Catalepsy. Almost everyone has seen or at least heard about hypnotic catalepsy. There is even a game called “light as a feather, stiff as a board” that you may have played while doing a sleepover while you were a kid. And there are several movies that feature these hypnotic phenomena. It’s pretty simple… people follow instructions. This article is part of the 100 days of trance blog.
Catalepsy Medical Definition
Catalepsy as a medical condition can be very serious and this article in no way is an attempt to downplay that seriousness or advice to not seek medical attention should these symptoms arise. This is when there is a locking of the muscles, and reduction of psychomotor activity resulting in the ability for the subject to maintain a specific posture of position for a long period of time without the sense of fatigue. Examples of this are making the arm stiff and rigid like an iron bar, or the entire body between two objects allowing someone to sit on them like a bench, or even stuck and locked solid on the spot. One question that I do have about medical catalepsy is was it preventable at an earlier stage before the person froze completely.
Uses in Trance
Catalepsy in trance frequently was used as convincer strategy. In earlier days and during group hypnosis sessions and for skeptical clients, the freezing solid of a limb can be useful to “prove” to the client that almost anyone can go into trance. Now that hypnosis is more mainstream the need for parlor tricks like catalepsy and amnesia are less frequently used in hypnotic sessions.
Metaphorical Representations of Catalepsy
If you have ever met anyone who is so stuck in their opinions or how they choose to live their lives that they can’t or won’t change; you may have encountered someone who has manifested catalepsy in their behaviors.
Another interesting manifestation of this condition is the human response to fear. When challenged a person will fight, fly, FREEZE or fold. It is this FREEZING that I wanted to address. More and more people are having tier options taken away from them in our society and they are no longer being given the basic tools for survival.
We no longer have to forage for food, build fire and get along with other people in order to survive. If you watch television you will notice that almost every commercial is for medicine or some over-the-counter product and the spokesperson make sure to say “ask your doctor”, if this is right for you. My opinion is if you have to ask someone else about how to manage YOU then you are already in bigger trouble than you realize. (just my opinion)
Treating someone with very rigid standards can be a challenge. Sometimes it’s like leading them to water but you cannot force them to drink without drowning them.
One of the methods of solving mental or emotional catalepsy is actually pretty simple, although may not be very pleasant at first.
Most people have been steeped in our modern society of distraction and a lack of empathy. If you are fearful or have suffered a loss you have about three weeks TO GET OVER IT, before people tire of listening and start suggesting that you “go see someone” and SHUT THE F*CK UP. The solution here is to go internal. I recommend that my clients who are interested in working on this go to a quiet space and sit with those uncomfortable emotions.
For how long should I sit? That depends on the variety of the trauma and how long you have been stifling your emotions. for some people it’s 10 minutes for others it can be weeks. The length of time is less important as the method of observation of these emotions. Some emotions wish to be seen. Others heard and still others felt, depending on how you process the information.
I also agree that too much “self-reflection” leads to self-absorption. We are tribal. So we need to get out there with our tribe and do stuff. The American way of just going to work and going home and going to bed so we can repeat that for the next 30 years has probably more to do with our overall health problem than we know.
GET INVOLVED. Whatever it is that you like to do… go do it. Join a club, serve at a soup kitchen, go pick up trash in your neighborhood… but do something that gets you out and moving and involved with the people. And if you can do this with the people you love, Bonus!!!
If you have perved my website, you may also have noticed that I occasionally do Erotic Hypnosis Classes. So I can think of a couple of areas of your life that may benefit from some rigidity; how about you? Think it over and get back to me or send an email