touch and trance
Touch and it's absence can deeply effect and affect our state of being, our emotions, feelings and our health. In this blog post I will be talking about the language of touch as it can effect our state, as part of hypnosis.
You can say there are languages for each sense and crossover languages that use a number of senses... massage, fetish play, sex and participation in exercise, sport and dance (as opposed to watching them though mirroring and empathy are important in those experiences) are languages of touch. There is touch (giving feeling) and feeling (receiving touch) then there are the ways we experience emotions as feeling sensations that (put materialistically) measure and communicate to you the chemistry of emotions. This language, feelings = emotions, originates in the muscle tension patterns created by the emotional responses which are part of our meanings for them. Then there are the consequences of mirroring (both psycho-emotional mirroring, meaning empathy, and it's connections to mirror neurons) so that seeing, hearing, smelling and/or thinking something can cause a crossover between senses, inspiring feelings & touch.
All of these are effected and affected by our individual histories as part of our social context.
Our senses can be measured by their relationship to physical intimacy, that is how close you have to be to experience them. Sight and sound tell us of dangers, beauty and other experiences from a distance while you have to be within 'arm's reach' to be directly touched. This is also true of smell, while taste is even more intimate. Of course mirroring and empathy can cross these boundaries.
How you think, in what senses you primarily think, effect how you respond to the different languages for different senses. Your primary sense can affect you deeply, but also, being guided to experiences that are unusual because they are in senses you don't use, or rather pay attention to much, can blow your mind body in both good and bad ways depending on the situation and the participants.
So a primarily visual or hearing person can be confronted by being guided to experience touch in new ways or can go deeply into wonderful experiences that relieve them of their usual states of being by guiding them to touch/feeling experiences. By the same token SOME people who suffer from depression maybe being overwhelmed by their feelings and can find freedom by moving to visual or hearing subjective experiences, especially if it lets them get out from under the overwhelm. There are people overwhelmed by either seeing or hearing internally that they need to focus into feeling for grounding. This can be where massage, sex, play and some drugs (that take you into a subjective sensory zones) can become addictive for some people. Especially if you have an external locus of control which leads you to believe that these experiences are the only way you can get free of your ordinary experience of yourself and world, your usual way of thinking. One of the aims of hypnosis, and therapy in general, is for you to notice, pay attention to your power to affect your ways of thinking, your relationship with your emotional states affecting your perceptions so you aren't dependent on external ways of controlling how you experience your life.
Empowerment can start with helping you feel powerful in relation to a particular habit or activity which is a focal point of feeling powerlessness, that is overcoming an addiction like smoking or food, getting rid of a phobia or anxiety. The key to how you experience new places you might go subjectively is trust and appropriateness for the individual.
I have hypnotic inductions I do that are purely touch based because I was a massage therapist, though suggestions you can make without talking are limited, but you can get trance. It depends on how you define trance, though. To me it can be a highly aroused state that has a narrow mental emotional focus at one end of the spectrum or extremely relaxed also with a narrow focus of attention, both can have high suggestiveness. The martial arts and sport are both designed around using the power of focus whilst managing it's problems of a narrow focus caused by high arousal. The narrowness of trance and it's suggestibilities can mean you can have a very external locus of control that may cause you to act against your integrity. The danger in martial arts is to be so involved in destructive dangerous actions that innocents are killed unintentionally. In sport, the high arousal of intense competitive physical activity can mean they attack the "player rather than the ball", as the cliché goes.
For touch inductions you can use the interplay of location, rhythm, pressure, consistency and unexpectedness, texture, temperature, even movement - passive and active (which are a feeling/touch experiences don't forget) - to get trance, or to confirm and/or test for it. In fetish play, pain and pleasure are added to the mix. You can make suggestions, usually based on location, by using body parts associations/meanings either general socially understood ones, if you don't know someone well. But the specific meanings for the individual will take precedence over the general, to create experiences at either end of the spectrum from calmness to arousal.
You can also to manage the state of mind body (without noticeable trance) of people, in the NLP way, with subtle touches (both covert and overt) combined with verbal suggestions to create anchors/triggers that are very powerful. Research shows waiters get more tips if they gently often apparently accidentally touch their customers. Touching an elbow can be considered non-intimate and often goes unnoticed consciously but can affect people unconscious.