Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
But they’re finally bringing it into human behavior. The most recent being a 2010 study by Harvard that they called the Switch State Theory of Sleep, That highly correlates with what I think is going on in hypnosis.
First podcast interview actually being recorded in the brand new Virginia Hypnosis office after seven years at the old location. Now proudly having purchased the new office in Springfield, Virginia, and a brand new state of the art training center and good to be here. Good to be mostly settled in.
Eventually we’ll start. Hanging things up in the walls, still waiting on furniture placement. You know, how fun that can be, and perfect timing to have Anthony Galley back on the program once again. Now, Anthony has been on the program several times in the past, and actually still to this day, one of the most downloaded podcast episodes I’ve ever put out there in the Work Smart Hypnosis series.
And you’re gonna see in this session today, he’s going to be sharing with you a brand new theory on hypnosis. And thanks to the wonders of modern sound editing. Briefly, here is Anthony’s new theory on hypnosis. I believe hypnosis is actually a function of what’s called mutual neural inhibition, where you have two competing systems, consciousness versus trans, like behavior competing with each other, a and firing back and forth.
And then there’s a switch that would throw a person either to be fully conscious or to go into a trans And, uh, neural mutual inhibition has been, the theory has been around since the seventies. But they’re finally bringing it into human behavior. The most recent being a 2010 study by Harvard that they called the Switch State Theory of Sleep, That highly correlates with what I think is going on in hypnosis.
So, there we go. So basically over the next 35 to 40 minutes, Anthony are gonna go deep into the trenches talking about this new theory, what chemical structure may be present in the mind, what may be triggering that flip of a switch, how it is that modern day practitioners may make use of this in terms of their theory, their applications in the process, how it might be that Anthony is completely wrong and proudly accepts that.
And also on top of that, Clock is ticking because apparently thanks to evolutionary psychology, the hypnotic state might not be around a thousand years from now. Now, there’s a ton of research that also is referenced here in this week’s session, so I would encourage you to head over to the work Smart Hypnosis.
Dot com website to check out the show notes associated with this specific episode, as there’s several different studies that I’m gonna be linking to there in the show notes for you to interact with. Plus, head over to corporate hypnotist Masterclass. Dot com. That’s where you can learn about the corporate hypnotist masterclass.com.
It’s a phenomenal event that has launched many speakers around the world changing the model of how hypnotists can speak to corporate audiences. Basically, if you don’t know, Anthony’s backstory is that back in the day, it used to be that the stage hypnotist would maybe say a few business minded things and earn, let’s say this smaller amount of money, which.
Still respectable. What Anthony did was just kind of different was he came in as a speaker teaching strategies to internalize goals, one of which happened to be self hypnosis, which of course, that’s where the demonstration would play out, but the difference was by positioning as a speaker and also nowadays by giving people the tools necessary to get out there and replicate that success, myself included.
You’re now looking at a different style of presentation, which is a much higher value, a much higher regard in the corporate industry. And check out Anthony galley.com to see more details about Anthony the man himself. Also, check out hypnotic workers.com. This is the all Access Pass to my hypnosis training library.
It’s everything from rethinking hypnotic conductions to techniques for creating profound hypnotic phenomenon and strategies for change that you will not find anywhere else. So if you’re not able to attend the. Work Smart Hypnosis Live training, you’re actually able to get a lot of the content by way of the digital access program.
Plus, when you decide to actually join me live and in person for that event, you’re actually able to discount what you’ve paid into workers into the Work Smart Hypnosis Live event. Again, all the notes and details are [email protected] And with that, let’s jump directly into this content filled session.
Here we go. Session number 220. Anthony Galley on a new theory of hypnosis. It actually came to me back in 1976. It was the, was the germ of the idea. I had a, I was in graduate school and one of my professors was, uh, Dr. Dave Wogan, and he had just come out of a. Two year post-doctoral study. So he had his PhD and then spent two more years at the University of Pennsylvania with a famous psychologist named Philip Ti Baum.
And at that time, Tiba was deep into studying what was called the lateral hypothalamic syndrome. It had been a theory in the fifties. And Tiba started basically doing these animal experiments where they would. Destroy small parts of the lateral hypothalamus. They did it with these electrodes. They would let the animals recover and they would see what happened if they, if they destroyed this tiny part of the lateral hypothalamus.
What happened? And they, they finally found an area where when the rats recovered, they all became poly dic. They drank and couldn’t stop drinking. Some of them drank until their stomachs exploded, and the assumption was that the hypothalamus was controlling at some level whether this animal should drink or not drink and how much.
