The Strange Phenomena Of Hypnosis
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The Strange Phenomena Of Hypnosis

By Alan B. Densky, CH

There are many strange phenomena of hypnosis. Some of these are muscle catalepsy, positive and negative hallucinations, amnesia and anesthesia. These strange phenomena, that may be produced while a subject is in a hypnotic state, are directly related to the depth of hypnosis. 

Depth of hypnosis can be visualized and imagined by comparing the hypnotic state to a swimming pool. Some people like to swim on the surface of the water, others like to swim under water anywhere between the surface and the bottom of the pool. Those people who swim on the surface are shallow subjects. Those who swim be­tween the surface and bottom are anywhere from medium to deep hypnotic subjects. Generally the deeper a subject is in hypnosis, the more quickly the subject will accept post-hypnotic suggestions. Also, the deeper a subject is, the more phenomena of hypnosis that may be produced.

The following chart is broken up into six categories: Whereas Category (Depth) I would be the lightest state of hypnosis, Category (Depth) 6 would be the deepest possible state. This scale of depths is commonly referred to as the. Aron's Scale, as the man who devised it is Harry Aron's.


DEPTHS                               PHENOMENA

1)   Eye catalepsy First level

2)   Arm and hand catalepsy Second level Small muscle group catalepsy

3)   All muscle groups catalepsy

      Aphasia (name or number block)

4)   All of the above phenomena +

      Analgesia (light anesthesia)

 Positive olfactory and gustatory hallucinations

 Amnesia through strong direct suggestion Pseudo-age regression

 Automatic writing

5)   All of the above +

      Post-hypnotic amnesia without suggestion Anesthesia

      Positive hallucinations of all sensory perception

      Age regression

6)   All of the above +

      Negative sensory hallucinations


The first four levels of hypnosis are termed mnesic or memory retaining levels. The fifth and sixth levels are amnesic levels in that generally a subject will emerge from hypnosis without any conscious memory of what took place during the session. 


The fifth level of hypnosis is termed somnambulism. The sixth level is termed profound somnambulism. Less than 20 percent of the population is capable of reaching the somnambulistic levels. Approximately 60 percent of the population fall into the medium depth levels of three and four, and ap­proximately 20 percent of the population fall into the first and second levels of hypnosis.


The phenomena in level one, Eye Catalepsy, is defined as the inability to use the eyelid muscles through suggestion. Catalep­sy refers to a rigidity of the muscles.


In the second level of hypnosis, more muscular control is gained in that arm and hand muscles may be made rigid or cataleptic through suggestion.


In the third level of hypnosis complete muscular control is gained in that any muscle group in the body may be made cataleptic through suggestion. This is the level which is necessary to make a person's entire body rigid so that he may be stretched between two chairs and then have heavy weights placed on his body as is done in many stage and television shows. However, I strongly urge you not to attempt any such demonstration. You are not invulnerable when in hypnosis. You may be able to produce phenomena such as that described in this paragraph, but you can also do a great deal of damage to your musculature and skeletal system. Even though the phenomena may be produced, there is no guarantee that you will not herniate a muscle or damage your spine.


Aphasia is the ability to block the pronunciation of a word such as a name or number. The subject is able to think the word in his mind but not pronounce it through his vocal chords.  

In the fourth level of hypnosis, it may be suggested to a sub­ject that he has forgotten his own name and he will. It may be suggested to him that he will have amnesia for any particular information and this will generally be the case. Automatic writing is a technique where a subject is consciously unaware of what his hand is writing. This is a technique which may be used to get suppressed or buried information from the subconscious mind.


Pseudo-age regression is a greatly increased recall of past events. It differs from true age regression in that there is not an actual re-living of the events with all the emotion that was originally encountered. Analgesia is a light anesthesia, a numb­ing where the sensation of pressure can be felt but pain has been eliminated. Positive olfactory and gustatory hallucina­tions refer to the fact that a person can actually taste or smell something, which does not exist at the moment through sugges­tion and imagination. Example: A person visualizes himself eating a tuna fish sandwich. He actually smells and tastes the tuna fish as he visualizes himself eating it.  


In the fifth level of hypnosis, positive visual and auditory as well as kinesthetic hallucinations are possible. A subject can see things, which do not really exist. He can hear a bell ring through suggestion or feel something, which he is only hallucinating visually.  

True age regression can be accomplished. The subject feels as though he has been placed in a time machine and believes that he is actually re-living previous experiences com­plete with all the emotion that he originally experienced.  


In the sixth level of hypnosis, it is possible to produce negative hallucinations of all senses. Example: A person who stands in front of the subject becomes invisible; A loud noise is not heard; A table is not felt; An odor is not smelled or a food has no taste.  

I would like to emphasize at this point that even though a subject may fail depth tests, this does not mean that the subject is not truly at that depth or that hypnosis is not a good method for self-improvement for that particular individual. The various depths of hypnosis are extremely arbitrary in that some sub­jects will pass some of the tests at a particular depth and fail others while they are able to pass depth tests for a deeper level. I am presenting this information to you solely as an education.



© 2007 By Alan B. Densky, CH.  This document may NOT be re-printed without permission. All Rights Reserved.  We are happy to syndicate our articles to approved websites.

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