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Proof that this hypnotic trick works

By on September 27, 2014

In NLP we talk about sub modalities. Submodalities are simply the smaller distinctions in our internal sensory experiences. So for the visual system, for example, sub modalities include the size or brightness of the internal picture.

A driving sub modality is a sub modality that ‘drives’ the level of affective or emotional response of the person experiencing it. Driving sub modalities are unique to each person, so for example Jane may feel a much greater of an emotional response if an internal picture of a vacation is made larger in her internal visual field, while John, who went on the same vacation, feels the same level of emotions no matter how large the picture becomes.

Having said this, some submodalities tend to have an emotional impact on many people. Probably the three that are most powerful across many people are size, closeness, and brightness. Turning down the brightness of a hypnosis client’s negative internal images, and turning up the brightness of positive internal images can have a powerful effect on their emotional experience, leading to positive changes in their life.

A simple trick that can be used to capitalize on this phenomena is turning up the lights in your office while your hypnosis client is in trance (eyes closed). When they emerge from trance and open their eyes, they will literally see the world as brighter.

Photo courtesy of Keerati and

Recent research from Alison Xu from Toronto University and Apama Labroo from Midwestern University shows that turning on the light, literally increasing the brightness in the external environment, turns up the emotional response of both positive and negative feelings. You can read the abstract and access the article (for a fee) here:

Turning on the light can turn on the hot emotional system. Across six studies we show that ambient brightness makes people feel warmer, which increases the intensity of their affective response, Via

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