Common steps and sub-activities

Counting out

Introduction and background

This technique is one of a number of options available to help relax the body.

It has been used by Robert Monroe, hypnotherapists, healers plus numerous other people as part of the general relaxation technique. 

Robert Monroe found that it was more effective than his early sound based inductive techniques, see his chart below from his book Journeys out of the Body.

Methods used

Successful result

Sleep producing

Ineffective

Induction sound tape

17.1%

5.7%

4.5%

Countdown relaxation

24%

4.5%

12.9%

Recall technique

3.7%

1.7%

4.7%

Composite

13.9%

1.6%

5.7%

In the Monroe Institute CDs and workshops, they concentrate on this exercise as a precursor to the use of hemi sync and it works extremely well.

Hypnotists also use this method quite regularly.

Method

You can use a recording of the steps to take during the exercise and this helps a great deal, as the recording can be precisely timed .  It has the added benefit that with a recording you have no need to remember the steps.  If you use a recording ,  you can use headphones both to transmit the instructions but also to block out other sound.  Don’t use those weeny little plug in types use some big comfortable rubber or fluffy based muffler type headphones that provide a minimum of distraction.

With the eyes closed, work on each part of the body in turn progressing from the toes upwards.  You are trying to induce a sense of almost lack of feeling in every part of your body.  Spend about 20 seconds per body part.

You can repeat this process until you are totally and absolutely relaxed and have lost track of any nervous sensations from your body.

Focus entirely upon the actions of forgetting and eliminating from your sensory systems all parts of the body.  If you are using recorded instructions [recommended] you can keep repeating the statement ‘my xxxx has become numb, I have no xxxx, all is free of pain, all has gone’ concentrating on this as though it were a mantra.

The following steps are then completed [note that this can be recorded and played back to give you a set of instructions to follow]:

  • Toes:  Concentrate on the toes – each one in turn and on each foot and think .  ‘And now my xxxx toe is forgotten’.
  • Relax and breathe in and out gently for 20 seconds.
  • Feet:  Concentrate on the feet – each one in turn and think .  ‘And now my xxxx foot  is forgotten’.
  • Relax and breathe in and out gently for 20 seconds.
  • Calves:  Concentrate on the calves – each one in turn and think .  ‘And now my xxxx calf  is forgotten’.
  • Relax and breathe in and out gently for 20 seconds.
  • Thighs: Concentrate on the thighs – each one in turn and think .  ‘And now my xxxx thigh is forgotten’.
  • Relax and breathe in and out gently for 20 seconds.
  • Hips: Concentrate on the hips – each one in turn and think .  ‘And now my xxxx hip  is forgotten’.
  • Relax and breathe in and out gently for 20 seconds.
  • Buttocks: Concentrate on the buttocks – each one in turn and think .  ‘And now my xxxx buttock is forgotten’.
  • Relax and breathe in and out gently for 20 seconds.
  • Whole of Legs: Concentrate on the legs – each one in turn and think .  ‘And now my xxxx leg is forgotten’.  Now say ‘All gone, all gone, all gone’ over and over again for 30 seconds.
  • Relax and breathe in and out gently for 20 seconds.
  • Stomach: Concentrate on the stomach and think .  ‘And now my stomach is forgotten’.  Now say ‘All gone, all gone, all gone’ over and over again for 30 seconds.
  • Relax and breathe in and out gently for 20 seconds.
  • Lower Back: Concentrate on the lower back and think .  ‘And now my lower back is forgotten’.  Now say ‘All gone, all gone, all gone’ over and over again for 30 seconds.
  • Relax and breathe in and out gently for 20 seconds.
  • Chest: Concentrate on the chest and think .  ‘And now my chest is forgotten’.  Now say ‘All gone, all gone, all gone’ over and over again for 30 seconds.
  • Relax and breathe in and out gently for 20 seconds.
  • Upper Back: Concentrate on the upper back and think .  ‘And now my upper back is forgotten’.  Now say ‘All gone, all gone, all gone’ over and over again for 30 seconds.
  • Relax and breathe in and out gently for 20 seconds.
  • Arms: Concentrate on the arms – each one in turn and think .  ‘And now my xxxx arm is forgotten’.  Now say ‘All gone, all gone, all gone’ over and over again for 30 seconds.
  • Relax and breathe in and out gently for 20 seconds.
  • Shoulders: Concentrate on the shoulders – each one in turn and think .  ‘And now my xxxx shoulder is forgotten’.  Now say ‘All gone, all gone, all gone’ over and over again for 30 seconds.
  • Relax and breathe in and out gently for 20 seconds.
  • Face and Head:  Concentrate on the face and head  – each one in turn and think .  ‘And now my face/head is forgotten’.  Now say ‘All gone, all gone, all gone’ over and over again for 30 seconds.
  • Relax and breathe in and out gently for 20 seconds.
  • Jaw: Concentrate on the jaw and think .  ‘And now my jaw is forgotten’.  Now say ‘All gone, all gone, all gone’ over and over again for 30 seconds.
  • Relax and breathe in and out gently for 20 seconds.
  • Neck:  Concentrate on the neck and think .  ‘And now my neck is forgotten’.  Now say ‘All gone, all gone, all gone’ over and over again for 30 seconds.
  • Relax and breathe in and out gently for 20 seconds.
  • Relax and breathe in and out gently.

Repeat this sequence of steps until you have reached a state in which you are deeply relaxed and are unaware of your body.

You can add other body parts to this list to make the sequence longer, as the idea is that the repetition adds to the effect by befuddling the mind.  Thus if you like you can add similar instructions for the eyes, kidneys, each finger, your hands, your liver, your heart and so on – as long as it takes to befuddle and feel relaxed and unaware of your body.