The Hypnotic Trinity – Three Is The Perfect Number

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There is an old superstition that “bad things happen in threes” and also that “three is the charm”. This sentiment is often regarded as an old wives tale but, for many people, that other old adage, “the proof is in the pudding”, actually bears it out.

Hypnotists in both the stage and therapeutic professions have always known the power of a suggestion given three times and that, in a clinical situation, most people need at least three sessions to effect permanent change. There is even a name for it – The Hypnotic Trinity.

The Science Behind It

Now science has discovered what those old wives knew all along. Research by R. Douglas Fields has revealed the mechanisms by which long-term memories are created. When a person’s eyes are closed, the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between what is and is not “reality”. Consequently, during a hypnotic trance, positive and helpful suggestions that are made and repeated at specific time intervals become a new reality for that person. Of course, people remember what things were like before their session, but they have no trouble accepting that those old behaviours are over, and that new ones are the new reality.

Both long and short-term memories arise from the connections between neurons, at points of contact called synapses, where one neuron’s signal-emitting extension, called an axon, meets any of the adjacent neurons’ signal-receiving fingers, called dendrites. When a short-term memory is created, stimulation of the synapse is enough to temporarily strengthen, or sensitise, it to subsequent signals. For a long-term memory, the synapse strengthening becomes permanent.

The Role of Genes In Memory

Early molecular biologists discovered that genes play a role in the conversion of a memory from short to long-term. Their experiments with animals trained to perform simple tasks demonstrated that the learning process required new proteins to be synthesised in the brain within minutes of training, or else the memory would be lost. In 1977, experiments by Uwe Fey of the German Institute for Neurobiology, Gene Regulation and Plasticity, and Richard D. Morris of the University of Edinburgh, further showed that whatever these “memory proteins” were, they did not need to be addressed to a particular synapse; they could be broadcast through the cell but would only affect the synapse that was already temporarily strengthened, and make that connection permanently stronger.

In his laboratory at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in the US, R. Douglas Fields and post-doctoral fellow, Kouichi Itoh, discovered how to stimulate synapses using electrical frequencies. They were then able to measure the increased response from the synapse to subsequent stimulations after it had received the first high-frequency stimulus.

This increased strength, termed Long Term Potentiation (LTP), can be relatively short lived despite its name, and is the cellular model for short-term memory. However, if the same stimulus is applied repeatedly, three times in those experiments, the synapse becomes strengthened permanently, a state called late LTP. The interesting thing is that the stimuli cannot be repeated one after the other to gain this result. Instead, each burst of stimulation must be followed by a period of inactivity before the same stimulus is applied, to create a permanent imprint.

Moment-to-moment memories necessary for operating in the present are handled well by transient adjustments in the strength of individual synapses. But when an event is important enough, or is repeated enough, synapses fire to make the neuron in turn fire impulses repeatedly and strongly, declaring “this is an event/idea/reality that should be recorded”. The relevant genes turn on, and the synapses that are holding the short-term memory when the synapse-strengthening proteins find them become, in effect, tattooed.

The Trinity In Hypnosis

Many people can have a good result from just one hypnosis session, but may find the change is wearing off after a few months. Others become disheartened if they experience little or no change to their well-being after one or two sessions. Science has proven what hypnotherapists have always found to be true. Most people need at least three sessions to effect permanent change.


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Results will vary from person to person.

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hypnotherapist perth

Linda Milburn

Involved in Natural Healing for over 45 years

Fellow Member of the (AHA) Australian Hypnotherapist Association

Past SEO and Board Member of the AHA for 8 years


Hypnocare Hypnosis Clinic Fremantle

Located in Hilton, 3 min from Fremantle, WA.

0409 079 435
08 9388 6322

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Have been seeing linda for a few months now and has changed my life for the better greatly! I was sceptical at first but Linda made me feel so comfortable and she really is great at what she does My issue was with alcohol and no longer is an issue for me. Thanks again Linda

I was a habitual worrier. If all was ok my mind would search for the next problem. I came out of my second session with Linda and this had disappeared. I felt light. I had a realisation that whatever my situation, I had a choice. It was highly liberating and has persevered. I ended up studying hypnosis and have a new respect for what Linda helped me achieve. She's genuine and down to earth. Thanks Linda

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It’s been 8 weeks smoke free and the idea of picking up a cigarette is so unappealing I now sometimes wonder how I was ever a smoker. My skin is better, I'm not carrying around guilt every day, I don't stink, I'm not as anxious, basically I'm so happy it's all behind me and count my lucky stars I don't have to live that smoker life anymore. I think I was really ready to quit this time, and can't thank Linda enough for helping me make that happen. I didn't know if I had the strength to quit for good, but the session we did reminded me just how strong I am. Thank you millions and millions Linda, that one afternoon in your chair has changed my life and helped me kick a habit I've struggled with for over 10 years. Thank you so very much 🙏🙏

In 2008 I visited Linda in her Subiaco clinic to treat a psychological tick involving constant jaw clenching/clicking (probably around 200 times per day - for years). After just 1 session it stopped dead immediately - 100%. It has now remained a forgotten habit for 9 years... had I not gone to her, I would have probably developed an arthritic jaw by now!

Wow! There are no words that can really express my transformation after a few sessions with Linda. When I initially came to see Linda, I was suffering from anxiety and depression from a number of traumatic experiences I had been through in recent years. My anxiety and depression had started impacting my work, relationships and health. I averaged 2 HRS of sleep a night and sat on my couch every painfully stricken day, debilitated by everything that was going on. After my first session, I drove out of Linda’s office feeling light as a feather; I slept like a baby that night and signed up to a gym. By my 3rd session, I was comfortable with speaking to a group of people, I was sleeping regularly and had a huge motivation to go to the gym six days a week. Not only is my life on track, I am following my dreams. Things that I promised myself I would do one day, I am already doing. What stood out for me, was that Linda’s work taught my inner being to help myself, rather than rely on other people to help me find my way. Linda’s work not only instantaneously helped me, the effects of Linda’s work has unfolded over the last 3 months. Thank you Linda. You are truly a blessing.

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