Brain Software Podcast 36: Creating Peak Performance

Brain Software hypnosis podcastEpisode 36 of Brain Software with Mike Mandel is now live! This is an awesome podcast because Mike teaches you many of the techniques from his Peak Performance with Self Hypnosis CD.

Here are the show notes for this episode

  • Quick reminder: There is only two weeks left until the Jul 8-12 intensive hypnosis training here in Toronto. Check out at The Architecture of Hypnosis. Also email us if you want to be on the early bird notification list for the September 7th handwriting analysis course (also in Toronto, a one day course).
  • The Mike Mandel Hypnosis Academy has officially launched. When we recorded the podcast I wasn’t sure if it would have launched by today, but it has. It’s the world’s best way to learn hypnosis online and I highly recommend you check it out.
  • How do you get into peak state? Mike’s’ got the answer for you.
  • Check out the beautiful reframe that Mike used with a client who had a fear of speaking to groups of people.
  • What is the difference between classic code NLP and New Code NLP? You have to hear Mike’s “big dipper” metaphor to explain it.
  • Do you know what the most important part of peak state generation is? Hint: It’s the very top of the John Grinder model and Mike has talked about it before! Change just this one thing and everything else changes.
  • If you’ve never heard of “Walking with Grace and Power”, you’ll discover how you can use it to generate peak states. This technique is pure gold.
  • We got a question about Mike’s opinion on Brainwave Entrainment from Ned in Bulgaria. Mike’s answer is in here.

Empowering Question: Who is the most helpful person you know and who is the most toxic? And what are the implications for your life?

Closing metaphor: The Dressmaker’s Dummy.

Please leave a rating for this podcast in iTunes!  Go leave a rating in iTunes, and send in your questions by emailing questions (at) MikeMandelHypnosis (dot) com.

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Raw Transcript

Chris: Hey everybody, this is Chris Thompson and welcome to session number 36 of Brain Software with Mike Mandel. He owns an exact copy of Frodo’s sword, Sting, loves wine gums and has hypnotized more people than you’ve had hot dinners. Please welcome to the studio, Mike Mandel.

Mike:  Yes I’m here again broadcasting, podcasting to the planet from the very epicenter of global hypnosis, Toronto, Canada. We got an e-mail the other day from a Rebecca in Brooklyn and she asked, “Dear Mike and Chris, why do you call the epicenter of hypnosis because epicenter means around the center. Why aren’t you calling it the center of world hypnosis?” Because to us, the center of world of global world, massive, this planet hypnosis is in Toronto where we run our 5-day Architecture of Hypnosis course. Therefore, Toronto, Canada is the epicenter. It’s everything surrounding that. Chris, over to you.

Chris: Well by that definition, I think the center moves wherever you go.

Mike: Thanks man. Okay, I’m the center.

Chris:  Oh that was just hilarious.

Mike:  It’s brilliant.

Chris: All right. let’s very quickly remind people. First of all, before I remind anybody of anything I’m going to tell you about what we’re talking about today. We’re gonna talk about the secrets of peak performance. So we had a couple of podcasts going through memory techniques and Mike spilled his guts on a lot of the stuff that’s on the memory power CD. People really enjoyed those two podcasts. And so, we thought we’d follow that up, talk a little bit more about peak performance skills which is another one of the CDs that we have available on the website but the podcasts are free and we like to give you guys really awesome material so Mike’s gonna teach you some cool stuff. We’ll talk about how to deepen trance and if we have time, we’ll get to some of the crazy stories from Mike’s life on the road as a hypnotist and then we’ll do a little bit of Q & A.

Mike: We have a horrendously entertaining closing metaphor, The Dressmaker’s Dummy.

Chris:  Yeah we have a very interesting story. We’ve done so many podcasts now, it’s like a little bit work. Just a little bit to come up with endings and metaphors which is always fun, right?

Mike: Did you like that?  The silence…if you put cricket sounds at that moment would be absolutely fantastic.

Chris: I was wondering if you were just messing with me or-

Mike: I was.

Chris: Or you were gonna tell me, “Hey stop.”

Mike: Now back up for a second Chris. Just because you mentioned about the memory power stuff that we were teaching in the last couple of podcasts showing people how to enhance your memory, how to work better with your memory, there are no bad memories, there’s only untrained memory, there’s only people who don’t pay attention to memorize things in the first place.

Chris: I thought you were gonna say there’s not bad memories, there’s only bad people.

Mike: There’s only bad people. I knew you’d say that.

