1. My interest in hypnosis began in 1971, in my first year at Kew High School in Melbourne, Victoria. I don’t remember now what piqued that interest, nor what brought the subject matter to my attention, but I do remember my very first experiments with it.
My best friend and I had dived into the school library in search of a book about hypnosis, and we weren’t disappointed. There, high above on the top shelf, was a small black book with gold print on the cover, the title of which I no longer recall. My friend clasped her hands together to give me me a boost up so I could grab the book, and off we went to find a quiet corner in the yard to experiment during our lunch break.
She was a willing subject and it seemed to come about naturally that I would be the one performing the hypnosis. Looking back now, I wish we’d thought of something less frightening and more sensible to experiment with, but it was still rather impressive, nonetheless. At least, to us it was.
And so it was that after the induction, duly read aloud from the little black book, I told her that she would have an incredible thirst she couldn’t quench, but that every time she ran to the fountain to drink, the water would taste like hot chilli (she liked spicy foods) and would make her mouth and tongue feel as though they were burning.
Furthermore, I instructed her that despite that, her thirst would continue to grow, she would keep going back to the fountain in attempts to quench it, only to find that it was fiery hot in her mouth, and wouldn’t quench her thirst at all.
On the surface, it seemed like fun, but the reality turned out to be rather frightening. Blisters appeared to be forming on her tongue, lips and mouth, but before we could do anything about it, the bell rang and we had to return to class.
It wasn’t good. She kept jumping up from her seat, flying out the door to the fountain in the hallway, and coming back in with eyes red and streaming, and an incredibly red, sore-looking mouth.
Thankfully, we had our home room teacher that afternoon, a lovely and incredibly patient Indian woman, resplendent in her Sari. When she noticed my friend’s distress, I jumped up and volunteered to take her to the nurse.
With that, we ran for the girls bathroom, where I reversed the entire thing, including reversing all signs of burning and blisters. Instantly, she was back to normal and we heaved the loudest, collective sigh of relief.
Shortly thereafter, we lost touch as my parents moved us interstate (yet again), but I never forgot that introduction to hypnosis. I really don’t think either of us had expected anything to come of it, but from that moment, I would never doubt the power of the subconscious mind and hypnosis again.
2. Fast forward some years; I was 5 months pregnant and terrified of the birthing process. I don’t know what made me remember hypnosis, but I made an appointment with a local hypnotherapist and asked that he rid me of my fear. After the appointment, I went about my business and thought no more about it.
Until I was in labour – laughing – yes, laughing – and giggling and joking with the nurses, for the entire 4 hours and 20 minutes of the whole process from start to finish. I don’t recall feeling pain – I must have felt pain – but if I had, it certainly wasn’t the focus of my attention, nor was it overwhelming or unbearable. It was truly remarkable.
3. Some years later my husband was studying medicine and was in his psych term. It was there that he came upon hypnosis – a subject that fascinated him immensely. He’d bring home volumes of books on the subject and was particularly interested in Milton Erickson’s work.
Naturally, I was chosen to be his ‘lab rat’ and his first (and only) experiment on me was rather baffling (to me). It was simple enough – I would count to 10, but wouldn’t be able to remember the number 7. I remember at the time, even while he was giving the instructions, thinking to myself, “Oh bull! There’s no way I’ll forget the number 7!”
Bringing me back to full awareness, he asked me to count to 10. Feeling rather smug and ‘knowing’ the hypnosis hadn’t worked, I began counting with confidence, but when I got to ‘6’, I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember the number 7, and after struggling for a moment trying to remember what I’d forgotten, I continued on to 8, 9 and 10.
This was monumentally frustrating to me and so I insisted on counting again. ‘I can do this!‘, I told myself. Well, no, I couldn’t. The same thing happened again and again, no matter how many times I tried – and he was laughing so hard, his sides were almost rupturing.
Eventually – and with some reluctance – he undid it, and I was back to normal.
4. As of this moment, I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new, small mini hifi system, since my old one died. I’m going to use the ‘sleep method’ to heal teeth and gums that have been badly damaged as a result of some very nasty medical treatment. There’s more that needs healing within me, but first on my agenda, is healing my gums and teeth.
Buggered if I’m going to help keep the sadistic dental industry in the lap of luxury!
I will be posting updates, count on it 🙂