[00:00] About Chris Geier
[04:47] How Chris Hypnotizes
[09:11] Regarding Self-Hypnosis
[15:57] What Happens When You're Hypnotized?
[22:46] Hypnosis & Bad Habits
[29:16] End of the Podcast
Ben: Hey folks, it's Ben Greenfield here, and the topic of hypnosis has come up before on the show when we talked just a little bit in a previous episode about hypnosis and weight loss, but what I wanted to do was delve into the stuff a little bit more deeply, get in the performance aspects and also just talk a little bit more about how this kind of stuff can practically be used. I think a lot of people steer clear of it because they don't understand it, and so I want to delve into this today with my guest. My guest is Chris Geier. Chris is an athlete and a coach, and he teaches specifically sports hypnosis and peak performance based off of hypnosis. He basically teaches you how to harness your mind to affect your performance. He's going to able to explain a lot better than I will, but he is a personal trainer and hypnotherapist, which is a pretty unique combination, so I wanted to get him on to talk about what it is exactly that he does and how this whole concept can help you. So, Chris, thanks for coming on the call today.
Chris: Thank you very much, appreciate it.
Ben: Like I mentioned, that's a pretty unique combo being a personal trainer and a hypnotherapist.
Chris: As well as a sports specific coach, I was also doing hockey training as an instructor as well as a ski instructor, and I was recognized. There was a focus, mental game to all this, and I had a nice little synergistic program happening where it's sports specific of their sports, fencing as well skiing and hockey, and then imbalances that can get stronger doing the sport. So, you're in the gym, corrective exercise would not post or pre-surgery, whatnot, whatever you have to happen, and then following up with the mind with hypnosis as well.
Ben: Gotcha, so did you basically just go off and study this stuff because you got interested in it just organically, or did you work with a hypnotherapist yourself and inside was something that you wanted to look into? How did you get into it?
Chris: So, I had a client who was coming to me for hockey and they wanted a better slapshot, and this guy and I worked together for six sessions. On the sixth session, he was able to put that anywhere on the net that he chose on command and basically on target, and he turns to me and says you have to come to my school. Really, what's this all about? He says well I have a hypnotherapy school, and I thought, wow, that's pretty interesting. At first I was very skeptical, what is this all about? He told me all about the school, and the first accredited college of hypnotherapy, and I went to the school and wound up becoming an art of graduate. Couple years later, I had my own certification course for sports performance and sports hypnosis.
Ben: Cool, so walk me through this. Basically, if I were to come to you, what would you call the type of hypnosis that you would do?
Chris: It's heterohypnosis. I mean, I am guiding you through this process, but recognize that all, hypnosis is self-hypnosis. I'm just the facilitator to help you get to the depths that we're looking for in the first session, and then we come up with the strategy that's customized it for you as to what you're coming in for or what you're looking to work on, and we take whether you are affecting words, and we drop them into your subconscious mind. What we're really trying to do is make congruent of what you want in your conscious mind, which is 12% of your mind. Working with the subconscious mind is where we all hold all of our automation and our habits, if you will. We don't think about those things, we become one when they do because they're part of our triggers, and that's 88% of your mind. So, we're talking about a bigger tool, and that's why hypnosis can be such a rapid tool for change.
Chris: Sure, those are great books.
Ben: One of the better books I read on the subject was called “Psycho-Cybernetics”.
Chris: I don't think I read that one.
Ben: It was interesting, but in terms of just a couple examples, if I were to come and meet with somebody to enhance my performance through hypnotherapy, do I just sit in a chair and you sit across from me, or is it something that people can do over the phone? What's the situation, what kind of stuff do you say to somebody to get them into the state that you need them to be in?
Chris: Well one of the great things about working with athletes, not that I don't. I work with 149-ish altogether, but I mean it's a 150 but a 149 of them, it's not sports-related. We're working with an athlete. More often than not, that athlete knows exactly when they're having a problem because they have been all their lives, taking direction. They're able to hear something and go ahead and implement that into their training. They've had coaches, they've just been trained their entire lives more often than not, and they know when the issue's coming on or know that when they want to change something. More often than not, most come to me because there's a problem. They're not coming to me because they're at the top of their game, right? Okay, I'm having a fear or a phobia. I can help them with that and understand the difference between a fear and a phobia, one has an event and that's the fear, and once manifesting the mind, the phobia. So, the fear, they were a child in sixth grade, they were running, they fell down and everybody laughed at them and they decided they were never going to run again, but yet they have aspirations to be a runner or whatnot. They like to do that, or they have to do it for their company. That's having some sort of an event, right?
