I've included this to show how the hypnosis process works in detail and is intended for educational purposes only.
Misdirected attention: It is important for the subject to concentrate on something other than hypnosis that's why a lot of hypnotist use watches, hypno disks, looking at a spot on the ceiling etc, the subjects mind is diverted away from hypnosis and becomes focused on the object and becomes unable to doubt the hypnotist.
Belief: The most important part of the hypnotic process is belief. The subject has to believe that the hypnotist can actually hypnotise, to do what they say they can do.
Expectation: With belief in mind the subject must now be conditioned to expectation, once one suggestion has been acted upon the next suggestion will also and so on, like a pyramid effect this goes on until the subject is fully compliant. That's why a lot of stage hypnotists use a lot of routines before the actual hypnosis begins, to gain compliance of their subjects.
After the hypnotist has introduced themselves and explained what hypnosis is or isn't he will do a rapid induction on someone from the audience (normally a plant) someone who before the show and usually a friend of the hypnotist has agreed to go up on stage and pretend to go into trance when the hypnotist clicks his fingers. This is to get the audience to believe he can hypnotise, at this point I would like to say the hypnotist does actually hypnotise the other real volunteers and not all hypnotists use this method. The reason he does the quick induction comes back to the process of belief as I told you about earlier, its puts the belief into the volunteers minds.
Next he will ask for volunteers this is another little secret the subjects who do volunteer want to be hypnotised and want to be in the lime light and nine times out of ten will do anything the hypnotist says without even being hypnotised through fear of making a fool of themselves.
Maybe the hypnotist by this time has forty or fifty people on stage. He has to narrow it down to about ten or fifteen volunteers. He does this by finding out who's most suggestible by using various tests although you should not refer to them as tests. Most hypnotist use the "hand clasp" test there are various ways of doing this but I will refer to the one that's most effective. He will ask the volunteers to clasp their hands together with fingers interlocking and hold their hands in front and above their heads.
Next he will ask while keeping their heads straight to look up towards their hands. There is a reason for this, as I will explain in a moment. Then he will suggest to the volunteers that their eyes are becoming tired and arms are becoming tired. This process helps the hypnotist to gain the misdirected attention + belief + expectation, this is how, the misdirected attention comes from the subjects looking at their hands he gets the belief + expectation from the following, while the hypnotist is suggesting tiredness of the eyes and the arms there is a natural process going on with the subject, this is the trick, because their eyes are looking up so there is a slight strain on the eyes and they become tired anyway and with the hypnotists suggestions of sleepiness the subjects think the hypnotist is effecting them which of course is what the hypnotist wants which in turn starts the belief to set in, the tiredness in the eyes has nothing to do with the hypnotist but the subjects don't know that, the same applies to the arms becoming tired.
While the hypnotist watches the subjects he feeds back to them what he sees, lets say for example one of the subjects eyes start to blink the hypnotist might say "and as you notice your eyes blinking you will feel the urge to close your eyes and become more tired. This process strengthens the suggestions and makes the subject believe they are under their power. There is another trick with this while their eyes are straining it causes the brain to release a chemical in the brain, a natural sedative which make you tired, then the hypnotist does the same with the arms all the time watching and feeding back what he sees and giving suggestions of sleep, expectation by this time has set in.
This is how, because the hypnotist said to the subjects "your eyes are getting tired, your arms are getting tired" and that happened, the subjects believe that the next thing the hypnotist says will happen too, it's a bit like when you set up a line of dominoes and push the first domino the others follow without any effort that's the only way I can best describe it, like with the suggestions once one is acted upon the others will follow creating a pyramid effect. Then he will finish the test by asking the subjects to push their hands together has hard as they can then tells them they cannot get their hands apart the harder they try the more impossible it becomes and the subjects because they are very suggestible at this point cannot get there hands apart no matter hard the try until the hypnotist says so.
Next the hypnotist will choose the ten or fifteen subjects who couldn't get their hands apart and use them for the next part of the show the actual deepening of the hypnosis. With the subjects who are left the hypnotist gets the subjects to use their imagination by getting them to imagine being thirsty in the desert, riding a horse in the Grand National you know the sort of things, this is to deepen the hypnosis. Once the hypnotist is happy that the subjects are responding well enough to the suggestions he has given he will start to deepen the hypnosis further. He will probably do a couple of rapid induction's there are reasons for this firstly it shows how quickly you can put someone into a hypnotic trance secondly it's very dramatic for the audience which is what you want in a show, thirdly it acts as a suggestion for the other volunteers, not that they should need it at this point but again it creates the pyramid effect.
This is how, there are a number of rapid induction techniques but I will give the one I think is most effective. Stand behind the subject and ask the subject to stand with their feet close together and cross their arm across their chest with their hands resting on their shoulders as if the were wearing a straight jacket. Next ask them to close their eyes and tilt their head backwards then place one of your fingers on their forehead ask them to breath deeply and count backwards from 300, the counting distracts the conscious mind making it easier to get through to the subconscious mind which is what the hypnotist wants. With their head tilted back it makes the subject confused and disorientates them. While their counting backwards count with them for a while to give them a steady rhythm.
Next while they are still counting give them suggestion of sleep. While all this is going on their mind is getting confused trying to count, listening to the hypnotist and trying to keep balance all this creates a rapid onset of trance why? Because the conscious mind can only concentrate on one thing at a time and cant cope so it shuts down, that's when the subconscious takes over and the hypnotist has direct access. To confuse them even more with your finger on their fore head gently pull them backwards and lay the subject on the floor they are now in a deep trance, all the time the hypnotist is doing this they are giving suggestions of sleep.
When the subject is in this level of trance the hypnotist give a post hypnotic suggestion, a post hypnotic suggestion is a command or suggestion given to the subject when on waking at a given cue they will carry out that suggestion or action. A good example of this is in a stage show where the hypnotist says to the subject while in trance "in a few moments I am going to awake you but if I say the word sleep and click my fingers you will instantly go back into trance" the hypnotist usually repeats this two or three times, when I do it I always say after the command "do you understand" I found In my experience that this guarantees that they will do it.