And they had somehow stumbled into and discovered the area that would tell the animals stop when they destroyed that the animal didn’t stop and kept drinking until it hurt itself. So they took other, a new group of rats and they worked their way on the other. The left lateral hypothalamus and eventually found an area that corresponded these rats when they recovered, all became a dip.
Sick. They wouldn’t drink at all. They wouldn’t drink until they died from lack of water. And it gradually dawned on them that you were dealing with competing nervous systems, that you were having one system telling the rat. Everything the other, the other system telling they’re at don’t drink at all and that these two systems are constantly firing.
But when they both fire in balance, you have normal drinking behavior. If you’re thirsty, you drink and if you’re full, you stop. And it’s when those two systems are firing together that you had normal behavior. and if one of them went outta whack, you had either, you know, polydipsia or adia, and they just kept going.
They found another area on the hypothalamus that controlled eating, and at one point they would become anorexic. The other point, they would just not stop eating. They went on the amygdala. They found an area for rage where they would lesion one part of the amygdala. The animal become totally passive. The rat wouldn’t bite no matter what you did lesion the other side, they attack anything, put a pencil in, they they go for it.
And gradually this lateral hypothalamic syndrome evolved into the concept of mutual inhibition. That you have two systems firing in the nervous system that are mutually inhibiting each other. And I recall very vividly, Dr. Wogan telling us about these studies, and he went off on a rant about, He, He went into a discussion, he said, for example, which before you get into the sleep, just to recap that, it’s that these two systems are firing off at the same time.
Mm-hmm. , and then it’s the shutting off of one that then triggered the other to kind of go to that extreme. Well, we tend to think of systems as being turned on and off, and what Tiba was finding was that most of these systems are two systems firing at the same time. One that would be in extreme in one direction, one that would be extreme in the other direction, and that normal behavior, they’re both firing, but they’re competing with each other.
And the term was mutual inhibition. They the. Part where they would drink until they exploded was being inhibited by the part that was saying, Don’t drink anything at all. And when they fired in tandem, you had normal drinking behavior and the discussion that stuck in my mind, he started talking about sleep.
Yeah. He said a perfect example of a mutually inhibiting system is when a person goes to sleep. Because when a person is awake and then goes to sleep, it kind of looks like you turn something off. I mean, here’s a person that’s active moving around. You know, very vivacious. They fall asleep and it kind of looks like you threw a switch and you have turned something off.
However, the prediction was that that would be very much turning something on that there would be these two competing systems. One that would activate the animal, the other, that would put the animal to sleep when they were firing in balance, you had a person awake, but sometimes be groggy or sleepy, sometimes be hyperactive, you know?
But there would be a switch, neurological switch, excuse me, a neurotransmitter that was controlling that balance and with sleep, they thought it was serotonin and that if this, if the switch, if the, if the neurochemical switched it too much, it would be like throwing a switch and the person, the animal would fall asleep.
If you threw another switch, the animal would wake up. So waking and sleeping is an example of a mutual inhibiting system. And when he was describing that, in my mind, I recall very vividly thinking to myself, Well, that that’s kind of like what I see when I’m hypnotizing people. Because by that time I had been hypnotizing people for well over a decade, and I always approached.
Hypnosis as if it were always there. Yeah. I would watch people’s eye movements and when they would stop to think about something, they’d roll their eyes back in their head to think about it. And in my mind, I wasn’t ever creating a state of hypnosis as much as bringing out. what was there all along. Yeah.
And uh, which I share, one of the, one of the biggest takeaways I’ve picked up from spending time around you is that statement of, rather than look for those volunteers who I think I can hypnotize, I’m going to bring up the people who are living there. Right. The ones that are already there, , the ones there.
Right. And it stuck. It was, I recall back in the seventies, thinking to myself, that is very much in my mind. What looks like what’s happening when I’m hypnotizing people. And from there I extrapolated outward. It was always something in the back of my mind when I was hypnotizing people. I was always asking myself, you know, what is this?
And I went through a variety of iterations and on variations of what the theory was and when, when I pretty much retired from the public speaking, I had a lot more time to kind of delve into it. And then I came across. This study that Harvard had done about 10 years ago, and they called it the flip flop theory of sleep.
Basically, they had rediscovered tidal bomb’s work, but as it applied to humans, and it was just a beautifully written paper where. It came right out and said that, you know, waken sleep is mutually inhibiting systems, and that narcolepsy is an example of that system going out of whack. Narcolepsy is the absence of a neurotransmitter cult rein, and if it does, a person doesn’t have that much neurotransmitter.
