Blog Hypnosis

Trance Induction Utilizing the First 10 Patterns of the Milton Model

This is a trance induction to illustrate the first ten patterns of the Milton Model. If you already know the MetaModel, you can recognize that these patterns are exactly the same, but are being used in the opposite way. In the MetaModel, the practitioner is aiming to get the client to restore the distortions, deletions, and generalizations and to get back to the original experience. In the Milton Model, the practitioner is aiming to get the client to move away from current experience using ambiguous statements which facilitate trance.
1. Presuppositions
As you sit here listening to my voice and noticing the things in the room around you …  I really don’t know exactly how you will begin to go into a trance … because it’s true that you can go into trance with your eyes open or closed … and you can even go into trance thinking consciously about how you can’t … because it’s … your unconscious that allows you to go into a trance … and some people can go into a light trance, or a medium trance, while some people can go into a very deep trance … and it’s not important whether you go very deep and slow … or whether you go into a trance quickly … because what’s really important is being able to discover your own ability to go into trance …  and to use that ability now … and you know that some people prefer to relax a little … then go down into a trance for a while … and then come back up before going all the way back down … while others prefer to … wait a few minutes and then drop deeply down, all the way down, at once … others prefer to go in and out of trance … up and down through deeper and deeper states… until eventually … at some point … everyone can go down and forget to come back up for a while … because trance is something that everyone can do …
2. Mind Read
you may be wondering just how easy it is for you to relax … now … and it’s good to wonder … and to wander … and you may be curious about how easy it is to relax … or you may be thinking that it will be a few moments more before you can really begin to go into trance … and perhaps you’re not sure whether you can go into a light trance … and that’s just fine … because when you think you can only go into a deep trance slowly … your mind is already starting to make the changes that help you to enter that trance state … right now …
3. Lost Performative
because when you wonder, you may become curious, and curiosity is the beginning of learning, and it’s good to learn new things, isn’t it
4. Cause and Effect
and just by thinking about relaxing, that may cause your unconscious mind to now relax, and to slow down your breathing and to let a wave of beautiful sleepiness pass right through your body
5. Complex Equivalent
… and that means that you long to feel that relaxation spread through your body … and if you let that feeling just spread out now … maybe slowly … or perhaps you will allow it to spread quickly … that means that each breath that you take will help you to relax even more
6. Universal Quantifier
… eventually reaching every part of your body … perhaps the kind of feeling of deep relaxation that always makes you feel good … and that everyone feels sometimes …  and it would be nice to feel that relaxation everywhere, wouldn’t it … because it’s true that everyone likes to relax and feel good
7. Modal Operator
… and you can just enjoy this feeling or you might simply observe it spreading … or you could even just let your conscious mind go as … your unconscious now … may like to continue that process … and you don’t have to go deeper into relaxation any sooner than your breath can slow down even more … and as you exhale, you could simply go deeper each time
8. Nominalization
… and as a deeper peace moves through your body … you can notice any areas that have not yet relaxed completely … and allow your unconscious now … to continue increasing the blood flow to those areas … and to bring you complete peace and relaxation and a deep sense of ease … that permeates every cell of your being
9. Unspecified Verb
and while you continue to slow down … and to … relax … your unconscious mind … can now begin to integrate the learnings that naturally occur in a state of deep relaxation … you can start to understand … and a situation that may have been a problem for you in the past starts to clarify now … to resolve itself naturally … and to simply … be right … make sense
10. Simple Deletion
because when you relax, you can just be … and that is a good state to … isn’t it … and if there was some change that you wanted to make, you can simply … do … now, can’t you … because it’s … right … right now

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Allergy Season Coming Soon

With Allergy season coming soon, it’s again time to polish up the NLP allergy relief process and also to look at other ways that can help people to face the awful wave of pollen allergies that will be hitting Japan over the next few months.
One interesting remedy that I just read about is mandarin peel tea. Mandarins are very popular in the winter in Japan and are sold under the name mikan. I’ve always enjoyed chewing a little bit of mandarin skin, but did it secretly because it did seem a little odd. Now I’ve found that I’m not the only odd one out there and that mandarin peel is full of good health properties. One article lists the benefits in detail:

Mandarin peel regulates digestion and is very effective for treating gas, bloating and nausea. It is a perfect food for this time of year, chasing away mucus and warding off colds and flu with its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.

The white pith on the peel contains bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids strengthen your blood capillaries enhancing their ability to deliver blood, oxygen and nutrients to your tissue and organs. Bioflavonoids provide tonic support for the entire cardio vascular system. The high content of bioflavonoids in mandarin peel contributes to their anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties.

