What are hypnotic inductions?
An induction is how someone goes into a trance. As I’ve pointed out before, people go in and out of trances all day… (c.f. “What is Hypnosis?”)
Everyday inductions are being drawn into a good narrative, sitting in a desk, listening to a captivating speaker, doing something you’re passionate about, driving home after a long day, listening to a boring speaker, getting lost in your head, etc. All of these things have the potential to induce a trance state in you. Obviously, some work better for some than others…
A hypnotist uses similar mechanisms in order to induce these states. For instance, an eye fixation induction asks a client to stare at a specific spot without blinking or changing focus: as their eyes begin to feel tired and relaxed, so will they… they’ll close their eyes and drift into a nice, relaxing state.
If you’re really interested in this phenomenon, try this. Just pause for a moment and stare at a spot on the wall without blinking… notice what that feels like…
This induction uses the feeling and sensation of the eyes getting tired, which is already linked with sleepiness and an altered state for most people, as well as boredom and sometimes frustration in order to “convince” the mind to escape into trance. This stacks the feelings and natural processes that go along with eye fatigue and wanting to close your eyes (e.g. sleep) with specific suggestions in order to create an intense feeling as well as a “response potential” that allows a subject to more easily facilitate hypnotic suggestion.
So, in short, as I’ve said before, hypnosis is a natural phenomenon that can be triggered by a hypnotist–generally, by asking someone to use the same mechanisms that naturally create those states in people.