Chris: They come to me and they say hey, you know I'm having a problem. We look at it, find out where the actual issue has since come from. Okay, so did you have a problem, and is there are an event? Yes, there is. Okay, this is our fear. If not, then this is a phobia. There's a totally different process for both of these, if that helps.
Ben: Yeah, and so you're basically sitting them down and then saying certain things to them to get them into, I don't even know what you call. Is it like a trance state or a subconscious state?
Chris: I personally don't like the whole idea of a trance state. Trance state to me is the zombie that their hands are up, they don't know what they're doing. We go and did hypnosis every day . The idea behind freeway or highway hypnosis, and it's an environmental hypnosis. We're driving along, we know that it takes 45 minutes to get from Point A to Point B, but today it just seems to be five minutes, and where was I and did I go through that red light or was that green?
Ben: Yeah, been there.
Chris: Right, we all have, and that's just the state of hypnosis and reading the book and being totally involved in seeing the character we put our own visualization to it. The going to the movie and we're scared or we're crying, and we're involved, and that's all the state of hypnosis. This is nothing to be fearful of. Hypnosis is really in its infancy, if you will. I don't believe that this is something that's going to happen in the next 15 to 20 years. There are high schools that are getting on board with having hypnotherapist for their team sports, but in today's world it's so competitive. I see more and more test anxiety with young adults that are coming in or police enforcement or college who are well sad, whatever testing that's going that creates anxiety for people. The competition design, they all want to do better than the next guy. This is the edge in which they're looking for because this is where the 88% comes involved.
Chris: To have the automation, your subconscious mind is where we hold all of our automation. So, when you want to do better, but something triggers that, you need to have something that can root that out to have a different reaction, and that's what I call hypnosis, creating a different reaction.
Ben: So is hypnosis something that people are able to do to themselves. After an athlete has met with you, are they leaving a session knowing how to control their own subconscious before their event or their game or their race or whatever?
Chris: Right, so we'll set up a complete package customized to that athlete as to we're going to work in so many sessions, and usually by the middle of my sessions to the ending portion of this process, I am teaching them self-hypnosis along the way, and they're involved in getting themselves to their event in a certain manner. We put it together you know for an athlete, and we're obviously finding out how far out the saying that he comes on. If it comes on two weeks before, if it's the last event, maybe they started getting anxiety right after the last event ends, or maybe it's just the person knows that okay, as a golfer, I'm doing fine on my pitch or my drive. I'm doing fine on my pitch, but as I walk up to the green, I have a negative self-talk. What is that? That's just going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy that, I'm going to miss this, I'm going to miss this, I'm the misses, and sure enough they miss it.
Chris: So, we put this to process together, so yet I will teach them self-hypnosis along the way, and more often than not, athletes, a lot of times they have a hurry-up and wait situation. Baseball players, for example. They're waiting for the next guy to go through, and they may not even get there at that, but yet they're sitting there thinking the whole time. They're putting themselves into a whole state of anxiety, they don't need to go into at all. We set them up as to where to go in their mind, how to cut out the negative self-talk or whatever it may be bugging them and create different actions so that they're in a better place, in a better state, whenever they actually do put the baton hand and able to trigger the relaxed state and be able to perform at their optimum.
Ben: What kind of things are they saying to themselves as they're walking up to the mound? In terms of that self-talk.
Chris: Exactly, that's all part of the customization. I'm not reading a script. I've been doing this for 20 years, and I've been certified for the last eight or nine. So, as I'm not reading a script to them, I'm creating metaphors, visualizations. I'm creating their own certain story in which they are to read, literally say back to themselves. So, if I'm going to read them a script, and they may start to talk about confidence when they need control, I don't need to talk about confidence when they really need control, right? So, I'm not missing the mark, if I were to do so. So, I'm taking, once again, their affecting words. What do they feel, how do they want to react, what do they want to be, what are they looking for? So, if it's confidence, I'm going to make my own script for them, so it's customized towards them, if you will. It'd be a script, but I'm doing this as they tell it to me because I'm not just plugging in where they need it. I'm making their own customized process for them. That's the difference between reading a script or seeing a CD, hearing a CD, if you will. First we have to understand is how we intake information and how we put it out into the world, and I test this, what is called suggestibility, and in this process, this is literally the demystification of why does this work for some people and why it does it not through the ages it said. This only works for some people, it doesn't work for me. The facilitator wasn't talking the language in which they need to put them into a state of hypnosis. So, when I test their suggestibility, I'm testing how they take in information, so if I were to ask you, Ben, just answer this if you can. Do you have a name?