Mandarin peel tea stimulates blood circulation and lymph system flow, helping to eliminate excess fluid in the body. Mandarin peel also helps to soothe the nervous system and is a popular remedy for nervous tension, stress and depression. There are no known contraindications to cooking with and drinking mandarin peel.

Mandarin peel tea can be easily made by boiling chopped-up peels and then leaving it to steep for a while to allow the flavours and nutrients to emerge. Afterwards, you can take out the peels before drinking, or if you’re like me, you might still have a little nibble.
During the winter, we eat lots of mikan in Japan, so I’ll be reporting in a later post on the efficacy of mandarin tea.

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Some tips by James Lavers

I was watching an interesting video online by James Lavers who terms himself the Lazy Coach. He sets up coaching sessions and trainings for coaches online while living out in the countryside. While personally I found that his marketing is heavy to the point that it began to be just annoying and turned me off the site, he certainly has some useful ideas and I don’t mind advertising him a little further through this post 🙂 Here’s a quick selection related to selling over the Internet.
1. Plan your intended lifestyle first so that you can build the right business around it.
2. Don’t have any black boxes in your business. You can outsource stuff later, but it’s generally good to know what is going on in every aspect of your business. For example, learn how to code a basic webpage so that you don’t have to hire a firm who will charge you a large sum to do it. You should at least know what it is that you’re paying for, so that you can negotiate with others to produce something of the same quality at a lower price.
3. Consider the actual purpose of your website. Many people still conceive of websites as “big shop windows”. The idea is that if you build a big enough shop window and make it attractive enough, customers may come and buy something. A more useful approach may be to view websites as a temporary tool to launch or promote particular products. Lavers uses this latter approach to the extent that a video that was available on one day has been replaced with a sales pitch video the next day. It is a well-designed approach that leads the potential customer on one step at a time.
4. Use squeeze pages. A squeeze page is a very simple page with information about a product but no links to anywhere else. Instead, it encourages the user to enter his email address.
This type of marketing has become more and more ubiquitous on the web and obviously it is still successful for many vendors. I do wonder, however, when saturation will set in, and how the arms race will subsequently develop!

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NLP Allergy Relief Process

Every year, when the beautiful Japanese spring arrives, I see people unable to enjoy it because of allergies. The most common type is an allergy to pollen, either hinoki or sugi. It is estimated that about one third of all Japanese people now have pollen allergies and it is common to see masks on every second or third face in February and March as people try to keep the pollen out of their eyes, nose, and mouths. Inevitably, some pollen gets in and the unhappy result is that eyes are streaming, noses are running, and a lot of people are in misery. The clinics are full of people getting allergy medicine – a strong antihistamine. The medicine is relatively effective, but it dries out the nasal passages and throat and can be very uncomfortable. For most people, the allergy season starts as just one month, perhaps an allergy to sugi pollen, but gradually the allergic response generalizes to other substances such as other tree pollen, house dust, rice, and grasses. Depending on the person, it can extend for months or even throughout the entire year. The allergen changes, but the symptoms continue.
I am very aware of this problem because I have suffered from allergies for about 9 years now. Since I first heard of the NLP Allergy Relief process, I have had other people try it on me and tried it myself numerous times. In some cases, I have had success. For example, I used to be highly allergic in February to one type of pollen, but I managed to clear that allergy with the NLP process. However, allergies to other substances have been more stubborn and the symptoms have often returned. This is the year that I plan to completely get over these allergies and to use that successful experience to help other people to get over their allergies. I have outlined one version of the allergy relief process below. A key element is identifying a counter-example, something that is similar to the allergen but does not produce the same response. An alternative type of counter-example is to find a time or a place where the allergen did not produce the allergic response, for example at a younger age or in a different country.
I believe that my own limited success to date has been primarily my inability to find a really suitable and safe counter-example, something that is close enough to the allergen that my neurology can accept that the allergen itself is truly safe and that the immune system can relax and act normally.

