It might be a bit low class of me, but I’m a big fan of having the subject close their eyes at the beginning of an induction.
Many people out there will say that it’s not necessary, and that’s entirely true. In fact, when hypnotizing a person face to face, having them keep their eyes open allows you to see their eyes, and pay attention to the focus of their eyes and the characteristics of their blinking.
Much of my hypnosis these days, however, is not face-to-face. When I write scripts for iHypnoU.com, I have to create a script for a session where I never see the person. It’s one of the hardest things in hypnosis.
A hypnotist’s best tool for putting someone under is his or her ability to change the session to fit the subject. It’s often said that only a certain percentage of the population can be hypnotized. I think that’s crap. The better way of putting it is that a given induction will only work for a certain percentage of the population. So generating a .mp3 that works for the biggest percentage of people possible is quite a tall order.
With an .mp3, I don’t have the subject focusing on a video, so rather than have them stare at a spot on the wall or something, it is much more effective to have them close their eyes and focus inward on a visualization that I give them. Some people would have no problem with being hypnotized without ever closing their eyes or having a visual focus, and would go under with their eyes open staring off into nothing. For anyone visually oriented, however, a lack of a focus is a major dealbreaker.
So I tend to start my .mp3s with having their subject close their eyes. It may be stereotypical and a little campy, but it’s effective.