An IMR is an involuntary response of the muscles and nervous system to thoughts, feelings and ideas.

  • If you've ever found yourself wincing while someone described a painful accident, then you have exhibited an ideomotor response.

  • In clinical hypnosis, we use IMRs as a means of communicating with the unconscious mind – especially for getting ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers to questions.

  • Do not use if:

Your client experiences pain when moving their fingers.

However, if pain is only experienced in one hand then IMRs can be installed in the healthy hand.

When using IMR, you can assign different meanings to different fingers.

  • The most common and immediately useful arrangement is to have one finger for signalling ‘yes’ and another for ‘no’.

  • There is immense scope for using this method to signal all sorts of other things, including ‘I don’t know yet’ and ‘I don’t want to answer’.

  • However, you should be careful not to make things too complicated.

  • You can also teach your clients this technique for use during self-hypnosis:

it is a very good way of communicating with the unconscious mind.

The above video shows IMR finger signalling (no audio).

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