[Originally published in the IATH forums on May 31, 2009 under the subject heading: Hypnotic GLUE and SAFETY—Please read!]
Something happened today I would like everyone to know about. It's more than a little embarrassing and also a bit scary.
I have been practicing and studying for my Certification Exam and have had a few friends who have been very helpful in letting me put them under. Today a very good friend stopped by so I could practice basics with him as my subject (instant inductions, deepeners, phenomena, so forth).
When this friend goes under he goes VERY deep, VERY fast. He is of the type you sometimes see in video clips who falls so fast asleep that he tips over sideways on the couch to land in a pile of pillows. Well, my friend did that today, and as I set him upright, I told him that his palm was coated with hypnotic glue and that it was being stuck fast to his face. I pressed his palm gently to his cheek and told him that there it was, glued securely, and that he couldn't remove it. Then I had him open his eyes to experience it.
He screamed. Not loudly, just sort of raised his voice in surprise. But it completely threw me.
He complained that his face was burning, his skin stung, and he tugged furiously at his wrist in attempt to remove the hand but could not, since to him of course, was stuck fast. With another small shout, he yanked his hand away from his face (as I stared slack-jawed and stunned) and continued to tell me that his face and palm burned terribly. The episode lasted only a second or two, and thank Heaven Above I reacted for his safety and put him back to sleep straight away. He went back under rapidly and I spoke soothingly to him that the pain was gone, there was no glue, his palm was clean, his face was alright.
For good measure, I then turned back time for him and said that the entire incident NEVER happened, and that he would now open his eyes and see me for the first time since he flopped over on his side, asleep in trance. I woke him as quickly as I could while still proceeding safely and asked him repeatedly how he was. He said he was fine, and he had no idea why I seemed so unnerved.
Here's the frightening part: My friend's face was red and blotchy when he pulled his hand away. I swear I am NOT making this up. It looked as if he were having an allergic reaction. The palm of his hand was also beet red and was actually radiating heat, as if it had been burned. After reversing the phenomena and waking him, his face returned to its normal color, as did his hand.
The rest of our visit went fine, but as he left to go home, he commented that his face did feel quite sore, as if I had "slapped him real hard." I told him about the episode with the hypnotic glue. His eyes got very big and he told me, "I have a severe skin reaction to glue! I can't touch it—not super glue, paste, rubber cement, Elmer's, Gorilla Glue, anything—or my skin breaks out and it burns me like acid." I had no idea. I apologized like crazy but he shrugged my concern away by saying, "Hey, you didn't know that. Forget about it."
Think about it. All I did was tell a subject in trance that his hand was glued to his face and his MIND created what he knew would be his reaction to actual glue. It astounds me that it happened when I could see it—and horrifies me that it happened to a subject whom I was responsible for.
Now, I suspect this was a one-in-a-million happening. I have stuck this same friend's feet to the floor, had his shoes turn into cement, had him fall over laughing—heck, I even put him in clown shoes(!!) with no ill effects. But this reinforces what we're taught that the subject is always under our protection and their safety is paramount.
It also reinforces what I've always believed about nasty-minded nightclub hypnotists who should never make light of telling an entranced subject he's been struck hard in the privates (I've seen this done way too many times), as the subject really does FEEL that pain!
In any case, my friend is fine and although I'm a bit rattled, I'm okay too. And I am now on my guard even more to take very good care of my subjects. While I will not look for trouble to occur—I will be certain I will be ready to help immediately if it does.
Take care, everyone. Of yourself AND your subjects!