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A learning center for hypnosis and self hypnosis education. A resource for finding professional referrals for hypnosis treatment of medical and psychotherapeutic issues. A learning center for hypnosis and self hypnosis education. A resource for finding professional referrals for hypnosis treatment of medical and psychotherapeutic issues.
Member: American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association
What is Hypnosis?
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Module 17 -- Induction of Hypnosis 7

Animal Hypnosis
Immobilization

There are four principal ways that a state of hypnosis can be induced in an animal. The methods are:

Repetitive Stimuli -- This includes scratching or stroking various areas of the body, staring into the eyes of the animal, closing the eyes of the animal and swinging it back and fourth, and suddenly presenting a very bright stimulus.

Inversion -- In many instances a sudden inversion of an animal will induce a state of hypnosis.

Pressure on Body Parts -- Often pressure applied to the abdominal region of an inverted animal will produce a state of hypnosis. This region will vary with different animals.

Restraint of Movement -- This seems to be an essential element in the production of hypnosis in animals. It is probably virtually impossible to use any of the other methods without some form of restraint of motion.

There appears to be no way of knowing which method will work best with any given animal. Some animals may not respond twice to the same method. Other my respond well to several of the methods.

The state of hypnosis in animals is manifested by a state of immobilization characterized by a condition of hypertonicity, usually associated with marked plasticity. However, relaxation and rigidity have also been observed. The state of immobility may last for several hours. During this time the animal appears to be insensitive to most stimuli. Some animals tend to go into this state more quickly and remain in this condition longer with successive repetitions of the induction process.

Because of the nature of Pavlov's study of Conditioned Reflexes he encounter the phenomenon of animal hypnosis quite often. His dogs were restrained during his experiments and subjected to monotonous situations. After extensively studying animal hypnosis he came to the conclusion that it was do to a self-protecting reflex of an inhibitory nature. Faced with an overwhelming power from which there was no escape an animal's only chance of survival is to remain immobile in order not to be noticed. The condition of immobility is triggered in the following way.

The animal is subjected to external highly intense stimuli or to unusual stimuli that are capable of triggering a rapid inhibitory reflex in the motor region of the cerebral cortex that controls voluntary movements. Depending on the duration or intensity of the stimuli, this inhibition is either confined to the motor region, or it irradiates to other regions of the cerebral hemispheres all the way to the mid-brain. If it is confined to just the motor region reflexes of the eye muscles are present (i.e. the animal follows the experimenter with its eyes), and tonic reflexes from the mid-brain to the skeletal muscles cause the animal to retain the position it is placed in (catalepsy). In the second case the above-mentioned reflexes gradually disappear as the animal becomes absolutely passive with a general relaxation of the musculature. Pavlov believed this inhibition is nothing more than sleep, but partial and localized.

There has been a lot of research done in the area of animal hypnosis, however little is known about the phenomenon and there is very little agreement among investigators regarding the known facts. The methods of induction are extremely variable in there effectiveness. Very little can be done with animals in these states. There are no known applications that can be applied to human management from the studies of animal hypnosis. It is a topic of great scientific interest and in time may be of considerable value for the practical use of hypnosis.

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The instructions presented are from the personal collections and writing library of Mr. Robert E. Cutter, who died December 13, 2001, while in the process of completing the transfer of his work to the internet. These are offered as educational instruction only. The purpose of this instruction is the effective learning and use of hypnotic techniques for vocational or avocational self-improvement. This instruction is not offered as a substitute for, nor as a supplement to, any form of therapy concerned with physical, mental, nervous or emotional illness. Robert E. Cutter served as web consultant for American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association for three years. His hypnosis education came through the training he provided at a school he owned in the 1950's in Los Angeles, California, along with his wife who preceded him in death in 1980. Robert Cutter was not a psychologist and did not practice psychotherapy, but his interest in hypnosis motivated him to provide free resources materials for others who wanted to learn to use the power of their minds to improve well being and health-related issues.
Michael A. Robinson, R.N.- BC Psychiatry
Licensed Texas State Nursing Board Registered Nurse
Texas State Nursing Board Certified in Psychiatry
In Honor and Memory of Robert E. Cutter, B.S. 1923-d.2001
From the Writings of Robert Cutter's Self Hypnosis Center
About Feelings Network
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