They fall asleep uncontrollably, They can’t control the switch, they’re not firing properly. And I read the study and it was beautiful and it just reign, ignite. What I had thought all along, but now they had done it with humans. They had mapped out the areas of the brain that were involved, and sure enough, it passed right through the hypothalamus, which is what Tiba had predicted all along.
That kind of reignited my interest in and it, and then I said, Well, you know, wakefulness and sleep are very close to cognition, whether a person is in a trance or fully conscious. And I developed the, the idea and the theory outward and kind of marked. Every step of way with published research that I think was hinting at it, but never stated it.
The, the direction that hypnotic research is going in right now is being driven largely by David Spiegel. Mm-hmm. and his group out of Stanford. And what their direction is, is to use PET scans and MRI scans to show that there really is a difference. Between a hypnotized individual and a person who is not.
When you have these control groups of people that are not hypnotized, and you have them give them mental tasks or things to do and compare that with, he’s studying just the top 5%, the very hypnotizable people, different areas of the brain are lighting up, and so there are physical differences. There are real differences between hypnosis and non hypnosis, which has never really been demonstrated because another.
Body of research says that, you know, hypnosis is basically just conformity, people wanting to please the hypnotist, uh, peer pressure, et cetera, while their direction is to demonstrate quite conclusively that there are actual measurable differences taking place, that hypnosis is not acting. These people genuinely immersed in these experiences.
Yeah. I was gonna ask you, based on this as a possible new theory of the approach of it, where would you say hypnotic depth comes into it? Where would you say that measurement of why? Would perceivably go deeper, which that’s a whole other conversation as to what we mean when we define that. Let, let’s define it here as being able to take on more, let’s say, profound suggestions such as negative hallucination versus just feeling warmer because you’re suggesting they’re on a beach.
Right. Well, there are a variety of theories Yes. About that. And the, the one that I have always thought made the most sense in the thirties, famous psychologist named Clark Hall, uh, had a quotation. Uh, hypnosis is a habit phenomenon. Facilitated by practice. Nice. And David Spiegel’s father is the first one that came out with the eye roll.
He was, he was the first one that, that kind of pointed out the eye roll. And he also, I think people call it fractionation now. Yes. When, when I was brought into it, it was called Fractioning. But Spiegel had an insight. He, he said, You know, when people come to me therapeutically, most of them are much better subjects.
In the fourth or fifth session than they were in the first. So there’s a hap, you know, there’s a practice effect going on here. So if they’re the better subjects in the fourth session, what would happen if I hypnotized them four times, in a single session, and that’s where he would hypnotize and bring ’em out of it.
Hypnotize them what we now call. Fractionation and that clues in very nicely with Clark Hall, that some people have just been hypnotizing themselves or stumbled into it pretty much their whole lives. Athletes tend to be good subjects because they get in the zone. You know, I’ve taught themselves out of tune out pain and how to get all psyched up for a game.
People that are very religious. Are going somewhere when they’re praying people that are, you know, used to responding to implicit suggestions, soldiers, police officers, et cetera as a group tend to be better subjects. So, one reason why some people would be higher on the suggestibility score than other clearly is a practice effect.
Some of these folks have stumbled into hypnotizing themselves without actually calling it that or mm-hmm. , but, Again, going back to Spiegel’s Father Herbert, he also published a paper called the Grade five Syndrome, where he attempted to delineate the personality characteristics that would tend to be inherent in really good subjects.
And, uh, his memory serves. Some of them were, they had very good memories. They had a really hardcore set of morals, a certain line they wouldn’t cross, and that gave them the freedom. To kind of let go and experience and get totally immersed in suggestibility and hypnosis because they knew themselves well enough to know they wouldn’t, would, or would not do certain things.
Which basically, I mean, right. They were defining a standard pre-talk as in, you know, the, the concerns were out of the way. That they weren’t kind of going into it with one eye kind of peeking open to see what’s going on. They knew they were safe, they knew that they were in control of the entire process and that allowed that actually to play out better.
Exactly. Yeah. And he, he delineated a whole list of, of personality characteristics. Some of them would be considered naive. Uh, they, they would buy products or services they really didn’t want or need, You know, a salesperson could sell them. By convincing them they wanted or needed it. They appeared to be naive, but they weren’t naive as much as they were suggestible.
They would always at some later point recognize, I didn’t want this, I didn’t need this. And they go back with hostility to the salesperson that sold it to ’em and, you know, to get their money back. So we had a, a series of personality characteristics, so I’m sure. That some people are born or have evolved, certain personality characteristics that would make them better subjects.
