Exercises With Ideomotor Signaling

1. Study the historical aspects of ideomotor signaling in the form of the thought reading experiments of the 19th century (Drayton, 1899), mediumistic phenomena such as table turning and the Ouiji board (Bramwell, 1921), the Chevreul pendulum (Weitzenhoffer, 1957), etc. Much of the so-called occult and psi phenomena may be understood as involuntary muscular movements and ideomotor and ideosensory responses that are unconsciously sent and received.

2. Study all varieties of apparently involuntary muscular movements as forms of ideomotor signaling in everyday life. Notice how people will unconsciously nod or shake their heads and move their lips, hands, and fingers when engaged in internal dialogue. Learn to read faces; learn to recognize the minute facial movements that indicate changes in mood and feeling. Study body posture and movements as nonverbal forms of communication (Birdwhistell, 1952, 1971; Scheflen, 1974).

3. Plan how you can introduce ideomotor signaling as a natural form of autonomous communication during trance in ways that can fit the individuality of each patient.

4. Learn to formulate suggestions so that the patient will give ideomotor signals when an internal response (experiencing warmth, anesthesia, hallucinations, etc.) has been experienced. Ideomotor signals can be combined with the implied directive (see Chapter 5) to set up a communication system that can greatly facilitate trance training and the experience of all the classical hypnotic phenomena.

5. Plan and carry out carefully controlled clinical and experimental situations to evaluate the reliability and validity of ideomotor and ideosensory signaling.

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