So, anyway, if you’ve learned those techniques, if you listen to the previous podcast where we did discuss memory, use the techniques, learn that phonetic alphabet, it will serve you very, very well and you’ll find it extremely useful. Apply this stuff! Chris and I are always thrilled when we get e-mails from you know lots and lots of people e-mail us but the best e-mails are when people say, “Hey, I applied such and such and it really worked. It was awesome.”

Chris: Yeah, we get a lot of those e-mails on all kinds of different topic sentence. It’s just fantastic. Okay, let’s talk about the July 8th to 12th Architecture of Hypnosis.

Mike: Quick commercial.

Chris: Quick reminder, five day intensive. As of the date that we are recording this right now, there are 11 seats left. There is likely to be fewer than that by the time this podcast goes live and of course, less time left to sign up. So, check it out and come sign up.

Mike: And this is going to be fabulous Chris. We’re doing Monday to Friday. People can fly in one weekend, leave on the other weekend, hang around Toronto which is a great city.

Chris: Especially in July.

Mike: Especially in July. It’s beautiful and warm and there’s a lot on the go, a lot of great things to do, great culture and art and music and clubbing. Whatever you wanna do, we’ve got great restaurants, fifth largest city in North America and come and check it out because this course is gonna be an absolute blast. We have people coming from Czech Republic, from England, I think the US again. So, come on up and study with us. You’re gonna love it which brings us to September.

Chris: Yeah. So I still have not put up any kind of sign up page for this and I’m building an early bird mailing list but September 7th which is a Saturday here in Toronto, it’s Saturday everywhere but it’s also a Saturday here in Toronto, and we’re running a class on – Mike is running a class on handwriting analysis, something that people have been literally begging for. We’ve gotten so many e-mails asking when are you doing the next – or not the next, the first because we just talk a little bit about this in hypnosis class and then people want a full course on it, handwriting analysis. Send me an e-mail and just say I’m interested in the early bird sign up list.

Mike: We’ll keep you on the loop and this is gonna be phenomenal. I practiced it forensically when I worked for the police charter. I’ve done it for numerous police services, worked on all kinds of cases including a poisoning case where we used the handwriting as part of it and this will teach you both European and American methods. We put the two kinds of graphology together. I’ve been doing this for 20 odd years and find it phenomenal. If you wanna know what your friends and family are really like, their writing never lies.

CHRIS: Now I may have a sign up page available by the time this podcast goes live but just given how much work we’re putting into the online hypnosis class that we are about to launch, I doubt I’ll get to it in the next three weeks. We have tons of work to do.

MIKE: All right, so having said all that.

CHRIS: Let’s get on with it. So, let’s talk about peak performance.

MIKE: Peak performance, yeah being at your best in any situation you need to be and we’ve all had those times when we’re in the zone and everything is just working. It’s just clicking. In fact, I’m having one of those mornings today. Having cut the wheat in my diet, I’m feeling much, much better today. It’s strange how it seems to affect me in a negative way but yeah, I’m in the zone and peak performance is something we can all aspire to and we can all hit more often whether we are endeavoring to deliver a presentation to a group or we’re swimming against the clock or working in gymnastics or you know creating new products. Whatever it is, we all need to be in the zone.

CHRIS: So let’s talk about that. What does it mean to be in the zone?

MIKE: Well ideally Chris, it means to me at least, having all of our resources online, up and running and available when we need them. So, we’re not hunting around to try to get into the right sort of state and we have all had the occasions when we know things have worked, things have clicked and there will always be a physiological aspect to this as well as a mental one.

CHRIS: So this might be a good time to talk about the Grinder model.

MIKE: Well yes. In fact, this is one of the best ways of looking at it. As you know Chris, this morning I did a podcast for someone else from Matt Coast. He was in Thailand and we did a podcast. He was asking me all about peak performance and that was this morning so that’s why we sort of mapped across and continued talking about this. He was asking me how NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) addresses the whole issue of peak performance? And I said well, there are essentially two main schools of NLP although these people teaching black swan theory in the so-called wisdom of crowds which is also known as mob rule and Lynch mobs and they’re calling all sorts of things NLP that are not. In original and classical NLP which is the Bandler and Grinder model going back to the 1970s, in order to gain access to a resource state, you would go into the person’s personal history through some sort of protocol procedure, put down a dipper that would drag and dredge out that state they were looking for because it is axiomatic to Neuro-linguistic Programming that any resource you’ve ever had even for one second, you still have it, your brain knows how to do it again and riding a bike of course is a perfect example of this. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t ridden one in 50 years. You get on one and you ride it perfectly.

CHRIS: And maybe more practically for people who are interested in public speaking and being excellent at that. If you ever delivered a great presentation to a small group of people-

MIKE: You can do it again.

CHRIS: A large group of people, or your teacher or made a very convincing argument to your parents, you had that resource at the time and you always have access to it, you just have to know how to bring it back up.

MIKE: You always have access and there’s many ways of approaching it and let’s just do a little side issue and I’ll bring this back on to the center but that’s a good point Chris. I worked with a number of people who had to make presentations who did not want to do it at all and found it nerve wracking, terrifying, whatever. Remember, public speaking is a greater fear than death for most people and one man said, “I can’t speak in front of people”. I said, “What happens?” He said, “I would get tongue tied and nervous and I sweat and I panic” and I said, “How many people do you have to speak in front of?” He said, “About 15 or 20 at work next week” and I said, “Well, what do you mean you can’t speak in front of people?” He said, “I can’t at all”. I said, “But do you know these people?” He said “Well, most of them.” I said, “Can you speak in front of your family?” He said, “Well, of course I can.” I said, “Oh, so you can speak in front of people without a problem.”

 CHRIS: Nice reframe.

MIKE: And he went, “Yeah” and I said, “So you have the resource you need. You just don’t have it in the context of this other group” and then he began to have hope and recognized that yes, he could speak in front of people, just certain people.

CHRIS: It’s a context reframe.

MIKE: Context reframe and I worked with him to shift it so he then had the resources in the other context. There’s numerous ways of doing that. So back to center again where we were in the stream, classical NLP, you send the dipper down, you grab the resource you need but it comes up with all the junk attached to it of the context when this happened and so, when you bring it back and install it in the present or for some future event whatever, you are bringing all these artifacts with it, the context, a number of other things connected to it.

So New Code NLP which is John Grinder’s I like to think improvement of the classical NLP although there’s still a lot of great stuff in classical NLP although things like the swish pattern which work about 60% of the time are largely archaic now. New Code NLP works with a different idea. So instead of going back into the past with this dipper, it presupposes that in order for your performance to be good in any task, you have to be in a specific or powerful state. Now, we intuitively know what we mean by state, it’s in our language. Oh he got himself in a terrible state. Oh did you see the state of that room? We know what it means.

CHRIS: And we usually label them with nominalization.

MIKE: Right.

CHRIS: Depression and anxiety and excitement.

MIKE: Whatever they are yes which are all nominalizations you cannot put in the wheelbarrow, same with all nominalizations. So you have to change the state in order to change or improve the performance. If you put yourself in a nasty, depressed, unresourceful state, your performance will sink and crash and burn. So we know the state is the sum total of all the internal processes including internal dialogue and everything that’s currently going on in your neurology and psychology and above state though is your physiology, what is your physical body doing? You see if you change the physiology, you change the state and as soon as you change the state, you then change the performance.

CHRIS: If anyone has ever watched Tony Robbins and this is kind of a main staple of his presentation right?

MIKE: Oh absolutely.

CHRIS: How will you stand, how will you breathe, how you hold your body, how you speak, the tone of voice you use.

MIKE: How you move.

CHRIS: The excitement that you convey in your audio delivery.

MIKE: Right, emotion follows motion. So, if you want to feel more powerful, you’re not gonna sit there and tell yourself I’m powerful. I’m a strong and powerful human being. I’m able to do so I try really hard to deal with this problem. I’m gonna do a great job next week. Meanwhile, your unconscious is going wrong, wrong. Not gonna happen. Don’t believe you! So when you move your physical body, how would you stand if you were congruent? Who could you model?

CHRIS: I was just gonna say that because if you are having a hard time dipping back into that past and pulling out a resource, for whatever reason you can’t conscious – I mean consciously, in trance, you’d be able to pull out a resourceful state from your past but if you couldn’t do it consciously,

MIKE: You don’t even need to do it. That’s the beauty of it.

CHRIS: Yeah you can just pretend.

MIKE: The as if. If I was Tony Robbins, how would I move, how would I talk? If I was, you know, pick  a powerful person of your choice. It doesn’t matter.

CHRIS: It can be somebody that you actually know.

MIKE: It can be someone from fiction. It doesn’t matter.

CHRIS: Or you just make it up. If I can be a different me, what would I wanna be like?

MIKE: And certainly not Hitler or you know Charles Manson or something but we pick someone who’s a good model. How did they move, how did they stand, how did they talk, how did they shift their body weight, how did they gesture and if you move rapidly and gesture rapidly, and you’re congruent and impassioned in your speech, you will take that on and it will change our state and it will then affect your performance in a positive direction?

CHRIS: Quick segue.

MIKE: Go ahead.

CHRIS: Very interested in your opinion on this. So I watch children a lot and they’re make believing and they’re pretending that they are you know characters and they’re so congruent and I think that’s fantastic because they are building in all of these resources to be available to them in the future, are they not?

MIKE: Right. Well you’ve got little kids. How do they pretend Chris? Do they think about things a little bit or do they take it on completely?

CHRIS: Oh 100%, 110%. I mean if my kids are playing my little pony or whatever it is that they’re playing, they are acting it out fully. They are breathing, they are moving, they are speaking as if you know I’m the teacher now and I’m gonna teach you whatever the lesson is that they’re teaching to each other. It’s hilarious but I think it’s so useful to them as well in their development.

MIKE: Of course it is because kids have no problem with “let’s pretend”. They have no problem and let’s pretend is the “as if” frame. Now the interesting thing is if you pretend something congruently enough, it will start to occur in your life. If you act like a really confident, assertive person and do it continuously, it becomes your normal behavior after awhile and guess what? You become an assertive, congruent person. It’s just what happens.

CHRIS: So one thing that people can take away is whatever attribute that you wanna have, just pretend you have it and act as if you have it and guess what happens?

MIKE: Do you like how I put the crickets there Chris like it was completely blank and meaningless and nobody was listening?

CHRIS: Yeah but you know I can do that in the editing software.

MIKE: I just did it based on what you’re saying like it’s all a joke and you see make some comment and it’s just a no response.

CHRIS: I was watching you.

MIKE: Wondering what I’d do with the iPhone 5.

CHRIS:  And I’d see this sound and I go “I know what he’s gonna do.”

MIKE: Did you know it was going to be the crickets?


MIKE: of course you did but so now we’re back to so you wanna change performance, you change state. You improve state for improved performance. You collapse state if you want a crap performance. If you move your physical body vigorously and congruently and stand tall and so on, you will change your state and that will change your performance but at the top of the Grinder model … and I love this because it’s only four things.

CHRIS: Breathing.

MIKE: At the top is breathing. Now in all kinds of different disciplines throughout history, breathing has been essential. Chanting, breathing is important. Physical fitness, we talk about deep breathing as part of it. If you’re doing something like Hindu squats, it actually stokes your entire physical body by changing your breathing. Yoga, Qi gong, martial arts, when you change the breathing, you change the physiology, you change the blood chemistry, you change the performance by working through the state. It all falls into place because breathing is at the higher end of the hierarchy. Now if you change just that, it’ll shift everything else and I recommend something called the 7/11 breathing or the 7/12 breathing depending on who you’re talking to. Every time you breathe in, your sympathetic nervous system switches on. Now this is, you know, say you have resting heart rate of 64 beats per minute. Your heart rate isn’t 64 for the entire minute. Every time you breathe in, your heart accelerates and then your vagus nerve fires in your neck and when it does and you begin to exhale, then your parasympathetic nervous system switches on and your body begins to cause your blood pressure to drop, your heart slows down. So your breathing is always a balance like a seesaw, a teeter totter of breathing in, breathing out. It takes longer to exhale than to inhale. So if you breathe in for a count of say 7 and you breathe in for a count of say 11, you’re giving more time for the parasympathetic nervous system and enabling your blood pressure to drop and your heart to slow and you’ll be in a very calm, resourceful state when you do this and by changing your breathing, once again you’re changing your physiology. Automatically, your state and your performance will soar.

CHRIS: Okay, I wanna come back to that in a second and I wanna ask you for some specific instructions that people could do to manufacture whatever state that they want but when we were talking about this, I was just thinking ,you know, there’s a lot of rituals people will go through to enter peak states. They will listen to a song. You’ll see an Olympic swimmer. I love watching Olympic swimming and they’ll put their iPod in their ears and they’re listening to some music that psyches them up or a fighter will come into the Octagon with his you know the Gracie chain. You know there’s all kinds of rituals people go through when they get into these peak states right? And you’ll never hear a scientist challenge that these rituals, these psyching yourself up will be effective but you’ll see scientists look at NLP and say oh that isn’t proven. It’s not a science.

MIKE: It’s just a model. I read online one hypnotist is basically saying he’s completely done away with NLP. It’s irrelevant and it doesn’t work. Well, I guess I’ll go back to the hundreds and hundreds of people I’ve helped with NLP techniques and tell them it didn’t really help them.

CHRIS: [sarcasm] Right, sorry guys. You were all tricked. I mean why do people go through these rituals because they already know it works and when you break it down, when you realize that NLP at least one of the basics of NLP is modeling, modeling what works.

MIKE: So right, remember these rituals whatever it is – an example is many years ago when the Toronto Blue Jays were World Series champions in baseball, I saw Dave Winfield who was one of my favorites. What he used to do when he go up to bat, he would fire his anchors. That’s what happening with these rituals. They’re firing anchors to put us into specific states. So, he’s up there and he’s got the bat and he would tap each foot with the fast and then step up to the plate and whatever it is, they re-anchor themselves to fire those peak performance states.

CHRIS: Where’s the cricket sound? [laughs]

MIKE: There it is.

CHRIS: That’s awesome. I just lost my train of thoughts. I thought that would be a great thing to insert.

MIKE: Wide awake now.  I haven’t said that in a long time!  Having said that a long time.  Wide awake now!

CHRIS: Okay so the thing we wanna come back to so breathing in the method that you just described so what exactly would you tell somebody to do if let’s say they wanna go into peak state for an athletic event?

MIKE: Okay let’s make it something other than athletics just to make it really easy. One of the things that John Grinder taught me which I love is “Walking with Grace and Power”. Now the whole idea with this is you’re shifting the breathing and the physiology and you’re getting a more powerful state which then changes performance. And a classic example of this is you take something let’s say again let’s say you’re an actor and you have to do a performance on stage in a theater group and you’re nervous about it. So, what you do is get a nice area where you can walk and I’ve done this with an actor. In fact, you get an area of maybe 20 feet. It was a gymnasium in a martial arts school and you place something on the ground to act as a spot so a hula hoop or a plastic hoop they use in gymnastics or you know a circular mat – anything that is noticeable on the ground.

CHRIS: Like a zone.

MIKE: A zone. And this will be at the far end of the area they’re walking or almost at the far end. I’d have him first of all stand inside this zone and experience all the feelings – everything you would see, everything you would hear from the problematic state …  is what do you see when you think of this you know having to do the play? Oh I see it all falling apart. I see the audience looking disappointed. Whatever it is. What do you hear? And you go through them one at a time. Oh I hear as I’m standing in that that state and you’re building it, building it with more and more complexity. Oh I hear the audience hardly applauding at all. Whatever it is.

CHRIS: Now key point, you’re not seeding these negative thoughts.

MIKE: I’m asking him.

CHRIS: You’re just asking.

MIKE: Him or her what do you see, what do you hear, and what do you feel in those states? Letting him present. In fact, it’s a very good point.

CHRIS: Yeah you’re not saying how awful do you feel sitting there right now.

MIKE: Yeah how awful can you possibly feel and how can it totally sabotage if you lost key of.

CHRIS: Unlike EFT, you’re not looking to bring the subjective units of distress up to 10.

MIKE: Correct. So, we have the person everything they see, everything they hear, everything they feel. Now, I have him step abruptly out of this hula hoop normally stepping backwards out of the zone.

CHRIS: Breaking state.

MIKE: Breaking state and imagining, pretending that he leaves all of that junk, all the garbage inside that zone on the ground. It’s easy to do. Just pretend it works and pretend you’re not pretending. The mind can work that quickly. So he steps out. Now I get him walking up and down. We are now gonna build  a high performance state so I have him walk and I will suggest different ways he can improve the quality of the walk and if he likes them, he will adopt them. Swing your arms, that makes you feel better. Keep doing that. Gently turn your head from side to side, look around.

CHRIS: Implement the breathing.

MIKE: Implement the breathing, breathe deeply through your nose, look around, put a smile on your face, relax your shoulders, stand taller.

CHRIS: Hear some music in your mind.

MIKE: Hear music in your mind. Whatever it is, and I’m changing the quality of the walk and adding the breathing for sure, Chris, as you just said. So when I have him walking down in this powerful state and say “When it’s at its peak, I want you to imagine everything you saw still inside that zone and walk through it in this powerful state and just blow it all to bits.” So he walks through it a couple of times just drawing everything he saw, all the images just blowing apart, then he continues walking in this powerful state walks through the zone again. Everything he heard, all the sounds and everything and the lack of applause or disappointed audience, moaning, whatever it is, blows them all apart and finally, he walks through it and blows apart all the bad feelings, everything he felt. Now the key is when you walk through it, don’t look down at the zone. You don’t wanna take it on, keep your eyes straight ahead or up slightly and just do it by your peripheral vision. Walk through it, destroy everything bad that you felt. When it’s all gone, now step into the zone, breathe deeply, feel strong with all of it gone. Then, you’re gonna future pace, you’re gonna rehearse what it will be like in the future so I said, “Now imagine you’re gonna go and speak and you’re gonna go and do that stage performance, how do you feel now in the future walking on that stage? Feel this state.” So he goes “Yeah, it feels great.” Fine, the work is done. When he goes on stage, that state will fire automatically. Now he won’t have to do anything. He doesn’t have to psych himself up. We have created instead of putting the dipper down and dragging all the junk from the past, we’ve created a brand new high performance state, put it on the context where it’s needed and it will fire on its own.

CHRIS: Okay so let’s break this down really quickly again. So the first thing you’re doing is you’re putting them in the zone, you’re eliciting their state by asking question using meta model type questions.

MIKE: What do you see, what do you hear, what do you feel or what are you telling yourself internally? Get that kind of questions.

CHRIS: Then you’re stepping out of the zone to break state.

MIKE: Stepping out, breaking state and leaving all the bad stuff there intentionally.

CHRIS: Then you’re doing walking with grace and power and building up positive resourceful-

MIKE: Changing the quality of the walk and building the positive resource state, the high performance state when it is at its peak then –

CHRIS: You start walking through, not stopping in the zone. You blast right through it.

MIKE: Some people have said they actually feel a tug at them as they go through it. The old state trying to get control but you blast through it with power. You don’t look down at it and you hit every component individually. Everything you saw, everything you heard, everything you felt, everything negative you told yourself, you can add that as well if you’d like, then when you’re super powerful, you can stop in it and you can feel all the new state in its place. Imagine being there in the future-

CHRIS: Future pacing.

MIKE: And all the new state which is rehearsing it and re-scripting for the future, future pacing it and bingo! You’re off and running. Now let’s add one more thing to this, Chris.

CHRIS: Sure.

MIKE: Another way that you can use this. I don’t know how we’re doing for time here but another way you can use this that’s very powerful, let’s say you have a business meeting and you’ve been using walk with grace and power. This is called a personal edit.

CHRIS: Oh I know where you’re going with this.

MIKE: So you walk to a meeting in that state. Get out of your car two blocks early, park two blocks away from the meeting and walk with grace and power. Swinging your arms, breathing, get yourself n the zone before you get there and show up in your high performance state.

CHRIS: You create your zone.

MIKE: Create your zone.

CHRIS: In the place where the meeting is going to be.

MIKE: Yeah and you bring it with you. So you’re creating it en route by walking. Put yourself in the zone, you’ll do it really, really quickly. I can do it so fast now, Chris, I remember being backstage it, it was I think the biggest bar in North America, Lulu’s. I was doing a show there and I had a huge turnout and I was walking backstage and I said, “Walking with grace and power” and that’s my anchor to start doing it. I walked up and down for maybe a minute, not even … 30 seconds, got totally in the zone ad just exploded into the stage like ACDC.

CHRIS: that’s awesome and I suppose if you were let’s say working out of a home office or cubicle and you’ve had like a phone meeting with somebody and you’re nervous about it, you can do this n advance and anchor that peak state to the desk where your phone is.

MIKE: Yes or you can sit there and just do the breathing shift. Do the breathing shift and feel powerful and add a bit of motioning. In your cubicle, you can certainly still do it.

CHRIS: That’s awesome. All right, we have I’d say we have about 10 minutes left but we have to cover metaphors and all that. So do you wanna tell maybe a story or two from the road as a traveling hypnotist?

MIKE: Oh gee, I’ve been on the road since 1975 and I don’t do as many shows as I used to but oh it used to be crazy. One of the guys I worked with was from Britain and he used to speak backwards, phonetically perfectly.

CHRIS: That’s freaky.

MIKE: And we’ve travelled in my Z28 with his big Teac reel to reel tape recorder. It was huge and packed in a crate and somebody in the audience would give a phrase for him to say backwards. So they would say something like “The hypnotist has arrived in the building” and he had this Teac recorder rig so it would play either direction. So he’d record it and say [Mike imitating backwards speaking] and everybody would be laughing and  then, he’d click reverse.

CHRIS: You did that remarkably well.

MIKE: Well I’ve heard him do it for years. He would press reverse, it would come up “The hypnotist had left the building”. It’s just hilarious and he was really good at this but we got into some interesting situations. He was another Brit but he was a dead soft Southerner, not from the North like I am lad and he was in Germany working with a band on a sound crew, a girl band years ago and a guy was irritating and annoying one of the girls in the band and blew smoke in her face and that. So he just got mad and he wrapped his arm around the guy’s neck tried to put a headlock on him but what happened was the man went unconscious, went limp and he let go and he just bounced and fell onto the floor and he said to me, “I don’t know what happened”. I said “Well, I do.” I said, “I teach this to the cops. You did an LVNR, it’s a lateral vascular neck restraint or what we call a blood choke. There’s two kinds of choke. You can shut off the air by compressing the trachea which is very painful or you can shut off the blood flow to the brain through the carotid sinus which isn’t painful. You don’t have to do it hard and the danger of being in that is you don’t know you’re in danger because you’re just suddenly unconscious. 8 to 13 seconds. You can be out for 30 seconds or more.” So he had done this by accident and he said, “Oh it was great. I didn’t hurt my hands” because he’s normally punching guys in the head and I said, no. here’s how you do it. I showed him how to do a shoulder spin blood choke which you know, Chris.

CHRIS: You told me this.

MIKE: Being one of my instructors I trained. So I spin around, he puts the blood choke on. So he went crazy with this thing. I created a monster! He was in a Tim Horton’s doughnut shop with our other friend Grant who moved to San Francisco. They were standing in line, some guy started mouthing off at them, they got into it and he spun the guy through the blood choke on. He was out in eight seconds. So, it just went on and on and on and the culmination was Niagara College in Welland, Ontario and we were doing a night time show and it was a bunch of weird drunks in the crowd and security was not dealing with them and Bob had a thing where he would memorize a 30-digit number having heard it once and then he’d have it covered on the blackboard, he’d do the backward talking and stuff and then it would be uncovered and he would say it backwards from memory which is a pretty cool trick. Anybody who listened to the last podcast on memory can easily learn how to do this in an evening. It’s not hard but it’s very impressive.  Well this idiot in the audience was yelling the numbers before he got to them, just deliberately undoing the effect and security’s just looking at the guy like “Oh this is totally normal to have someone ruin a show”. So, I just blew up because this is about 1981, I was a much younger man and much more let’s say out of control than I am with the maturity that one has at my advanced age and I just jumped off the stage and I went wading out into the audience, freaking out on people, I was kicking chairs and tables out of the way and everyone’s frantically trying to get out of my way. I went through the audience like a bull terrier and as I went through the audience like a bull terrier, I thought it would be entirely appropriate to just add at this moment, [dog barking sound effect] the bull terrier bark. That’s my dog, Lockjaw. So, Bob suddenly realizes he’s on stage alone which was his worst nightmare. And so, he runs back to the dressing room. There’s a reporter there to interview us and she said, “Oh it was terrible how they treated you guys. It was a nightmare.” I said, “Yeah, I don’t know what the guy’s problem is.” As I was saying this, I look over Bob’s shoulder and this jerk has come to the dressing room now and he’s now yelling at us through the dressing room window and Bob jumps up, runs out and by the time I got in the hall, this man was already unconscious. He’d done a shoulder spin blood choke on him. They took him out of Niagara College in an ambulance and the rest is just for the history books.

CHRIS: On these days, Bob would go to jail for it.

MIKE: He definitely would. I mean it’s insane the things the past of being an entertainer on the road, working with rock bands and stuff. I mean working with bands that routinely threw pop machines down flights of stairs and hosed each other down with fire extinguishers. The number of fire extinguisher fights we had in my youth until some guy went to jail out in Western Canada for rendering fire extinguishing equipment, life-saving equipment inoperative. This guy’s a roadie, he fires a fire extinguisher – it’s just a minor thing – hoses down the manager of a hotel and goes to prison. Good grief! If we’d ever been caught, we’d still be in jail.

CHRIS: Oh man I’m just taking a note-

MIKE: Kidding of course though in case the police are listening.

CHRIS: here the next time we do some of these stories, we’re gonna make them a little less violent.

MIKE: Well you asked the question.

CHRIS: I’m just teasing you.

MIKE: So Bob dealt with a menace.

CHRIS: All right, we’re gonna have to do some more of these because I think they’re funny.

MIKE: All right man we’ll throw another one [next time].

CHRIS: Not today. So, let’s end with the – oh we have to do the question. This one came a little while ago and I promised Ned that we would answer it on a podcast. So, Ned from Bulgaria, he sent in a question asking for your thoughts Mike on brain wave entrainment.

MIKE: Oh yes okay. Yes, I remember this question. Brain wave entrainment is something I did mess with a few years ago back in 19990s with Gary Foo, who is my martial arts master at the time when I was studying [inaudible name of a martial art] and Gary got me into this.

Basically, entrainment is when you have a repetitive pulse going through the brain either through the auditory channel, even the kinesthetic channels, physical motion or through the visual channel like flashing lights. We’ll we’re all aware that these things can have an effect because obviously, epileptics have to be very, very careful of lights flashing at certain frequencies which can trigger grand mal seizures. Well, also though, if you have lights flashing at a certain rate and sounds pulsing at a certain rate, it creates a trance. It causes a numbing in the brain, the brain begins to resonate and is entrained with that frequency and you can have all sorts of interesting effects.

Gary Foo and I had something called the brain supercharger which would actually cause an entrainment at a theta wave. So, if your waking state is at a beta wave, below that you have high and low alpha and below that you have theta which is maybe around four to six hertz cycles per second in other words and it’s a very creative wave and you’d put on these earphones and these glasses that would flash binaurally, both ears and bi-optically at the same time and the brain would resonate with it and you’d have really interesting hallucinations and come up with all kinds of ideas without actually sleeping. It’s sort of an electronic meditation. Whether it did any real good, I have no idea. It was certainly extremely entertaining. The one thing I did not like with the entrainment was you could set the frequency where you wanted it with these glasses and the one I tried and Gary tried it as well, we did try and never used it again, it was a beta wave which was a daily waking state and instead of being relaxing, this 12 to 18 hertz was actually jarring. We both felt like we drank you know-

CHRIS: Six cups of coffee.

MIKE: Yeah like on an empty stomach. It was jarring and almost caused an anxiety. So that was sort of my last experiment with brain wave entrainment although this has been around for all through history Chris. I mean chanting in native cultures, drumming – all of these things cause entrainment.

CHRIS: So fun but not necessarily useful. So maybe we should call it brain wave entertainment.

MIKE: That’s very good Chris. That’s a very clever line.

CHRIS: All right, I think that about wraps up the amount of time we have for Q & A on this podcast but let’s move in to – do you wanna do the metaphor first or the empowering question?

MIKE: Oh let’s do the empowering question. So, listen to this carefully, absorb this, let this sink into your unconscious mind. I’m gonna say it twice. Your empowering question for today is who is the most helpful person you know and who is the most toxic and what are the implications for your life?” Again, who is the most helpful person you know and who is the most toxic and what are the implications of this for your life?

CHRIS: Good question. All right, let’s move into the closing metaphor. What do you have for us?

MIKE: Closing metaphor goes back to Chatterton, England where I was born which is part of Greater Manchester. I always remember there’s a woman on our street – this was told to me much later on – a woman on our street, who I think it was her cousin had a heart attack and was hospitalized and her cousin had a cat, a black British short-haired cat with green eyes and I think it’s name was Napoleon if I remember correctly. So the woman on the street was asked to go and look after this cat for a couple of days until the woman got out of the hospital. It was an indoor cat so she travelled to another part of Chatterton, I’m pretty sure it was still there. It wasn’t out of town and this was a nice little house she was staying in, looking after her cousin’s belongings and taking care of Napoleon, the cat. Well as so often happens in these stories, it began to rain and it turned into a thunderstorm which happens quite frequently in England and she heard this scraping sound and thought the cat was trying to get out and so, she went looking for Napoleon, called him and called him, couldn’t find him at either of the doors and eventually found him upstairs at the end of the corridor of this small house where there was a closed door. The cat was scratching at this. well, the woman, I think her name was something like Mrs. Gloin – odd name – opened the door to let the cat into this room and her cousin was a seamstress in her spare time and this was where she had all her seamstress belongings – her sewing machine, and fabric and so on and the cat was trying to get in but when she opened the door, the lightning flashed and she saw what she thought was a headless woman across the room. Almost gave her a heart attack as she told it. Well, it was a dressmaker’s dummy and it was wearing a dress that her cousin had been working on for someone else with all frills and laces and the stitching was still hanging on this and it completely freaked her out. So she dragged Napoleon out of the room and shut the door, went downstairs and made a cup of tea and the storm got worse and this kind of put her in a weird state. It was not a high performance state, it was a bad state and she thought this is ridiculous so she built a little fire, it was a coal fire back then and sat and read for awhile with a cup of tea which is the English cure for everything and went to bed and all was fine and she was sleeping though and her dreams began to get more and more disturbed. She said her dreams were full of pins and needles and feelings like pins and needles obviously going back to the dressmaker’s room, the seamstress room and she woke up because there was a flash of lightning … and standing next to her bed …was the dressmaker’s dummy.

CHRIS: Thanks for listening to Brain Software with Mike Mandel. This has been episode 36. Head on over to iTunes, leave a rating for the show and write a review for the show. We always love to get more written reviews and if you’re interested in the July architecture of hypnosis, five day intensive, make sure to visit and finally if you’re unable to travel to Toronto, but you would like to learn hypnosis directly from Mike online, we will be launching shortly. Get on our mailing list and you will get notification of when we’ll launch and it is going to be awesome.

(Update – the online course has now launched. It can be found at )