And a third thing I believe would have to be genetics. Some people are better guitar players than others. I mean, some people can pick up a guitar and just play it and other people are, will sit down at a piano and just know how to play it. Whereas if you had a group of, you know, 50 or a hundred, most people would be average.
You know, if you have to learn, take lessons, Some will never. Some are born to play it, and I believe the bell curve takes hold with hypnotic suggestibility in terms of randomness. So there’s probably a whole series of possible reasons that’s, that’s an area that’s been somewhat explored, and it, it does befuddle them because they find.
Not just a single reason, it’s, it’s a broad, a combination. One subject may be such a great subject because of personality. Another one because of practice. Another one because for all they know genetics. It has been baffling from that point of view, and that doesn’t surprise me. You would expect to see a cluster of variables.
One thing that concerns me is that most of the serious research is taking place only with that top 5%. Mm-hmm. , they do the Stanford Hypnotic Suggestibility Scale, and the people that just score in the 95 percentile are the ones that they use for their experiments. There may be something inherently unusual about that.
That may or may not be, but to limit your study to just that top 5% I think is asking for trouble. Well, I can see, you know, if it’s, I’d say depending on the study, right, that if they’re looking at what exactly is going on with the brain and if it is the research, and my next question is how do we actually track this?
How would we actually go about proving to take it out of theory and instead in effect, Why not do that with those people who, as you would say, already live there, that we can see that firing off to the full capacity, then pull back to the general public and actually do that study with them to see if we could see it even in trace amounts.
Right. Exactly. And, and that’s where my head’s at looking for things or indicator or indices that Okay. Would be very extreme with the top 5%, but still present at some degree. Mm-hmm. , the other 95%. Do you know, thinking back, cuz I don’t have the details in front of me, the, the classic pet scan studies, the one, the ones that were done where, and I said I read of two different variations of it.
One was using sound, one was using an image, look at the wall and see a red dot versus look at the wall and imagine the red dot versus look at the wall and be hypnotized as if there was a red dot and repeat the same nuances with music. Were they, were they doing that one with those sort of virtuosos or was that general population as.
Oh that one. And that’s been replicated by the way, with MRI studies. And now they’re showing them a, uh, piece of cardboard that has rectangles that are different colors. And for the control group, they put ’em in an mri. They’ll show them, and I figure what the color scheme was, but maybe the top one was red, then green and blue, then yellow.
And while they’re in the mri, they’ll have the control group say, Look at the red rect. And they’ll see what parts of the brain fire. Mm-hmm. . Look at the green rectangle, look at the blue rectangle, and they’re mapping out what parts of the brain are lighting up when they do that. And then they take a second group of non hypnotized subjects, They remove the color, they still have the outlines of the rectangles on the cardboard, but no color, and they’ll do what you had suggested to the control group.
Open your eyes and imagine. That the corner one is bright red. Imagine you see green, Imagine you see blue. They see what parts of the brain are activated when that happens. And then they bring in the third group, the hypnotized group, and once again, it’s the top 5%. Yeah. And they will suggest to that group, when you open your eyes, they’ll show them the uncolored cardboard, just the designs.
But they’ll tell, They’ll give the suggestion to the hepatitis subjects when you open your eyes. The top one is bright red. Can you see it? Yes. Now the next one’s blue. Can you see it? Yes. And they find the areas of the brain. That the first group, the ones that actually saw the blue, green, and red, same areas light up indicating that these people are not faking this.
They are actually seeing something. They are totally immersed in it. This is not trying to please the hypnotist, which any practicing hypnotist could have told them , but now they’re proving it. And that’s, that’s, that study was replicated. The most recent one was just two years. . Yeah. Which I love some of the research like that because, uh, and this is maybe where I practice the shoot yourself in a foot business model where someone would call up and go, Well, I’m really looking forward to this.
I really believe in it. And to, to look at even the word believe is now technically out of date. Here’s research where we’re now beginning to better target what’s going on and where is it happening. But we’re still not a hundred percent there at this point to say this is exactly what is going on. But we can definitely say as of.
Something . That’s exactly right. Right. That’s, that’s where research is pointed at this moment where we’re, we’re just trying to prove something’s different and, and my theory is, this is what I think is different. I understand where they’re headed and I understand they’re laying in the groundwork, but if my theory is correct, it’s easily testable.
Mm-hmm. , if, if what you’re seeing with hypnosis is mutual inhibition, then it’s probably taking place in the hypothetical. And there is a chemical switch that takes place when that person goes in and out and in and outta the trance. There is a chemical firing that is taking place, and if you put people in an MRI and deliberately put them in and out and in and out, in and out, if you see that one part of the hypothalamus light up each and every time, that is probably the switch.