NLP Allergy Relief Process

1. Identify the allergic response
2. Elicit the symptoms in an associated way. You don’t have to elicit a full allergic response, but just by having them associate into the experience, they will start to demonstrate some of the symptoms. Anchor the allergic response so that you can test it later.
3. Preframe the experience by asking when they first learned how to do it. This presupposes that it is something that the person can control at some level of their neurology. Explain that an allergy is a over-reaction by the immune system to a substance that is actually perfectly safe. It is simply the immune system making a mistake.
4. Check the ecology by asking if there is anything that they might lose if they no longer have the allergy. Is there any benefit that they get from having the allergy that they would like to keep.
5. Find a counter-example. The counter-example can be something that is similar to the allergen which does not cause the allergy. For example, if they are allergic to cedar pollen but not to spruce pollen, then spruce pollen would be a good counter-example. If they are allergic to cats, the counter-example could be dogs. Or the counter-example can be a different place or different time where they did not have the same allergic response. For example, if they developed the allergy at the age of 30, you can ask them to find an earlier time where the allergen was not a problem.
6. Have them associate fully into the counter-example and anchor the counter-example with a slight touch on the shoulder or arm, being careful to remember the exact position and strength of the touch so that you can reproduce it later.
You can fire the counter-example continuously through the remainder of the process.
7. Now have them imagine a large glass wall which divides the room in two. Imagine another version of themselves behind the glass. Slowly, expose the person behind the glass to the allergen and have them notice how the person behind the glass is perfectly safe.
8. At some point, you will notice a sudden physiological shift in the person. For example, the body posture might change, or the face might relax, or their breathing might change.
9. Now bring the person behind the glass right into their own body.
10. Then dissolve the glass wall and allow the allergen to enter the room around the person, slowly so that they can integrate the new learnings completely at an appropriate pace. Also, fire the allergic response that you anchored earlier to test whether it elicits the symptoms. If it does, repeat the earlier steps.
11. FInally, future-pace the process by asking them to think of a time when they used to have an allergic response to a certain substance and to notice how it has now changed completely.

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The Sorting Hat

In the first book of J.K. Rowling’s fantasy series about the world of wizardry, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling, 2000a), the Sorting Hat is described as “patched and frayed and extremely dirty” (p. 129), yet it is a magical object that will deeply affect the students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The magic Sorting Hat sorts the new first year students at the school into one of four Houses based on their abilities and character. When the Hat is worn by of one of the new students, it is able to magically perceive their thoughts, abilities, and character. In the words of the Hat itself:

There’s nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can’t see
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be. (p. 129)

The Sorting Hat ceremony is especially important because the decision of the Hat about the student’s House is not negotiable and will be binding over the seven years that the students will live and study at Hogwarts. The Hat’s decision will influence the development of their characters and continue to reverberate through their entire lives. When it is Harry’s turn to put on the Sorting Hat, it takes a little more time to decide his fate, but finally it announces that Harry Potter will be placed in the House of Gryffindor, rather than the House of Slytherin which he had feared.
Life can sometimes be thought of as an enormous sorting hat. Harry Potter gets put into Gryffindor rather than Slytherin. Similarily, people get sorted right from the beginning of their lives using sorting criteria such as socio-economic background, country of birth, gender, or race. As they go through life, they get further sorted by ability or circumstance into different schools, professions, and roles within society. There is no doubt that much of this sorting is useful as it does help to channel people into those areas of society that are most beneficial for both themselves and society in general, but there is also a danger that people can overly accept how they have been sorted and lose sight of the actual choices that they have in their lives. The Sorting Hat of life identifies a person’s abilities and assigns roles based upon those abilities, but it is sometimes seen as taking away or at least lessening the ability to make individual choices.
In NLP, we are always interested in helping people to become aware of their choices because having more choices means a richer map of the world, and a richer map can allow a person to utilize more resources to live a productive and fulfilling life. When a client says that “I have to …”, an NLP practitioner might use a metamodel response such as “What would happen if you didn’t?”, thus opening up the client’s map of the world to allow for the possibility of change. Following the metaphor of the Sorting Hat, the person who says “I have to …” believes that they have somehow been assigned into a particular place in life where there is only one available choice. Because they cannot deviate from that single choice, there is not really a choice at all because only one choice means that a person has to act in a certain way, and the action is no more than the stimulus-response of one of Pavlov’s dogs. Having two choices is better but results in a dilemma in which we must choose one thing or the other. It is when a person can identify three or more choices (even if they are not all good choices) that a person’s map of the world can open up to the myriad of possibilities that are always available to people at almost any point in life. Is Rowling really suggesting that the choices of Harry Potter and the other young magicians at Hogwarts are so constrained?
In book two of the series (Rowling, 2000b), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry confronts the evil Lord Voldemart in the form of Tom Riddle. As Riddle prepares to kill Harry, he tells Harry that they are similar in many ways and Harry realizes that this is true. Later, after Harry has defeated Riddle and is trying to explain the chain of events to the headmaster of Hogwarts, Dumbledore.
Dumbledore agrees that Harry is similar to Voldemart in many ways such as his “very rare gift, Parseltongue … resourcefulness … determination, and a certain disregard for rules” (p.357-8). Dumbledore says “Unless I’m much mistaken, he transferred some of his own powers to you the night he gave you that scar”. Harry responds in horror, “Voldemort put a bit of himself in me? …. So I should be in Slytherin …. The Sorting Hat could see Slytherin’s power in me …” Both Harry and Dumbledore realize that the Sorting Hat should have put Harry into the House that he hates, Slytherin, based on his abilities and character, yet it didn’t and instead chose to place him in Gryffindor.
Dumbledore resolves the puzzle by telling Harry that his strong wish to enter Gryffindor made him “very different from Tom Riddle” because “it is our choices … that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” If we look back at the Sorting Hat scene from Book 1, we see that the sorting process was not quite as passive as was suggested above. Below is the section in which Harry puts on the Sorting Hat:

