How to Use Embedded Suggestions in Hypnosis

Embedded suggestions are an important aspect that will provide a very great amount of power within your Conversational Hypnosis practices.  This is a skill you will use over and over again to create suggestions that are unrecognizable to the conscious mind. 

An embedded suggestion is nothing more than a suggestion that is often repeatedly buried in the context of a conversation of miscellaneous words and uttering’s. The statements that contain the suggestion may vary in wording and meaning but the suggestion itself is focused on a particular aspect you and your subject will be working on together.

This practice was first discovered somewhere between the late 1940’s and early 1950’s by the famous master hypnotherapist Dr. Milton Erickson.  The idea was presented to him through rumor that the random things that schizophrenics would walk around saying and muttering really had some deeper meaning to them.  These undecipherable phrases were ways in which the afflicted were trying to communicate with whoever would listen. 

At the time Dr. Erickson became aware of this rumor he happened to be working as a
Doctor at the Worcester State Hospital with mentally disturbed inmates, many of which were themselves schizophrenics. 

Upon realizing this theory Dr. Erickson decided to conduct a study of his own using the reams of texts recorded verbatim with what the schizophrenic patients were saying.  As he poured through the vast amount of different transcripts all of uttering’s that had been recorded word for word from schizophrenics he discovered something. 

As Dr. Erickson deciphered the many uttering’s he found that there were actually messages embedded among the majority of non sense words and sounds.  The theory Dr. Milton Erickson came up with was that some of the words buried deep with in the non sense were meaningful and made sense once connected. 

The doctor spent more time and found and recorded all these words and put them together to create what he thought were real attempts at communication. Usually the finished phrases included explanations of the patient’s conditions and asking for help. 

Because this was only a theory it needed to be tested.  Dr. Erickson knew of a secretary in the office that suffered from severe migraines, when she got a migraine she would have to immediately go and lie down to deal with the pain. 

He prepared a file of the uttering’s from the schizophrenic’s files and inserted his own embedded messages in place of theirs.  The next time the secretary needed to lie down because of the pain in her head Dr. Erickson insisted that she take dictation from him. 

As he was a doctor she begrudgingly did so without putting up much of a fight.  Amazingly, ten minutes into the dictation her head was completely pain free. Her migraine was gone.  

She was amazed and Dr. Erickson had proven his theory within this study.  Today this principal is known as unconscious priming in the psychological literature that circulates.

So what Dr. Erickson did was to prove that there was a way to get messages across hypnotically when embedded in a list of non sense.  This happens because our unconscious minds have an extremely good ‘ear’ for ‘hearing’ or identifying and picking up patterns within life (including your conversations).

There have been many studies since Dr. Erickson’s study; some more complicated, that also prove his theory stands the test of time.  Embedding suggestions works for many people at an unconscious level.  The mind can pick out the patterns of the words that make sense and use those suggestions and respond to them.

Another example of how the unconscious mind picks up patterns in life is referred to as implicit knowledge.  Implicit knowledge are those things you just seem to know, no one ever taught them to you directly you just somehow know how to do them.  These are simply patterns that the unconscious mind has picked out of life and learned. 

These are things that are learned in the background instead of the conscious forefront of learning.  Such as shaking or nodding your head, you know what it mean but you were never exactly instructed on how to do it or what it meant.

Embedding suggestions in your Conversational Hypnosis will likely be a fantastic skill.  This is a very powerful technique as it lets you speak directly to a person’s unconscious mind and instill the actions needed to get the responses you want. 

Embedding suggestions is an art you should practice hard, often and well as it will be one of the defining factors in a novice hypnotist and a master hypnotist.

For more information please visit