And if that’s what’s happening, if it truly is. Mutual inhibition. Theoretically, it could be controlled if it is being chemically controlled by a neurotransmitter in the hypothalamus, if that’s what’s throwing these people in or out of consciousness and trans. Theoretically, if you could, just like with narcolepsy, if you figure out what chemicals making that happen, if you add the chemical.
You can make le narcolepsy disappear if you add or to subtract the chemical, you could conceivably increase a person’s hypnotic suggestibility or decrease their suggestibility. In other words, you could keep them conscious so they’re not slipping in and outta trance or the reverse. You could lock ’em in trance, so they wouldn’t come out as in shell shock and cat and, uh, catay.
But if that’s being controlled at the hypothalamus, and if it is mutual inhibition, you’ll see. By looking for it in an MRI when these subjects are being put in and out of trans. So, And that’s the scenario that’s not being looked at? Yeah. And any guess then as to what chemical it might. . Well, rein seems to have a lot to do with the whole system.
Like I mentioned, when I was introduced to it in seven, in the seventies, they thought it was serotonin and they’re getting much more refined with neurotransmitters, almost like the atom, you know, there’s to be just three parts and now down the Clarks Metas sub going, they’re doing the same with neurotransmitters showing that there are subtle differences.
When I was brought up in the seventies in graduate school, there were four neurotransmitters. Mm-hmm. , and now I think they’re, they’ve got. 150 different variations of it. So it would just simply be a matter of looking as to what part of the brain fires, and then by doing biopsy or whatever deducing what the chemical is.
Same thing they did to find narcolepsy. It turned out to be orexin, which by the way was a neurotransmitter. Theoretically didn’t even exist when I was, no one even knew that was there when I was being educated. So we are moving so quickly in terms of advancement with knowledge, I’m fairly confident they could deduce what the compound is that’s making it happen.
Yeah. So if the theory is that that hip ntic state is always turned on, then if we wanted to refer to it as a light switch, what would you say it is that’s turning. Well, I think it’s always there. Yeah. I think it’s always firing and I think consciousness is always firing and there’s a relative balance.
And when a person goes into a trans, it’s it’s, it is neurological. And the way neurons work is that there’ll be an increase and increase in increase, and then it reaches a threshold. And when it reaches a threshold, that’s when it becomes binary. The switch gets thrown, whether you want it, basically whether you want it to or not.
So, I believe hypnotic inductions are basically techniques to restrict consciousness. In other words, pick just one spot. Look at that spot on the ceiling. Listen just to my voice. Uh, count backwards. Concentrate on walking down the steps or the numbers. What you’re doing is taking your conscious. Way of thinking, which bounces around mm-hmm.
and thinks about what you had for dinner yesterday and what you’re gonna do tomorrow. And it restricts that. It, it kind of harnesses it. And as you systematically narrow your focus of attention, which, which what I think most hypnotic conductions are, at some point you narrow it so much. That switch gets thrown in, out pops what’s been there all along the, the hypnotic trans emerges.
And if you look at people in hypnosis where you have them pick a spot or whatever it is, you will often see they, they. Appear as if they’re getting closer and closer and closer, and then there’s just a moment when they roll their eyes back in their heads, right? Yeah. And they’re there. That’s what, that’s what I found to be the most striking about this is that definition.
I mean, early on I was trained in a more, you know, here’s the hypnotic depth scale. They’re now at level one. Now they’re at level two. It’s where over the years, kind of hitting that point of Yeah. But suddenly there is a moment. You’ve got it. And and quote, even right out of reality is plastic. Anthony is Jack.
He gets to a place of just going, You either have hypnosis or you don’t. Well you don’t. Right. And I found by working in that mindset in recent years, that’s made me much more flexible, much more effective, rather than the game of, let’s say back in the stage hypnosis days of going, No, I need this other technique.
No, I need this other technique. But instead to see we’ve got it or we don’t, and then to make use of it appropriately from there. I was curious to ask, I if this does become that theory and it’s an amazing working model as it is right now, how, how would you say it’s going to inform. Working differently with clients, working differently with volunteers in a presentation, if at all?
I, I think it will, it, it theory, you know, it possibly could have a lot of implications. Yeah. I’ll explain them in a moment, but I wanna back up for a second. The Harvard study on the, the switch sleep theory. Yes. Did an excellent job of just, of describing what you and I were just talking about. They were.
