll save that one for another day. Thanks for letting me ramble just a little bit. Stopping to smell the roses (which requires breathing!) is something I’ve come to appreciate later on in my life, and I hope you do, too. When you do appreciate the small miracles around you, and you meet someone else who does, let me tell you, you will never lack for conversation.
Thanks again, and until next time? Take it easy on yourself…