Ideomotor hand movements

Accessing creative resources using ideomotor hand movements

This technique allows unconscious processes to be resolved without the client being aware of the content of the processes. It harnesses the client’s resources and provides a completely non-invasive, non-threatening option for situations where you don’t want to rush into an age regression. The ideomotor movements are passive indicators of yes/no truths, but they also work more actively to initiate the processing of unconscious information. (See Cheek & Rossi: Mind-Body Therapy, p8: “We hypothesize that the repeated ‘mini stress’ involved in the ideodynamic reviewing of the sensory and emotional circumstances of a traumatic even in hypnosis can partially reactivate the stress-released hormonal information substances that originally encoded that event in a statebound condition.”)

Ideomotor hand movements – method

1. Introduction

The client doesn’t have to be in trance for this. The process itself acts as a form of induction. Instruct the client to place their hands a few inches apart and to pay careful attention to the space between the hands. ‘See if you can notice a sensation like a magnetic field between your two palms. Some people describe it as a warmth or a coolness, or perhaps there’s a slight pulling or pushing sensation. You can move your hands slightly apart and then closer again to really tune in to that feeling.

2. Establishing signals

‘Now review a happy memory or just imagine a feeling of satisfaction and happiness, and watch how those hands begin to move together all by themselves to signal yes. That’s right, and now think of an unhappy situation, or just think and feel the words no-no-no, and notice how those hands begin to move further apart.’

3. Readiness for inner work

‘Okay, now let’s turn our attention to that issue [name the issue] that’s been troubling you. Let’s really tune into this issue at the deepest level. If your creative unconscious knows it has all the resources and information to resolve this issue, you will experience those hands moving together all by themselves to signal yes.’
[If the hands don’t move together, continue with the following:] ‘But if there is another issue that you need to explore first, you will feel those hands being pushed apart to signal no. In that case, a question will come up and you will be able to tell me what it is.’

4. Resolving the problem

‘As those hands move closer, let your unconscious mind review all the important sources and memories related to this issue, and when your inner mind has resolved that issue in a satisfactory way your hands will come together. When your unconscious and conscious minds know they can continue to deal with that issue in a satisfactory way, those hands will drift down and come to rest in your lap.’

If the hands become stuck at any point, say, ‘But if there is an issue that needs to be resolved before we can continue, a question or statement or feeling will arise and you will be able to tell me what it is.’


The method described here is an adaptation of the ‘Moving Hands’ techniques described in Cheek & Rossi, Mind-Body Therapy: Methods of Ideodynamic Healing in Hypnosis.

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