It might take you 20 minutes to go to sleep. You know, you lie in bed and you lie to, you try to relax. Your counting sheep, whatever the heck you’re doing, it might take you 20 minutes to go to sleep, but the actual act of falling. Is usually no more than two or three seconds. Mm-hmm. sometimes milliseconds so fast, you can’t be conscious of it.
You really can’t be aware of it happening, and so it’s like a threshold. You know, you lie there, you try to relax, you do whatever it, whatever ritual you do to get to sleep. It might take you 15 to 20 minutes, but when you fall asleep it’s, it’s very quick. Yeah. Switch has been, and that switch takes place.
And that is very similar to what we see in, in hypnotic TRAs, when you are going through whatever induction you’re going through, and at some point the person, the threshold is hit and outcomes, the trans. So your question was, how do I think it’s gonna change things? Yeah. Well, clearly I think if, if it turns out that my theory is correct and you should know that statistically speaking, my theory is probably gonna be incorrect.
You know, 99 of a hundred of all theories. Totally discarded. But if, if, if it turns out that, my guess is correct, that my way of looking at it happens to be what’s really going on first is gonna be the way you look at it. In other words, people are trying, they talk about producing hypnosis or, uh, entering, you know, creating hypnosis or making a trance or whatever.
I look at it more as reducing to hypnosis. Yes, I think you’re, you’re, you’re taking consciousness and restricting what it does, inhibiting consciousness and then outcomes. What’s there all. If it is mutual inhibition, as I said, from a actual physical point of view, theoretically you should be able to control it.
If, if, if it is a neurochemical neurotransmitter that’s making this happen, adding more than neurotransmitter or less or restricting it should be able to. Bring about a variety of changes. People that are not great subjects could make perhaps be made better subjects. People who spend all of their time in trans could perhaps spend more time conscious or vice versa.
So I, I think from that point of view, it would have a lot of implications and, but primarily just the way people look at what it is and the terminologies that we’re using, we’re still using terminologies that were basically coined back in 1800 by braid. Wise, Hoffer and some of the other great founding fathers, but we’re still using their models and their, uh, terminologies.
So I think eventually if this theory were to turn out to be correct, the terminologies would start to change. And it’s where you can look back at some of these terminologies and I mean, look at Dave Alman, the bypassing of the critical faculty of the mine. We can look at that and it’s again, how do you define bypassing?
How do you define critical faculty? And we can find a way to, to back it up. You know, I, I tend to say that if you look at the history of hypnosis, we kind of began about 200 years ago or so, two, 300 years ago with the, with the biology at the process. In terms of what physically was going on. Then we jumped into the Sig Freud area.
We got caught up in the psychology of the process. Clearly nowadays, we’re in that neurological aspect of the process, and so many of us are working to reframe hypnosis and under the mindset of, Here’s how you’re already doing it. Let’s show you how to do it better. And I love to be able to put into the spin of that, Here’s how you’re always doing this, and here’s how we can bring that out and harness it and put it into use.
Number of years ago, I read an article. Someone had done a doctoral dissertation on the sales techniques of the super sales people, the people that could sell ice cubes, Eskimos, . He had isolated 20 or 30 of them. These people that really just were identified as incredible sales people and his conclusion.
Was that they were using techniques that were very similar to what a good hypnotherapist is. Using that they were harnessing attention, focusing it, listening to what the person was saying and patterning and matching their vocabulary and breeding patterns. And then just repetitiously hammering home the point.
And uh, I found the article fascinating, not surprising, but fascinating, where there are a set of rules involved and. They are transferable. If you understand the underlying dynamics and what the rules are that are involved, that are involved, there’s no reason why anyone couldn’t learn how to do that. You know, if they practice it and just become a little bit more affluent with it, there’s no reason why anybody couldn’t learn that.
See, for that example, I have to go to, one of the first times I went to a marketing convention was about eight, nine years ago, and walking around going, Wait a minute. All these people are using the same language as my hypnosis people. They’re just not apologizing. Right and they’re celebrating each other like, wow, you really had that great launch.
That’s going fantastic. And, and you know, same as hypnosis to overcome whatever fears, blocks or misperceptions may have been there before. You’re right. The same principles apply to to that of sales too. So do you think the situation, not that the lay hypnotist would necessarily be doing this exactly. Do you think there presents that opportunity that by adding in that chemical it then automat.
Creates the hypnotic state or brings out the hypnotic state, that all remains to be seen. Yeah, the first step is, Is this mutual inhibition, . And, you know, I, I laid out a couple of, you know, it’s a hypothesis. It’s a theory that’s testable. And I proposed a couple of experiments and I’m, I’m excited. I’ve been contacted by two very prestigious groups that are considering putting teams together to, to actually run this test.
