Esdaile state

The term “Esdaile state” was coined in Dave Elman’s book “Findings in Hypnosis” as a sign of respect for Esdaile. It referred to an ultra-deep hypnotic state as induced during his sessions.

James EsdaileM.D., E.I.C.S., Bengal (1808-1859), a Scottish surgeon who served with the East India Company for twenty years, is a notable figure in the history of mesmerism particularly in surgical anesthesiology via Esdaile’s condition at the time immediately preceding the discovery of chloroform by James Young Simpson.
Esdaile is considered by many to be a pioneer in the use of hypnosis for surgical anesthesia in the period immediately preceding James Young Simpson’s discovery of chloroform.. However, Esdaile had not studied hypnosis or mesmerism himself.

Esdaile’s condition in practice
This video describes the individual steps of how to lead a subject into the Esdaile state. It also shows the tests that make it possible to check the Esdaile state.
The whole process took 8 minutes. However, a lightning induction was used to achieve somnambulism.

The process

  • Elman Induction
  • Deepener 10-1
  • Beach Deepener
  • ABC Deepener
  • Tests for Esdaile
  • Anchor codeword for Esdaile
  • Leading out of hypnosis and other suggestions for the code word

The Esdaile state is particularly suitable for:

  • Preparation for upcoming surgery, major and minor procedures
  • Preparing for a visit to the dentist
  • Transition to “higher levels”
  • Support for incurable diseases
  • Support for incurable pain
  • Burn-out clients
  • Enormous pressure or stress


Enclosed you will find the complete script for the Esdaile condition. Always be aware that not every subject goes directly into the Esdaile state. However, this does not mean that he/she will never be able to do so. Repeated deep relaxation can help to make it possible at a later point in time.


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