Chris: Right, and the other person who would read, they want the inference of that and would say yes, my name is Ben. Though we take in information in a certain way, and as I test this, how they need to be spoken to is very directly. Do they take that information very directly, or they take in more on an inferred? And we have a dominance and sub-dominance of this process, and I test that, and I throw in what more may be needed as a dominant of a literal suggestion, then the sub-dominant been inferred suggestion. So that is the difference between listening to a ten a dollar CD that doesn't know your suggestibility and coming to somebody who customizes the process for you.
Ben: Okay, I got it. So basically, like customize scripts that you're giving yourself, so when I head out to my tennis match, I've got a certain series of things that I'm saying to myself, to get myself into that state that addresses my specific issues basically.
Chris: Exactly, it would be even beyond just word, it would be a whole process in which we may even have you start triggering you as to each and every… I'll put an anchor into your grabbing the handle of the tennis racket. As you grip the tennis racket, you're synching up your control on your game.
Ben: I got you.
Chris: You see how that might work, confident of your game, so I'm going to throw this in there and they're in the minute they open up their bag or at the event, they grab their handle, and sure enough, it's already on because I've already made the post-hypnotic suggestion that they are already confident.
Ben: Nice, I like it.
Chris: Yeah, that's how real hypnosis and hypnotherapy can work, not just buying a 10-dollar CD. Now I do work with CDs, but it's going to be for them. It's not like I can have one. I can't interchange the CD for Marion Marken, throw it on to John, whatever, the next golfer the comes along. So, this is for them, they listen to it if they wish to. I'm not a big advocate of it, but if they wish it, fine. I believe that I'll give them enough tools that they're going to be able to get through this, and I've always had great success with this.
Ben: So, at the risk of getting super geeked out here, on a physiological level, what's going on when you are being hypnotized or you're going through self-hypnosis?
Chris: This is the deep state of relaxation. It's literally a conscious state of relaxation.
Ben: So, it's like a Brahma thing?
Chris: Absolutely, oh yeah. We're hitting different brave lists as well as you go through this, and I'm looking for Rapid Eye Movement of the eyes and cuddle up the nodal and the ambiguous stay. They're all going to have different eye movements. The body is going to change. I'm watching all of this is that as they go through it, as the physiological changes go through, so I know what level their at, and I make bring them up and down, as how deep I want them, have the message to go or keep them on the surface and keep them up in spirit as well, dropping themselves into it as they say it to themselves at times as well.
Ben: So, you can tell just by watching people's reaction as you're hypnotizing them, the different brain wave states that they're going into?
Chris: If you watch certain like states, hypnosis, and I hate to talk of others, because the media changes what hypnosis really is today. If you have, who did The Bourne Identity? Jason Bourne?
Ben: Yeah, Matt Damon.
Chris: Matt Damon, he's on there talking about quitting smoking. You've got Oprah Winfrey talking about weight loss. When using hypnosis, you have Tiger Woods and Wayne Gretzky and all this, and then they're changing how hypnosis is seen, but you have the stage hypnosis going on in Vegas and whatnot on TV, and people are watching these things, and they think that they're going to be barking like a dog and clucking like a chicken, and they come to me and I say well, I do that and I said only if you want to, but we don't have to go there. What this is is that you can see what kind of person, as you get trained to do this, what kind of state a person is in already. So, when you watch these videos of cope, some of the videos people thinking of covert hypnosis videos of walking up and somebody walking up to a person and saying hey, why don't you give me your wallet? The guy hands over his wallet just because he's already in an overwhelmed state, and somebody read him and then he says okay, here's my wallet, and this goes on more often than not. It's all about trust issues. If you're going to go to look a reasonable person who's got their credentials behind them, and you want to be somebody who has their testimonials and references and all that, so you're not trusting a person who has fifty to a hundred hours of time.
Ben: That's what I was going to ask you. If I was going to have somebody, I mean obviously I'm talking to you right now. You're in California, aren't you?
Chris: Yes, I'm in the Los Angeles.