One of ’em has their, conveniently owns their own mri. So if either of those groups runs the test, You know, either it’s gonna be there or it’s not. If, if they locate a firing, taking place in the hypothalamus, whenever these folks go in and out of it, that strongly supports the theory. If nothing happens, either we do not have instruments that are sensitive enough to pick it up, or I’m completely wrong.
And, and as I mentioned statistically speaking, you would expect me to be wrong. Because as far as I can tell, no one else is out there looking at it like that. That’s what amazed me. I, when I got serious about it and tried to, you know, really research it there, as far as I can tell, was no one, no serious group that was looking at mutual inhibition as being.
The source or the, uh, predicate for hypnosis. And I couldn’t figure out why I, there was nothing in the research. There’s still testing animals like crazy, but there was nothing in the human research I could find at all until I stumbled into that Harvard study. And it was almost like they had rediscovered it because they did not cite title bound.
They weren’t talking about mutual inhibition as much as they were talking about the flip flop theory of sleep, you know, sleep state switching, where the terminologies they were using. But it was exactly the way Wogan had described it back in 1976. It was pretty much like they had rediscovered it and they were applying it to wakefulness versus sleep, but I still can’t find anyone that’s applying this concept.
In terms of trying to explain the nature of hypnosis, either, like I say, either I’m dead wrong or I’ve stumbled into an area that no one has yet thought of. So time will tell, which I love that aspect of going, well, it’s, maybe it’s wrong. Statistically speaking, it probably is , although it would’ve bummed me out if I Googled it and a million things popped up.
But it kind of freaked me out when nothing popped up and I, I would go, I was going 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, You. Links into, it was like the fourth or fifth dive into one of the choices of words. Cause I was trying to be combination, you know, mutual inhibition, neural mutual inhibition, mutual inhibiting systems, hypnosis and inhibition, all kinds of stuff.
And, and I finally inadvertently stumbled into this Harvard study and like the fourth of fifth link of one of . It was not a prominent thing. And so as far as I can tell, there’s just no serious group out there studying this. And there may be a reason for that. maybe. Maybe it’s just patently absurd. But as I mentioned, two groups that are fairly serious groups have both expressed an interest.
So if they do run the experiment, we should find. Relatively soon. Yeah. So has it changed your approach, having this theory in the back of your mind? Let’s say you’re doing that presentation, you’re working with a group of people. Has it influenced your work at all in terms of how you deal with them now?
No. No. No. I figured I was right back in the, I I always approached it like that. Yeah. But soon, as soon as Wogan told me that, I was like, Yeah, that must be what it is. I have always looked at it like that. And it was a couple years ago when I kind of retired that I got serious about. Studying a little bit more about it, and I’ve, I’ve expanded the theory way back to why is it there?
If it, if that’s what it is, if it is mutual inhibition, why would nature make that happen? Because natural selection would not invest that much time and energy creating these competing systems unless there was some survival reason for that. And I brought it all the way back to. To basically, if humans evolved, you know, they, they probably did not jump outta trees.
Conscious consciousness also had to evolve and that that argues that there had to have been a state of mind prior to people being fully conscious as we understand it today. They would’ve had to have existed on this planet in a state of mind. Different than that, what was that state of mind and.
Hypnotic responding to suggestion trance-like behavior may very well be what was there before they were conscious. So one possible explanation is that we are in the middle of a transition. From the trance to consciousness. That’s why they’re both competing with each other. That e in evolutionary terms, a thousand years from now, there may not be a trance is one possible explanation.
And, and then I, I brought it all the way back that if, if that’s the case of humans existed primarily in a trance, why would they be like that? Well, from a natural selection point of view, it would be very, You don’t want humans wandering around because we’re not big. We’re not fast. We don’t have night vision, we don’t have claws, we don’t have venom.
We’re very vulnerable animals. So you’ve gotta keep them together, and that would explain why every civilization we’ve ever found evidence for has two things in common. They all have leaders, kings, queens, and they all have. And those are two things that keep people very centered, very focused. And so this responding to verbal suggestion, why would people respond to verbal suggestion may have been an adaptive measure.
Why would evolution have spent so much time and effort putting that there if it wasn’t there for a reason? So my mind has gone in, you know, many, many levels deeper than mutual in addition. And I ha, I have to credit my older brother. I knew I was given this presentation. I was gonna lay it all out. And my older brother’s really smart.
He’s not a psychologist. He, uh, was a physicist and a biologist, but I said, Hear me out. And, and he did. And he heard the whole part about mutual inhibition. And then he started hearing me talk about evolution stuff. He said, Stop . Up to this point, you’ve backed everything you said with research you’ve got you.
