Hypnosis is often linked with the use of words, the right use of meaningful words.

But in reality, as studies show, just the smallest part of our communication go through words, while the biggest part go through non verbal elements. This is the reason why is normally difficult to learn an hypnotic technique just from a book.

Is it possible to hypnotize without using no meaningfull words at all but just these other elements?

The answer is surely yes. We can use codes and elements of our social non verbal communication to bring people in a trance deeper than any trance they had ever experienced.

Every phrase we use in our normal communication has a non verbal meaning and the words exist just as substitutes for things or other non verbal codes.

When we are able to express without words phrases such "sleep", "relax", "is not important that your conscious mind hear, the important is that your subconsciuous mind understand" or "is important that you have a sincere subconscious movement" or other, we come surely to a better understanding of what hypnosis really is.

It is fundamental to be able to understand what is the logic standing behind the words of the ericksonian inductions, or of the "Elmanlike" induction or any other possible induction.

Using certain gestures (non verbal communication), we can put animals in a trance.

The principle behind is valid for human persons, too.

Normally, to hypnotize animals, we have to catch and block them, and after we use passes, or gaze, to hold their attention in a certain direction.

For instance, to hypnotize a chicken, we have to force the hen's head flat to the ground, and to draw a line directly out from its beak. The animal will stay staring at this line; to hypnotize a guinea pig we have to roll the animal over and over some time on the table, and then lay it on its back. And the guinea pig will remain quiescent.

We can suppose that these way of acting break some of the normal schemas of reacting of these animals and in some way suggest them to mantain their position without moving.

There are strong analogies with the multisensory method of hypnosis.

To hypnotize people, we have to create "rapport" involving them in the situation, bypass their abitudinary schema of references and reactions and then offer them a new direction. We can think to a person coming visiting a famous professor: this person will come in, and will be overhelmed by all the titles hanging on the wall of the office of the professor. This person will be ready to accept the directions from the professor: this person will have been hypnotized by all the elements present in the room.

In a non verbal induction we will act upon the same lines, in a very easy and simple way.


Multisensory induction is the common way of inducing a trance in a lot of cultures.

The use of not understable spells and symbols is very ancient. Magic words (words that a person cannot understand) are used in every magic ritual.

The multisensory hypnosis is a way of using the principles behind these rituals for creating an induction fast and easy. We don't use magic symbols, but we create a very powerful enviroment through the right use of the non verbal communication.


It is really easier and faster to bypass the normal schema of references and reactions of a person with non verbal elements than with verbal elements.

Here is an example of a non verbal induction:

The hypnotist (to subject): please stay there and don't move

subject stay without moving

The hypnotist begin to make some gesture and begin to use some strange, (not understable) words and sounds, and after some seconds the subject begin to sway

The hypnotist follow him non verbally helping him to sway more

The hypnotist catch the subject and place him on a seat

The subject having stiff legs, the hypnotist make soothing passes and the subject relax himself

The hypnotist begin the hypnotherapy part.

We can call this kind of induction "multisensory" because we use more senses together and not just the words.

It is very usefull to have the ability to use a multisensory induction.

If sometime we find people that doesn't like certain words, or that do strange associations to common words this technique is very useful. The big power of the right use of sounds and meaningless words is to avoid such problems, giving each one what really want. The validity of this system is proved by the fact that it is the most ancient existing method of hypnosis.

People extremely rational react better to this kind of hypnosis than to any other because they have no more possibility to rationalize what is happening.

Obviously, these techniques are very useful too for hypnotist travelling abroad in non english speaking countries.


Dave Elman defined hypnosis as "the bypassing of the critical factor and the installing of selective thinking". We find this definition very useful, but we prefer to say, instead of saying "bypassing the critical factor" to say "bypassing the normal schema of references and reactions of a person". When we are in an enviroment where we don't know how to act properly, we will catch each suggestion we receive very rapidly, and we will adopt rapidly new schemas of action.

But, in order to find the old schema unuseful and not sufficient we need to be emotionally involved in the situation.

There are a lot of things we don't understand in the world, but we don't accept to say that our schema of analysis is insufficient until we are not emotionally involved.