‘Hmm,’ said a small voice in his ear. ‘Difficult. Very difficult. Plenty of courage, I see. Not a bad mind, either. There’s talent, oh my goodness, yes – and a nice thirst to prove yourself, now that’s interesting … So where shall I put you?’

Harry gripped the edges of the stool and thought, ‘Not Slytherin, not Slytherin.’

‘Not Slytherin, eh?’ said the small voice. ‘Are you sure? You could be great, you know, it’s all here in your head, and Slytherin will help you on the way to greatness, no doubt about that – no? Well, if you’re sure – better be GRYFFINDOR.’

Just as the the Sorting Hat takes into account the strong choice made by Harry, so do the many sorting systems of life sort each of us not just by our abilities, but also by the choices that we make. When Harry Potter put on the Sorting Hat, it appeared that he was at the mercy of the Hat’s decision, but in reality he had at least two choices. Or perhaps he really had four choices. And in life, there are always more choices than initially seem obvious.
Although the magic of the Sorting Hat can identify our abilities, it is really ourselves who make the choice of what to do with our abilities, and it is ultimately ourselves who choose the limitations that are around us and within us. As Dumbledore said, “it is our choices … that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” There is always a Sorting Hat, a person or system that will try to make our choices for us, but ultimately NLP means an increasing recognition of our own choices and using our abilities in the way that is congruent with our own mission in life.


Rowling, J. K. (2000a). Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (1st American ed.). New York: Arthur A. Levine Books.
Rowling, J. K. (2000b). Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Bloomsbury Pub Ltd.


©Copyright 2010 by Dr. Brian Cullen

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The Headache

I heard the story below in a video by James Laver.


A man on a street had a really bad headache and was clearly in pain when two women walking by stopped to see if they can help.
The first woman said “I can help you, but first we need to get to the core issues underlying the headache. It’s clear that you’re suffering from stress or a chemical imbalance, and there is no point just addressing the symptom without getting to this core issue. However, the man simple groaned and says that he is in pain and he doesn’t want to think about anything else.
The second woman stepped up to the man and opened her purse. “Here, take this aspirin”, she said. In just a few minutes, the pill started to take effect and the man looked visibly better and thanked the woman profusely. Then the second woman said, “now that you feel better, would you like to take the time to talk about anything that may be causing this headache. That will help you avoid having pain like this in the future. The man readily agreed.

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NLP is natural!

NLP is often taught and learned as something that is completely new – something that is added on to the learner’s communication resources. But there is perhaps a more useful way to think of NLP.
One of my NLP trainers, Judith DeLozier, emphasizes that NLP is something that we all do naturally and that learning NLP is simply learning how to use it more consistently and effectively to get the exact results that we want in our lives. After all, NLP is based on modeling of actual human behaviour.
Formal NLP techniques such as the phobia cure weren’t pulled out of the air or from the mind of a scholar. These techniques were based on what people had actually done in order to overcome a phobia successfully. Richard Bandler and John Grinder placed advertisements in the newspaper asking people if they had successfully overcome a phobia. When he modeled them, he found that they were all doing something very similar – changing their perception of the original phobic experience from one that they were actively taking part in and seeing out of their own eyes – into a new perception of an experience which they were passively observing and in which they saw an older version of themselves taking part in the experience. They literally distanced themselves from the phobic experience in order to get a new perspective. Bandler and Grinder set out this naturally-occuring process as the phobia cure.
When we keep this example in mind, it is clear that NLP is something that human beings do naturally. An NLP modeler models a highly effective piece of human behavior and then teaches other people how to use that effective behavior to improve their lives.