A study that supports everything you said. When you start going in those directions, you’re inviting someone to discount everything. Cause if you, It’s all conjecture, you can’t back it up. It’s all theoretical. Just present. The stuff you can back up with research. And he asked me a second question, Isn’t that the foundation?
If, if that’s wrong, all the rest of it’s irrelevant, right? Yeah. So that’s all you should be talking about. Yeah. And, and let them, you know, and that will, you’ll gain much more acceptance by doing that. People take you much more seriously. You are much more likely to get. And he was right. Although you heard it here first, there’ll be no more hypnosis in a thousand years.
So there’s your impulse to get out there right away, start working with people, start helping people. , . Well, I mean, the question is why would it be? Right? Yeah, there, you know, why have two competing systems like that? Those are very complicated systems. A person in a trans versus being fully conscious. Why would nature do that?
And then, then it hit me. Well open up a skull. And what do you see? You see? Totally independent hemispheres that are virtually identical in what they do, except they’re slightly specialized. One being slightly specialized for physios, spatial, the other being slightly specialized for verbal. And yet, nature has this habit of creating these duplicating systems, and that may be what trans versus consciousness is.
Well, another explanation is why would nature have built two highly complex systems? Um, the trance is somewhat different than consciousness and they’re both very complex and it seems like an enormous diversion of energy and resources. And it’s confusing until you simply open the human skull and see two hemispheres and recognize that nature has a tendency to build two systems, redundantly.
You have a left and a right hemisphere that are virtually identical and yet specialized in one direction or the other. You know, left hemisphere being a bit more specialized for verbal and analytic processing. The right hemisphere are a little more specialized for vis spatial, but two incredibly complex systems.
Both in the same animal and both build simultaneously. And so it’s possible that this consciousness versus hypnosis or trans like behavior is nature’s form of redundancy. And it does. There’s evidence that it does that. But the question that haunted me was if it is mutual inhibition, if it is these two systems, why did nature do that?
You know? What’s that there? Yeah. I love it. So to bring it all home, any final words for the listeners out there in terms of thinking it through our approach, how we work with our clients, or just how we define hypnosis? I have always defined hypnosis. A little bit different than some do. I see it as a, a state of mind that’s present all the time.
I believe when a person is daydreaming or if you ask ’em to spell a complicated word and they roll their eyes back in their head, or if they dry past their exit on the freeway, that that is all the same system, that that’s all a form or the same neural system firing as what you see in hypnosis.
Hypnosis may be more continuous last a bit longer, a little bit more intense, but it’s the same neural. Activity taking place. So I always watch for it happening. When I’m engaged in conversation with people, I’m looking at what their eyes are doing and how they either stay focused or drift in and out, and it gives me a lot of clues as to what kind of subject they’re going to be.
So I just look at hypnosis as being there all the time and that what’s keeping it from popping out or coming out prominently is the other side of the attention span, which is consciousness, which tends to be always kind of testing things, thinking about what you’re gonna do, what you should have done.
Your mind is always racing two or three different things at a time. The best description I’ve ever heard is you can ize a very good subject and tell ’em that the count of five, I want you to open your eyes. Get in your car and drive home, and a really good subject will do that. And driving a car is an incredibly complicated system.
You’ve gotta control the gas pedal, the steering su, you know, there’s a million subtleties that take place in driving a car. So what would be the difference between a person that was hypnotized to wake up, get in the car and drive home, and a person, it’s not hypnotized. The difference would be if a deer ran out in front of him, , the person that is conscious would slam on the brakes to avoid the deer, the person that ized would drive, right.
Because their focus is getting home. I had a highway, Hypnosis is a very common phenomenon. I had a a Florida State trooper once as a client, and he said We could always tell highway hypnosis cases on the turnpike. I said, Wait, no skid marks. Hmm, 12 o’clock in the afternoon. No blood, no alcohol, no drugs person.
Perfectly fine as far as we can tell. They drove right off the road, right into. Telephone pole right into the sign highway hypnosis, they, they are just so trans that they stop engaging all the normal activity that you would see a, a conscious person do. And so the, I think the primary difference between the two systems are that consciousness tends to always test reality, whereas the trans tends to be more focused and un.
It’s a lower level of control with less inhibition, which by the way, is exactly what you’d expect to see in a mutual inhibiting system. Funny how that worked out. So that’s what I think the difference is. Thanks for listening to the Work Smart Hypnosis Podcast and work smart hypnosis.com.