In a multisensory induction, we will adopt the non verbal communication for three purposes:

  1. getting the clients emotionally involved
  2. bringing him to change his schema of seeing things
  3. giving non verbal suggestions

For sake of simplicity, we can divide in categories the different non verbal elements we can use:

  • Paralinguistic Tone, inflection, and includes the power of no-meaning words
  • Prossemic The use of distance and movement in creating a social rapport
  • Kinesic and gaze Movements of the hands; Mesmeric passes; the social meaning of the gaze
  • Digital Discover the hidden power of touch

Every verbal induction normally use some of the forementioned elements, but the most important thing is to integrate all of them together in a very powerful and strong blend at the same time understanding which is the most useful in a certain moment.

The "rapport" we can get using such elements is so strong that each therapeutic change happens really easier and faster than with any other method.

The reason of this strong "rapport" is in the fact that we don't communicate on the surface (as when we use just words); instead we communicate on a more deep and profound level, involving emotionally our client.

We don't need to do complex verbal reeducations or reframings before of doing this kind of hypnosis, and this because we do them already non verbally.

We need about 2 to 4 minutes to bring people in "deep hypnosis" and you'll find astonishing results and incredible therapeutic possibilities.

One of the most important thing to follow in a non verbal induction is the feedback of the client; here are some of the most important elements to check:


  1. Swaying Phisical swaying means mental swaying; disponibility to let himself go.
  2. No reaction when touched Acceptance of the hypnotist.
  3. Swallowing Emotional response.
  4. Cataleptic arms Acceptance of non-verbal suggestions.
  5. Relaxed arms Not enough involvement in the rapport.
  6. Tensed (resisting) arms Lack of confidence in the hypnotist.
  7. Laughing The subject is in a situation in wich he feels the insufficiency of his normal schema of references; he is not in complete cointrol of the situation; for this reason could be the best moment to use a very direct approach.

Normal phases in a Non Verbal Technique Seance are:

1) REP (positive empathic rapport)

2) Introduction of analog elements (elements creating emotional tension)

3) Introduction of symbolic elements (these elements break the old schemas)

4) Analog tests (optional; consist in non verbal suggestions)

5) Passing test (optional: show us if the subject is ready for the intervention)

6) intervention (multisensory hypnotherapy)


It is very simple and depends on the efficacity of the preceding induction; you use words to suggests some images that bring in the direction you want. You don't need to be logic; you need just that what you do be very integrated in a whole idea suggesting the change.

Very useful is speaking directly to the subconscious as it were a separate identity.

Very useful is too the use of symbolic elements during the hypnotherapeutic phase.


Giving exercises to do to the client enhance the results; you can structurate the exercises in such a way to give the clients:

1. blocks (you don't have to do something during the week)

2. obligations (you must do something, such as hearing a audiotape)

These two little elements will make dramatically rise your the results rate.


Ericksonian hypnotherapy involves the use of complex phrases and expressions; through the correct use of the non verbal communication, you can get the client very involved in what you say and each word you use will have a stronger emphasis.

Erickson had a strong personality making a powerfull impression on his clients; but a powerful personality is just a matter of non-verbal communication; using a multisensory induction we can get the client in the same state of mind that a "strong personality" creates, and this because he will be involved emotionally in in the situation.


Selling means getting the client emotionally involved in the possible use of a product; utilizing non verbal elements we can involve emotionally a client in the situation he is living and in what we are saying. The same approach we use in hypnosis we can use in selling.


Through the right non-verbal communication we will change the submodalities of the internal representations of the client; and for this reason we will be able to do submodalities work easier and faster.


Hypnotherapists seeking new types of techniques for augmenting their effectiviness

Hypnotherapists looking for a kind of hypnosis without most of the standard external aspects of hypnosis

Reaserchers of the dynamics of hypnosis seraching for a new way of observing hypnotic phenomena

Hypnotherapists working in the spiritual field and looking for an adapt type of induction.

People looking for something really NEW in the field of hypnosis.

NLPers that will gain a new interesting insight in what they do and will learn something new about olfactory and gustative cues and their meaning.

this article was taken from ISI-CNV: