Brain Software Podcast #49: Posthypnotic Suggestion, a Powerful Tool

Brain Software hypnosis podcastWelcome to Episode 49 of Brain Software with Mike Mandel and Chris Thompson! We’ve got some really amazing stuff in store for you in this podcast which you will truly enjoy listening to and learning from.

Here are the show notes for this episode:

  • Mike explains the Mepps Fishing Lure metaphor from Podcast 48. What is really the purpose of the Mepps Fishing Lure Story? It might not be what you think.
  • There’s an interesting model about willpower that Mike discusses which states that we all have a finite amount of willpower each day. Is it possible to increase your willpower? Well, Mike’s got the answer for you. And what does the small letter T have to do with it? Mike and Chris have a thorough discussion about it.
  • In September, Mike will have a weekend Graphology 101 course in Toronto downtown (Queens Park Circle) campus and slots are still open. Also, there are still some slots available for the MINDSCAPING course in June which is very useful for therapists, counselors and hypnotherapists.
  • Chris asks Mike a question relating to overcoming addictions specifically involving alcoholism and smoking. Are these two different or are they the same? Mike further gives some great advice to alcoholics which involves dietary changes.
  • Mike and Chris talk extensively about posthypnotic suggestions. Is there really any magic in it? Mike recalls giving a posthypnotic suggestion to an officer while working at the Ontario Police College.
  • What is the difference between a posthypnotic suggestion and continuance of suggestion? And how do you make a posthypnotic suggestion useful?

 Empowering Question: “What stories from your childhood inspire a state of curiosity within you and what are you going to do to explore that even further today?”

Closing metaphor: The Story of the Large Oyster
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: Welcome fellow storm riders, you are officially a rider on the hypnotic storm and welcome to session number 49 of Brain Software with Mike Mandel and I’m chris Thompson as usual. He grows broccoli in his kitchen, he’s in love with his Blendtec blender and he believes zinfandel is the perfect match for barbecued ribs. Please welcome to the centre of the hypnotic world epicenter, the hypnotic Renaissance man, Mike Mandel.

Mike: Thank you Chris. It’s good to be here again and yes, I am growing broccoli. I am sprouting it for its anti-cancer and nutritional properties. I am also in love with my Blendtec blender, make a pint of green juice everyday and you’re also correct when I was the wine write or one of the wine and music writers for City Bites Magazine, I emphasized the importance of the zinfandel grape which is actually Croatian, not Californian and it is identical to the primitivo grape and goes flawlessly with ribs. If you’re cooking barbecued ribs either pork or beef, add a bottle of zin to it. A good California zin – it will be a match made in heaven.

Chris: One of my favorite grapes absolutely. And you know what, sprouting… You’re the one who got me into sprouting and broccoli is one of my favorite seeds to sprout. It’s just delicious.

Mike: And on to hypnosis, NLP and similar things.

Chris: Let’s talk about all kinds of fun stuff today. So, let’s start with one of the things that we covered in podcast 48 was metaphors. We spent quite a long time talking about metaphors and you gave some examples and then at the end of the podcast as is always the case, you delivered a therapeutic metaphor about the Mepps fishing lure and after we were done, you said you know what? Maybe in the next podcast I can explain to people how that works.

Mike: I did say that.

Chris: And there’s a special reason here because in this particular case, that metaphor does not have a meaning that you can then wreck later, at least a few weeks later.

Mike: Right. I mean if you start looking into it, you’re not going to deconstruct it and spoil it in the same sense as another metaphor.

Chris: Right and so maybe a quick recap of why most of the time, you would not explain the metaphor to someone.

Mike: Well, you’re not going to explain a metaphor because you’re basically using the metaphor as a piece of brain software to write a program to access the person’s unconscious mind and cause untold changes to occur beneath the surface, beneath the threshold of daily awareness which will be hopeful beneficial to them and if you explain it, you then bridge the conscious to the unconscious mind, the conscious mind gets involved and screws it up royally or just stops at working.

In this case, the metaphor of the Mepps lure which is an absolutely true story is Steve Wories, a  friend of mine still I’ve known since I was 17. He lives in British Columbia and now he’s an amazing fisherman and an unbelievable guitarist and he did cast into the water that day and the whole catching the Mepps lure actually happened. It was the most remarkable thing but it’s not designed to cause a change in people. Like some of my metaphors, a lure story or a ghost or a stuck on an eye story – some of these are to engender a very specific state rather than a process. So I’m not trying to get someone to do something or change or look at their life in a new way with these metaphors, I’m endeavoring to access a specific state which in this case is curiosity.

Chris: An empowering state.

Mike: Absolutely.

Chris: So the state has to have a purpose and that purpose is to cause you to feel some sort of empowerment.

Mike: Cause one to feel a degree of empowerment…

Chris: To make your life better.

Mike: Yes, that’s right.

Chris: So that was one example.

Mike: So curiosity is a great state to be in. kids in states of curiosity are wonderful. Their learning goes through the roof and the same with adults as well. If we maintain a state of curiosity for long periods of time, it makes learning effortless because in a state of curiosity as John Grinder told me, all our sensory channels become vacuum cleaners.

Chris: So that is fundamentally the purpose behind the Mepps fishing lure story is to invoke a state of curiosity in the listener which will do what for them?

Mike: It will cause them to grow and buy a Mepps lure. This is sounding like a freaking Mep’s commercial. Why I prefer Mepps to Rapala? Some would say Rapala and why do they say that? Well, they’re wrong. You just might want to create a state for specific purposes and that metaphor will certainly do that. It opens our mind to the possible to things we have not thought of. It enriches our map of the world.

Chris: That’s right. I remember you said that to me. It opens your mind to what’s possible and so, it gets you to maybe think outside of the box or perhaps if you’re struggling with some sort of problem, it might inspire you to find a new way to solve the problem that you haven’t thought about before.

Mike: Absolutely. All great things to do by being in a specific state. Now, metaphors can go into many strange turns Chris. I haven’t discussed this to you but one person sent me an email about 10 days ago and he wanted to know if I am the real life Dennis Price Morgan and you are the Henry Squatter and I said no, no, no absolutely not. I said Chris’s head is still attached to his shoulders. He’s not Henry Squatter.

Chris: As far as I’m aware, it is. Now that said, there are quite a few people who are upset about having killed off these characters.

Mike: I know. Unfortunately, we can return to pre-death stories. I have a million of them.

Chris: Sure what’s yours? Since you make them all up, you can do whatever you want.

Mike: [laughs] There is that. So what’s next on the agenda?

Chris: You wanted to talk about willpower.

Mike: Yes, I did. This is actually something that my wife brought to my awareness and it’s a very, very interesting thing. She is…

Chris: Do tell.

Mike: Thank you. She’s a phenomenal researcher and combs the web everyday just finding intriguing things and bits of interest. In fact, she’s the one who found for me a thing I mentioned in a number of podcasts ago, a long time ago about how if you put your hands to the sides of your head, wiggle your fingers until you can just barely see them appearing in the field of your vision, if you move them back, they disappear. Notice there is no boundary there between what you don’t see and what you do and then you say well, what is beyond that?

Chris: Oh that’s wild.

Mike: And if you check, there’s nothing beyond it. It’s not black. It’s nothing. People say well, what color is it? It’s nothing. There is simply nothing there.

Chris: I have a vague recollection of that podcast.

Mike: Right. Well, she found me another one that’s really interesting. A whole way of looking at the world. Remember, this is just a model so all you young psychologists needn’t write in to correct me. It’s just a model. It’s a way of looking at the world and the whole aspect we’re looking at is the idea of willpower and people say they need more willpower or they don’t have enough willpower or they have very strong will. Remember I told you about the man, I was at a wine function in my alter ego a number of years ago at one of the downtown hotels and a man who ran a Toronto restaurant said, “What do you do?” I said, “Oh I teach hypnosis for groups in Toronto” and he said, “Well, I can’t be hypnotized. I got too strong a mind.” And I said, “Sucks to be you” and walked away.

Chris: Yeah, that’s right.

Mike: Now, this guy… He missed the whole point. So, he thought that his will was so great that he could not go into a trance. Well, of course nothing. It has absolutely nothing whatever to do with it but this whole study of willpower led to some interesting thoughts and the article she gave me was discussing how it’s easier once you’re awake and functioning and I don’t function in the morning as many of you probably know. I have to sit there with the first cup of coffee quietly swearing for the first half hour.

Chris: With like one or two neurons firing.

Mike: Right I think one or two neurons firing just running my heart and my lungs and after quietly swearing for half an hour, I’d gradually become functional. Every morning, it’s the same but then once you’re fully awake, then you have willpower to do the tasks of the day and the theory basically states in part that you have a finite amount of willpower each day if you see it as a storage, an electrical charge in that Tesla you just bought and that is all that you have for the day. So, suppose you use you willpower. The indication is you are using your willpower whenever you do something you do not want to do, you have to engage willpower to make it happen.

Chris: Like going to see that movie you’ve been looking forward to doesn’t count.

Mike: It doesn’t count at all. By making that phone call to that person you have to fire and don’t want to fire them is huge willpower.

Chris: Or for somebody, it could just be something as simple as vacuuming their house.

Mike: They just don’t want to do it so they have to use willpower to get it done and the problem is as the day goes on, you are using up your tank of willpower. My wife always said she doesn’t like to do anything serious beyond 7 PM because she’s a morning person. She wakes up wide awake on like 5 o’clock on Saturdays which is insane and evil and she wakes up without quietly swearing for half an hour which is very odd to me. Now, as the day goes on, her willpower starts to fade. Not feeling physically tired but the willpower fades and I found it’s a really useful model because in my own case, if I don’t do a workout in the morning before lunch, every hour past lunch decreases the likelihood that I will do it.

Chris: Yeah that’s true and in fact, if you get close to lunch hour then you’re hungry…

Mike: And then you don’t want to do it.

Chris: And you don’t want to do it. So this is really an interesting model and again, to re-emphasize emphasize again that.

Mike: You said re-emphasize.

Chris: Yeah I said it in two different ways. The department of redundancy department.

Mike: Redundancy detector so we’ll edit that out.

Chris: Of course, we haven’t used that joke in awhile.

Mike: I know.

Chris: So if you treat willpower like it’s…

Mike: a resource.

Chris: Yeah. It’s like a bank account or whatever. You have a finite amount of it. Maybe some people are going to say you know what? For me, I find I don’t really have any in the morning. I have easier access to it at night. I mean for me personally, that’s not the case. I agree with the model. I fit my life fits with the model which is that I tend to run out of it as the day goes on. I’m much more liable to do things that I wouldn’t want to ordinarily do earlier in the day.

Mike: Yeah, I think it’s a general model that holds true for most people and again most is only 51% but generally speaking, I think it fades as the day goes on so now the question comes out, how does one increase their willpower and can it be done? And yes, it can.

Chris: Okay so how do you do it?

Mike: Graphotherapeutically speaking which is using the strokes of handwriting to send a feedback loop to the prefrontal cortex can be used to change a wide variety of aspects in a personality.

Chris: Letter T.

Mike: The small letter t is exactly right chris and the small letter t will indicate according to Milton Bunker and others the amount of willpower you have among other things and that is determined by the weight or thickness or heaviness which I [unclear 10:28] you want to call it of the bar in the small letter t. so it’s a faint bar…

Chris: The horizontal stroke.

Mike: The horizontal stroke… if it’s faint or let’s say it’s the same as the weight of the writing, the thickness of the writing, it’s considered moderate but if your writing is very light and you have a very heavy thick horizontal stroke to your ts then that is phenomenal willpower. You really want to ensure that you are making the bar of the small letter t heavier weight, pressed down harder and make it longer and even slightly upward angle because if you do that, you increase simultaneously willpower, you increase persistence of will which is enthusiasm which is a leadership trait and you also add positiveness and optimism at least as far as most people will find provided you don’t put it on an acute angle. So sharp that it becomes stupid but a slight upward slant on the writing or slight upward slant on the t bar will add optimism to the personality, the positive attitude and by putting these three together and also raising the bar of the t and putting it higher, you increase your self-esteem and you life goals.

Chris: It must be from left to right.

Mike: Left to right, the t bar. If it’s right to left regardless of whether you’re left or right-handed. Right to left is willpower directed against self and any time a see a t bar that is right to left, and you can tell from the stroke by looking at it with a magnifying glass most of the time, it will feather out where you removed the pen from the paper. Right to left is willpower directed against self. every time I see that, the person has an internal, critical voice that rips them apart or criticizes them all the time and they can often get id of that or quiet its nagging quality by simply making the t bar from left to right over time.

Chris: This is a really fascinating area for me because I had a very habit a long time ago which I’ve corrected of crossing my t bars from right to left and I thought that was because I’m left-handed and you told me, no it isn’t.

Mike: No, there’s no correlation.

Chris: I mean can I prove that there’s a cause effect relationship here? No. but can I definitely that since changing my handwriting, it has changed the way I talked to myself? Absolutely.

Mike: Yes so remember to add all of these elements all of you listening. Spend 5 or 10 minutes a day journaling or writing on scrap pieces of paper and throwing it out. Make your t bars higher up on the stem, not past the stem. Higher up on the stem than you normally do if they’re quite low. Make them on a slight upward slant, make them longer than you normally would and press down harder and you’ll build in all of those wonderful traits, enthusiasm, stronger willpower, higher self-esteem, setting you goals higher in life and optimism as well and you will be off to the metaphorical races if you start to build into your personality if you do it consistently.

Chris: Absolutely. In fact quick commercial break, in September you are teaching a weekend long course on graphoanalysis.

Mike: My Graphology 101 course draws from the best of American graphoanalysis which I’m certified in and also European methods which I’ve studied extensively as well. So it’ll give you even though they’re two different methods, they interlock perfectly. They are not contradictory. They’re complementary. And you come study with me in Toronto, a weekend long course. We taught it as a one-day course last year. It sold out. People were passionate about it and said I feel like I’ve got psychic powers now. I glance at writing and I know what people’s weird sexuality is or whether they steal or lie and instantly, you’ll pick this up so we’re so overwhelmed by the response, we made it two days instead of one and that is in September 2014.

Chris: You can check it out on the website and you’ll find all the information there if you sign up.

Mike: We should just jump in Chris and say we still have some spots for the Mindscaping course.

Chris: That’s right which is in June.

Mike: Also in Toronto, a weekend long course. Mindscaping is my own particular method of getting into the unconscious mind of another person. If you’re a therapist, a counselor, a social worker, a personal coach, a business leader, whatever, you’ll find this remarkable methodology without formal hypnosis for getting into an unconscious mind of another person and landscaping it and making phenomenal changes in their life. That’s one weekend again in June 2014.

Chris: In fact, the name Mindscaping really comes from the idea of a metaphor of landscaping in the mind.

Mike: Yes and the results have been absolutely amazing.

Chris: Right so check it out on the website. Again, you’ll find all of the live courses that Mike’s teaching at

Mike: Oh Chris, let me just add with Mindscaping. This is really handy if you’re a therapist or you’re a hypnotherapist because it enables you to earn a pretty good living never leaving your home because you could do Mindscaping very, very well over Skype and I do it all the time. the person pays you by Paypal 24 hours in advance and you can then work with them the next day and make phenomenal changes in their life.

Chris: Absolutely. It is a great system. I encourage all of you to check it out on the website.

Now, let’s move on to a question that has come up that I think is a really good one. Now on these podcasts and in live hypnosis trainings, we’ve talked a lot about things like how to overcome addiction so in the case of alcoholism one of the things – did I say that? It sounded weird. Alco- I sounded like I said alcoho… whatever.

Mike: It did sound. You sounded like an alcoholic.

Chris: There he goes. Alcoholism…

Mike: Don’t take on. Don’t take on. [chuckles]

Chris: I think it was…

Mike: Some physiology problem.

Chris: So for alcoholism we’ve talked, I think it was Todd James who said – am I correct in saying that?

Mike:  No.

Chris: Who is it who said it’s more difficult to…

Mike: Derek Ballmer.

Chris: Derek Ballmer, thank you. It’s very difficult to take someone who is an alcoholic and turn them into a non-drinker forever.

Mike: What he actually said was… Derek said he never changed alcoholics into non-drinkers ever.

Chris: Okay.

Mike: He had a very good success rate transforming alcoholics into social drinkers.

Chris: Right because the idea of never being able to do something again is often overwhelming for people so they’re setting themselves up for failure.

Mike: Oh yeah it becomes a pressure cooker. As soon as its never repeats that again, ill never eat pizza again and two weeks later, you have a slice and you go, oh well screw it and then eat the whole pizza because I’ve lost it and I ruined it. I might as well eat the large pizza myself.

Saying never again, it can be a very difficult thing so it can cause problems. You know anybody listening, if you have a drinking problem, one of the things you might want to experiment with is this and I’ve had pretty good results with it working with people. Alcoholics Anonymous if you check you’ll find they don’t have quite the success rate they claim or seem to have but one of the things they say that is noteworthy is they say the times that people typically overdrink are when they are very tired, when they’re very hungry or when they are lonely. Now that’s really interesting because all of those things, if we take loneliness as a form of feeling down and depressed and look at it in those terms, all three of those things: tired, hungry and depressed or lonely, feeling down can be symptomatic of low blood sugar and one of the things you can do is if you have a drinking problem, recognize people do all of their behaviors to feel better. Everything everybody does they want to feel better. No one wants any different with that. No one wants to feel worse and by drinking, it changes your state and the problem with alcoholics is they don’t realize that after that first drink, no matter how much you drink, you won’t feel any better. That initial rush does not get any greater. You just get more drunk.

So, one of the things you can do is eat sufficient protein four times through the day. If you have protein with breakfast, lunch again at the afternoon, again at dinnertime, your blood sugar will tend to stay consistent and you will not have that same urge a lot of that time to drink, to try to rapidly draw glucagon out of your liver, raise your blood sugar and so on.

Chris: Okay that’s good advice. I think it makes a lot of sense in terms of making some of the dietary changes that will encourage a healthier lifestyle. So what I want to ask you about is alcohol versus something like smoking where Sir Derek Ballmer would always work with an alcoholic and turn them into a social drinker rather than a non-drinker.

Mike: Right.

Chris: Whereas when we talk about smoking cessation, we typically talk about never smoke again.

Mike: That’s correct.

Chris: And we use the lines you know how many banks they need to rob to become a bank robber?

Mike: One.

Chris: One and how many cigarettes do you need to smoke to be a smoker?

Mike: One.

Chris: one. Well I mean obviously you know somebody who has smoked once when they were 12 and just because their friends say hey, try this and then they never became a smoker, well that doesn’t really fit the model I guess but that put aside, how are the two different or are they different? Are they the same?

Mike: Any sort of physiological addiction, you can be over it in a week if you’re off it even heroine. You go off it for 6 days, the 7th day you’re essentially free and the rest is behavioral. Now I believe this is purely my opinion. Alcohol addiction is not an addiction to alcohol or as some people say allergy to alcohol o any of these things. It is an emotional addiction to the rush and the changing of the state you get from it. So when you enable yourself to change your state without the alcohol, to feel better without it, then there’s no need for it and I know people will go through horrific withdrawal and all that. Nobody can deny people get the DTs in these things. I’m speaking in very general terms again. This is only my opinion.

Smoking however, although it does change your state by shifting your breathing. So try without cigarettes and you’ll probably get the same results. There can be a nicotine withdrawal from it where people feel like they’re climbing the walls or want to climb the walls and go a bit crazy. With alcohol, I’ve seen it managed where people can cut down to a couple of glasses of wine a day and it would not be a problem anymore but I have not seen it  where people can become a social smoker by enlarge it tends to creep up again.

Chris: Okay so some of this maybe science related and some of this is simply…

Mike: Behavioral change in the state yeah…

Chris: Learning through observation and noticing that we haven’t really seen people be successful at becoming social smokers.

Mike: No I haven’t. I think they go on to become smokers because that’s what they are.

Chris: Okay so again, this is one of these situations where it’s a model just like what we’ve talked about with willpower, this is not absolute.

Mike: Set carved in stone.

Chris: Yeah it’s not absolute reality. It’s a model.

Mike: We’re talking in general principles here.

Chris: Okay that’s a helpful answer. I thought that was an interesting question. I thought it would be worth talking about in our podcast.

Mike: Well, it’s good Chris. It’s interesting to me how people frame these problems as well. I have a friend who is absolutely a pothead. He cannot stop smoking dope. He does it all the time and he’s becoming duller and doesn’t realize he forgets everything. He’s becoming stupid but he’s still convinced it’s a mind expanding drug and that it’s good for him and justifies it through a million different ways but he’s not addicted to it. He’s addicted

Chris: Of course not.

Mike: But he can’t go on a single day without it. Well why should he? He’s not addicted and it’s not a problem. It shouldn’t go that way?

Chris: Exactly. It’s like oxygen.

Mike:  Yeah unbelievable.

Chris: All right let’s move on from that one. Let’s talk about post hypnotic suggestions.

Mike: Whoa there’s a [unclear 21:33]

Chris: I want to pre-frame this a little bit. there are a lot of people who listen to this podcast. They find it because they’re searching on a variety of topics and they find it very fascinating because I think we should be doing a really good job in blending just general interesting stuff, general interest information, cool stuff but also always bringing it back to hypnosis and NLP and….

Mike: Brain enhancement and…

Chris: What’s going to be fascinating to people who want to learn more about hypnosis and one of those things when people learn about hypnosis, they hear about it or they see it. They feel like the idea of a post hypnotic suggestion. Something that a hypnotist says to someone that is in a hypnotic state that will be an instruction for them to carry out later a posthypnotic suggestion that it’s some kind of magical thing, magical power and I thought we should talk about that a bit more because we do get a fair number of questions on that topic. So, let’s just…

Mike: I need you to clarify it a bit more Chris. What are you actually asking me about?

Chris: Well, let’s talk about it and I want you to explain is there anything magical about a posthypnotic suggestion?

Mike: Well certainly not magic but it can seem that way. It can certainly be very, very scientific and cause some phenomenal results. Working at the Ontario Police College years ago, they were teaching particular seminar the next day that I won’t get into but the bottom line was, one of the people who’s going to be in the class was on my stage and I’ve hypnotized more cops than any other demography and they got me to hypnotize this guy and give him a suggestion that he would carry out the next day in class and he was to jump up on his desk while the instructor was teaching this very serious problem course and yell at the instructor and again, it’s inappropriate to tell you what it was. This is was their request. I’ll tell yu off microphone. But anyway, I just got an email the next, a phone pre-email and the guy phoned me the next day and said, he did it.

Chris: [laughs]

Mike: It can seem impossible. When I first messed with or experimented with posthypnotic suggestion, it was with a man called John Cole and I hypnotized him when I was in high school and I never realized I think when we waited several minutes for the trigger to take place, I would get concerned and think okay, it’s taking too long. Yu know we haven’t had someone walk in the room that’s going to trigger this or whatever. It’s not going to work if we wait too long but the reality is there is no degree of time that will undermine a properly set posthypnotic suggestion. You can literally hypnotize someone and tell them on April 15, 2016, you’ll awaken at 3 AM and phone this number and if you’ve done your work properly, they will. It’s such a powerful tool that George Estebrook in his early days of experimentation [unclear 24:15] program that went on to be MK Ultra working with the CIA and other similar programs. He developed a technique where they could set up a hypnotic career. So they would put someone in a deep trance, give him all the information he had to carry so nothing was written down. He’d remember it all and would come out of the trance and it would be compartmentalized and he’d have no recollection of this then he would go to Korea or wherever it was and the doctor at the other end would give him this trigger phrase. He would immediately go back into trance and pass the information on to him but it was buried behind an amnestic barrier so he would not know it was there. So I mean all done hypnotically but that was binary. It wasn’t just oh the phrase would give the information. It was actually the phrase and that specific doctor had to say the phrase to him so it’s a two-part.

Chris: Like a key.

Mike: It’s a double password right? And of course, building things like if the doctor says this other phrase to you instead it will erase all the material. So it’s really, really interesting what can be done although there’s another aspect that there is no degree of amnestic barrier that you can set up that will sufficiently completely conceal a hypnotic suggestion.

Chris: It’s sort of like deleting a file on a hard drive and there’s always a way to recover it unless you destroy the hard drive.

Mike: That’s right. We don’t want to be doing that.

Chris: All right so let’s just go back a little bit here. So people who may have seen one of your stage hypnosis shows would be a witness to an obvious posthypnotic suggestion which is determination of the show, everyone’s sent back to the audience and when the guy goes into the washroom, he’s going to remember everything that happened on stage.

Mike: Right.

Chris: But until that happens, he’s going to be sitting in the audience thinking that he’s waiting for the show to start and I’ve witnessed it myself. I’ve seen a guy as soon as he walked through the bathroom door. Boom! This huge wash of redness.

Mike: And he can’t contrive that. That’s an unconscious response.

Chris: Exactly. So that was an obvious one used in entertainment but I want also to talk about the fact that – let’s talk about posthypnotic suggestions that are used in therapeutic environments as well because really, a posthypnotic suggestion is just a suggestion or a direction right that…

Mike: That is given in a deep or somnambulistic trance that has you carry a temporal or other trigger to set it off. When I say temporal meaning at a certain time it will fire. They’re anchors. All posthypnotic suggestions are anchors but they’re very specific ones.

Chris:  So for example, let’s imagine that a client came to you and said, I want to feel completely different about chocolate bars because I have this addiction eating chocolate bars. It’s ruining my health. It’s really the only clutch that I have in terms of sweets and I want to hate them. Well you can do hypnotic work with them and you can directly suggest that they no longer find them appealing but I suppose you could also give them a posthypnotic suggestion and maybe let’s talk about whether this will be useful just to back up the work that when you do see a chocolate bar, it’s going to immediately remind you how unappealing you find them, something like that.

Mike: Yeah I know what you mean. That’s kind of the old way they used to deal with smoking cessation. They’d make them taste terrible or when you smoke a cigarette, it’ll make you cough your head off. I did that when I was a kid.

Chris: Not really a productive thing to happen.

Mike: Right I got John Cole coughing like so he’s almost coughing his liver out and it was working but unless you are removing the benefit, if you’re not removing the reason behind the behavior, the secondary gain, it probably isn’t going away for doing something like that. You need to build an alternate behavior to really be powerful with this.

Chris: That’s a good point so perhaps a much more useful posthypnotic suggestion if you were determined to use one would be every time you see a chocolate bar, it’s going to remind you of how important it is to eat healthier alternative foods – something to that effect.

Mike: Sure much better. Replace it with something else and remember too, the difference that a lot of people miss between posthypnotic and continuance of suggestion and posthypnotic is a suggestion given in a deeper somnambulistic trance which is the working state of hypnosis that will fire at either a temporal or other signal later. The instant the person goes back into that trance they immediately go to the identical depth of trance they were in when they respond to that trigger. So I don’t know how I just worded it. I’m reading what you put on the screen at the same time. I didn’t listen to myself.

Chris: Let me see if I got that right. I’ve heard you teach this before so I should.

Mike: If I stumbled on my words there, I’m admitting it.

Chris: If I screw this up, it will be rather embarrassing because I’ve already heard you1 teach this about 10 times now.

Mike: Okay go ahead.

Chris: So when you give somebody a posthypnotic suggestion at a certain depth of trance, let’s call that depth D, that when they then execute the posthypnotic suggestion, they’re going…

Mike: So do an example. When someone knocks at the door…

Chris: When someone knocks at the door, you are going to jump on top of the table and yell hallelujah.

Mike: Or it doesn’t have to be that crazy. It could be someone knocks at the door, you’ll mistake it and think it’s the phone ringing. You pick it up and say hello.

Chris: And so, let’s say whatever depth they were in, they were in a somnambulistic trance. They were in a deep somnambulistic state at that time when they execute that trance. As soon as the knock on the door happens, as they enter that execution of the command, they’re going to return to that same depth of trance to execute the suggestion.

Mike: Yes I’m just laughing quietly at myself thinking how many people don’t even seem to be able to get the somnambulistic part right. I remember Don Mouton says somnabulistic.

Chris: Samuelism.

Mike: Oh Orman McGill called it Samuelism.

Chris: I’m always very careful doing that. Or because we make fun of the use of the term critical factor.

Mike: Oh don’t go there.

Chris: I was slowing myself down and make sure I don’t say it the wrong way.

Mike: Make sure you don’t. I can hypnotize you for that. So, we have said that deep trance, you install a suggestion, set up a particular signal either temporal or actual, the person goes back into the identical depth of trance to complete what the suggestion is, instantly comes out of it. Now knowing that, you can hypnotize someone. Give them a somnambulistic trance. Somnabulistic [laughs]

Chris: [laughs]

Mike: When you have the suggestion for fire…

Chris: Hijack!

Mike: You can hijack it. You want to explain that?

Chris: Yes. I mean you can tell me if I get this correctly or not.

Mike: Oh I’ll tell you.

Chris: If you notice that they are returning into that depth of trance to execute the hypnotic suggestion, you can then enter that trance or basically hijack that trance by giving them more suggestions and basically building…

Mike: If you interrupt them in the middle of the performance-

Chris: That’s it. You have to interrupt them.

Mike: When you interrupt their pattern when they’re attempting to perform the hypnotic suggestion that has been pre-suggested as posthypnotic and they’re back in trance, if you interrupt them, they will stay in trance and look for resolution you can now hijack the trance and say to them do whatever you want and they will respond.

Chris: And they will be in hypnotic rapport with you.

Mike: Generally speaking. Now continuance of suggestion is the other one I alluded to and that is the suggestion given while someone is in a trance, even a light one that they carry out with them and you’re feeling wonderful now and you’re relaxed again and when you come out of trance, you can bring all those relaxing wonderful feelings with you. There’s nothing posthypnotic about that.

Chris: And so since we were talking about metaphor, the idea behind this if we wanted to paint the metaphor, it is you have the person in trance, you’re giving them a new tool and they’re taking that tool with them when they leave.

Mike: That’s right. Well put. That’s a good way of looking at it.

Chris: All right. I think we’re going to wrap up here because we just covered off a great amount of content.

Mike: In the next podcast, I want to tell the amazing mentalism effect that Bill McClurie taught me in 1975 and how you can predict a series of random numbers from an audience. All you need is chutzpah as my Jewish friends say.

Chris: Okay.

Mike: Why don’t you give the empowering question, Chris?

Chris: It’s going to be podcast 50 then so before I do the empowering question, next podcast is podcast 50 and we definitely have to do some cool stuff on there.

Mike: Yes and please check out the Mindscaping online at

Chris: Absolutely.

Mike: And look into that. For June, we still have some spots left.

Chris: We’ve got a few spots in all of the upcoming classes except for the May hypnosis training which is totally full. Sold out for months.

Mike: All right Chris, tell us your empowering question.

Chris: Here is your empowering question for today: “What stories from your childhood inspire a state of curiosity within you and what are you going to do to explore that even further today?” “What stories from your childhood inspire a state of curiosity within you and what are you going to do to explore that even further today?”

Mike: You know Chris a number of years ago when I was a young boy, actually seven years old, so 1960. It was at the end of the civil war. My parents and my sister and I drove in a 1953 Ford meteor from Toronto to Prince Edward Island. Long drive especially since my parents being Brits stopped every 10 minutes to make tea on a portable Coleman stove. So it was an adventure as my father used to love to say. They always thought inconvenience was adventure but we got to Prince Edward Island and had a wonderful time eating Prince Edward Island potatoes and the sand dunes that were all red sand and a beautiful part of Canada and the sight of Ann of Green Gables which was probably interesting to female readers than to male readers.

So on the way back, we went though Halifax and it was my first time in that great city – one of my favorite cities in the Atlantic Ocean. Nova Scotia is a wonderful province and there’s a pier in Halifax that is absolutely fantastic to walk around regardless of the weather and we went as a family and there were different vendors who were set up on this Saturday morning and one man had an oyster stand and I have not eaten oysters. In fact, I didn’t eat one until about 10 years ago where upon I went crazy for them and I would shuck them at home. Kumamoto being my favorite.

So we stopped at the stand and a few people were ordering oysters and my father liked them and he liked winkles as well but you couldn’t get them. It never occurred to him you couldn’t buy winkles in Canada. He’d order them at a truck stop in Ohio. Any winkles? Any winkles today? He’d look at him like he was insane and id wonder why the waitress could tell he was insane and I could tell he was insane but he thought it was completely normal to ask for winkles in an Ohio truck stop but back to Halifax pier. They bought some oysters. At least my dad did. They didn’t have any winkles. And sitting on a bed of ice, open in a shell was the largest oyster any of us had ever seen. It was huge; the size of your fist and it looked like it must’ve been made of rubber. It couldn’t be that big and be real but the man made sure to everyone it was and this was back in 1960 and he offered $5 to anyone who could eat that oyster. Just said he would and my dad looked at it. Now an oyster, you don’t really chew it. You swallow it whole. You want it to just stop struggling on the way down though. Stomach acid generally puts it into that pretty quickly.

And so, my dad bet him the $5 he could. He was convinced he could with his experience with winkles I guess which were quite small and he took this oyster up in the shell, [unclear 35:42] this thing the size of a baseball into his mouth, swallowed it, looked like her was going to turn green and it came right back up into the shell in his hands and my dad caught his breath. You could tell he was nauseous and felt horrible and he said to the man, “I’m sorry. I really thought I could but I couldn’t keep it down.” And the man said, “It’s all right, Sir. No one’s been able to.”

Chris: [laughs] Thanks everybody. This has been Brain Software with Mike Mandel and I’m Chris Thompson, episode number 49. Make sure you head on over to our website, sign up for the email list because we’re going to send you a free copy of mike’s eBook, ‘Brain Software’, and it’s incredible, full of life changing stuff. We’ll send you lots of other cool stuff and leave a review for this podcast on iTunes. There’s a link on our website on how you can go and do that. We’d love for you to leave a 5-star rating if you feel we deserve it but it’s most important that you just go there, write a review and leave your recommendation for others so we can then spread the world and increase its…

Mike: Spread the world…

Chris: Spread the world [laughs] That’s hilarious.

Mike: Thanks for tuning in.

Chris: Spread the word with the world. Thanks for tuning in everybody and goodnight.