Ben: Okay, so if somebody's in Los Angeles, they could go meet with you and get their custom script, but let's say I'm trying to find somebody in my area who can do this kind of thing. How do you know if somebody is good or if somebody has the qualifications to be able to do something like create a custom script for you, based on hypnosis for you to pull out and use right before a game or an event or something like that?
Chris: You're looking at the educational level. It's an accredited college that they went through. Did they graduate through the entire program? I only said it because even at the school that we're at here, we have that hypnosis motivation institute here in Tarzana, California is the first stage as you can become a hypnotist after I think it's 12 or 15 hours, and there's not a board that says you're not licensed as a hypnotherapist, and they don't look, oversee, and you can put up a sign and call yourself a hypnotherapist, if you wish, but you're looking at what their credentials are, how far they go through. Do they graduate? The maximum of what their college offers, what specializations do they have? We have associations as a part of a union, another part of the American Hypnosis Association. I have insurance, that's a good sign because insurance will not take on somebody who hasn't gone through some school. So, you're looking forward to, obviously references as well. I mean it's just like anything else. There's good and bad doctors, there's good and bad lawyers. Whatnot as you go through these, who really is the person that's right for you is the one that has the word of mouth and those that have a good reputation.
Ben: Okay, so this hypnosis.edu website? That's got some certified hypnotherapist on it, right?
Chris: Everybody that's on that website is a graduate of HMI.
Ben: Okay, so for people listening in, and also just as a favor to you, Chris, for being on the show, what I'll do is I'll link just to your profile on that website and people in the L.A. area can go check yours out, and then if you're not in the L.A. area, you can always just surf around the site. So, I want to ask you though.
Chris: I always wanted to tell you as well. I'm very excited, and as we've spoken about this and about Skyping, I did get my new computer, and I am up in on Skyping. I didn't want to change it to this because I don't want to mess anything up what was going on between you and I, but I do have Skype sessions available as well as phone because it's all about words. So, if somebody has a phone, then we can go ahead and do a speaker and we do it. We've done that in the past, and they have hypnosis sessions through that as well.
Ben: Nice, we should do a hypnosis session 'cause I can record on my end with Skype, and we should do one.
Chris: That would be great. Yeah, we should have the first session. I could take you on a full journey, you'd have a great time. It's really a great place, we'd have to be careful. I mean I hope no one listens to others on there. You don't want to be listening to hypnosis while you're in the car.
Ben: Because when you're hypnotizing me, somebody else could get hypnotized by listening to that?
Chris: Oh, absolutely.
Ben: I'll write a note to myself to get a hold of you after we finish recording, and we can figure something out if you want to listen. Although I know a lot of people ride their bikes when they're listening, so we'll have to be kind of careful. So, I wanted to ask you this. I'm driving down the highway, and I see these billboards for usually weight loss or cigarette smoking and using hypnosis to basically stop that. How can hypnosis help somebody to change a bad habit or to stop a bad habit in that way?
Chris: Okay, so we open up what's the filter in our mind called. It holds our inhibitions which is the critical area of mind, and this is all based on what John Kappa says and this is all about the process in which HMI brought the fall from the founder, and that is the theory of mind. The 12% of the mind and the 88% of the subconscious, and there's a critical area of mind which is the filter that holds certain information for a certain amount of time. It either allows an information to go down in the subconscious mind and keep it or it spits it out and we've vented in different ways. Either we don't remember it through and we vent it through dreams, the venting stages is the third stage. Dreams are a venting state, and as well as hypnosis is a natural venting state. Also, events physically as well as when you go through over exercise and whatnot, right?
Chris: So, what is happening is that we're going through this. We're opening up that critical area of mind which is putting them into a hyper suggestible state because how do we get that critical area mind open? It's by triggering the fight and flight system, and we open up this critical area of mind, and it creates access to the subconscious mind, and now we're dropping in suggestions, which are manifested from the affecting words from that person, because what we're doing is that as I take those affecting words, your words, they're going to be stronger because they're yours, and you're more suggestible to yourself than anybody else out there. But yes, are we driving around and having suggestions all the time from the billboards and whatnot? Absolutely, but those are all suggestions, and how do we change and how do we go about doing this is by helping…
Ben: When I was talking about the billboards, I was talking like advertisements for hypnotherapist who are doing this kind of stuff.
