This section is from the book "Applications of Psychology to the Problems of Personal and Business Efficiency", by Warren Hilton. Also available from Amazon: Psychology and Achievement - Applied Psychology 12 Volume Set.
THE usual procedure used in inducing hypnosis, as set forth by a well-known writer on the subject, is about as follows:
"After talking sympathetically with the subject, sometimes for an hour or two, in regard to the failing he wishes removed, thoroughly acquainting myself with his dominant propensities or controlling thoughts, and, above all, securing his confidence, I ask him to assume a comfortable reclining position on a lounge, and then continue a soothing conversation along lines like the following with a view to producing a monotonous impression on eye and ear:
"' I wish you would look at this diamond [or select any convenient object in line of vision] in a dreamy, listless manner, with a blank expressionless stare, thinking of nothing, not concentrating your mind or focusing your eye upon it, but relaxing the ocular muscles so that it has a confused outline. Abstain from that effort with the eyes that you are accustomed to make in order to see a near object distinctly. Rather look through the stone and past it, as you look at a dead tree standing between you and a distant view you are contemplating.
"'Make no effort, for there is nothing you can do to encourage the approach of the favorable mind state. Do not wonder what is going to happen, for nothing is going to happen. Do not be apprehensive, or suspicious, or distrustful. Do not desire that anything shall take place, nor watch to see what may occur - nor seek to analyze what is going on in your mind. You are as negative, indolent, and indifferent as you can be without trying to be.
"'You are to expect the familiar signs of the approach of sleep, and they are all associated with the failure of the senses and the standstill of the brain - heavy eyelids, reluctant ears, muscles and skin indifferent to stimuli of temperature, humidity, penetrability, etc.
Already that delightful sensation of drowsiness" weighs your eyelids down and steeps your senses in forgetfulness," and you yield to the impulse as the curtains are dropped between you and the outside world of color and light. And your ear seeks to share in this rest of the senses. As darkness is the sleep of the eye, so is silence that of the ear; and your ear secures silence by deadening itself to sound impressions. The sounds of my voice lose interest for you, and force and decisiveness, and seem to be receding into a mysterious remoteness, whither you are disinclined to follow them, leaving you in a state of delightful relaxation. A grateful sense of surrender to some pleasing influence which you cannot resist, and would not if you could, descends upon you and enwraps your whole body in its beneficent embrace, and you are physically happy. Refreshing sleep has come to you.'"
This process may take a minute or two, or it may occupy half an hour, but when it is completed the subject is ready for the appropriate practical suggestions.
The suggestions are made as emphatically as possible. They are presented in as many different ways as possible. They are repeated plainly and insistently. They are exaggerated, on the principle that the marksman must aim high. Thus, in a case of insomnia, it may be suggested that the sufferer will sleep twelve hours the following night, although eight would certainly suffice.
When the suggestions are concluded, the subject is allowed to rest for a time and is then told that he may awaken. If no such permission were given, he would gradually rouse himself, just as if he were waking from ordinary sleep.