Chris: Right, so what's happening is that we're opening up that critical area of mind. You're in a suggestible state, you're becoming suggestible to your own words, if you're doing this correctly, and you are changing what are the triggers in which we wish to change. So, if your issues are eating habits, we have to figure out what is causing the eating habits in which we don't wish to have anymore. So, triggers are every time I see my mother, I get upset, we have a fight, I go and eat. Okay, so we need to come up with a whole strategy for change. Weight losses can be really tricky because we can't tell the person you just don't eat, right? We all have to eat. So, you can't just tell them this, we have to actually find different strategies for them to cope with and deal with the family and have a different reaction before we can ever get into possibly the eating habit all together. It's not the eating that's the problem, it's the emotions behind it. So how do we change those emotions? Change the known and the identifications and associations that we have by suggestions with this critical area of mind, open, leading to a different change, different reaction.
Ben: Right, it all makes sense. Interesting, this stuff fascinates me, and I totally think that we should do a sample hypnosis session for people as long as they promise not to ride their bikes or go on a run while they're listening. So, folks, I will contact Chris afterwards and will figure this out, but in the meantime, Chris, that was incredibly helpful. By the way, I should mention Chris is one of the guys I sent my in-coding wristband down to, to test, and he's got a cool video where he shows. I believe you were looking at the pain reduction benefits of it, weren't you, Chris?
Chris: Well I had, yes. Absolutely, I had my wife, didn't give her any information, had to try the bracelet, and I said just try this thing out. She had just been out of surgery, she was on pain meds and whatnot and within, I think it was really cool, 24, 48 hours, she didn't need any more pain pills. I mean, she didn't even need anymore ice. It was miraculous, it was unbelievable, and I was like, this is great 'cause I didn't tell her anything. I didn't want to be suggestible to anything 'cause I understand how that all works. So, I just gave it to her and said here, try this thing, and sure enough, without suggesting, it was on and we were really excited. So that's right, I really went to town with it 'cause I started getting all my friends involved, all the crossfit people that I'm involved with and all the coaches. That was such a great thing to do because the encoder, every athlete has something they want to work on or they have something that they wish to do better at, and I had coaches that are top-notch athletes, and they said I couldn't do this yesterday and, now today, I can. So that's a great testimonial, that's a great success story there.
Ben: Yeah, and there actually are some cool videos. I'll link to him in the show notes. So basically, we've got this crossfit guy and the handstand, the change in his handstand walks that he's doing is pretty cool. So, I'll put a link to that in the show notes for those of you who like that kind of stuff. I know there are some skeptics out there, but you know what? You got to try it out.
Chris: Just like hypnosis.
Ben: That's right, exactly what I was going to say. You got to try out this hypnotherapy thing which I am going to do. So we'll get recording for you guys, and if you have questions, if you have comments, if you have feedback, if there's stuff I didn't ask Chris that you want the answers to, just leave your comments or questions or your feedback in the show notes for this episode over at bengreenfieldfitness.com. So, thanks, Chris.
Chris: You're welcome, thank you.
Studies have shown that when athletes are hooked up to a biofeedback machine and they visualize themselves going through their routines, a practice or performance, the same muscles are engaged as if they were actually going through the motions.
This is the whole concept behind books like “The Inner Game of Tennis” or “The Inner Game of Golf“, and for many years Olympic teams and professional athletes have been using the tool of hypnosis to gain a mental edge on their opponents.
So what is hypnosis?
Basically, hypnosis is just a relaxed state of consciousness. When you’re focused and unaware of distracting thoughts, your performance is automatic, and achieving this paradox is the ultimate goal for facilitating peak physical performance at any level.
So in today’s audio episode, I talk to Chris Geier, a Certified Hypnotherapist, Guided Imagery Facilitator, and Certified Personal Trainer about whether you can use hypnosis to enhance your performance…
During the interview, Chris explains what happens physiologically when you’re hypnotized, how to find someone who can teach you the proper hypnosis techniques, how hypnosis can help you change your habits, and how you can practically implement hypnosis into your pre-game or pre-race prep.
If you’d like to contact Chris for a phone or Skype session, just visit his website at http://www.chrisgeier.com. At the end of my discussion with Chris, he references his use of the Superhuman Encoder. The video we mention is below:
If you enjoyed this episode, you may also like the podcast “Does Hypnosis Really Work For Weight Loss?“. Questions, comments or feedback about whether you can use hypnosis to enhance performance? Leave your thoughts below!