These Are The Best Ways To Stop Your Pulse With Magic Methods
Magicians need to try this effect
This week’s post includes adult topics.
Magicians have been doing this for a while. Not enough, though. I don’t think so, anyways. We all have the power to stop our pulses. Stop our hearts from beating on command. With a friend taking our pulse as it slows and stops, watching us stop breathing and slump back lifeless.
Usually, a pulse stop involves a participant taking your pulse via your wrist. The magician does some deep breathing, closes their eyes, and then slowly stops breathing. As they do so, their pulse slows to a complete stop.
Why do I like this trick so much? Well, for a start—no one is doing it. Wouldn’t it be nice to do something no one else is doing? Secondly, it’s bloody good. There’s something so visceral about it. We’ve all thought about death, and we’ve all exercised and felt our pulse rate increase or tried to lower it when stressed. It has the same vibes as holding your breath for a stunt but with more magical and higher stakes.
There are downsides—most notably, that only one person can fully experience the trick. That’s the person taking your pulse. The rest of the viewers will need to trust the hero participant to find the trick interesting or fooling. You might wonder if this is different to watching almost any other mentalism routine. Well, yes, because stopping your pulse can’t help but feel more impossible than reading someone’s mind. It's funny that—because if you think about it long as hard, it should be the other way around.
So you’re left relying on the audience trusting that the hero can take not only someone’s pulse but also tell the truth about your pulse coming to a slow end. We’re hoping they’ll react well, but they’re also pretty busy paying close attention to your pulse.
Mentalists have found ways to make the trick telegraph beyond the hero participant. The first way is to add a visual element to the routine. You might ask the participant to raise their other hand and lift it up and down for each pulse. The audience sees their arm slowly come to a stop with their pulse.
Another option is to use sound. In this scenario, you might ask them to make a noise, perhaps count, or use a percussion instrument to televise your heart rate to an audience.
You can add a secondary source to add more trust to the routine. Perhaps hook yourself up to a heart rate monitor you’ve rigged to slow while you slow your pulse. This adds visual and noise elements and validates the effect beyond our trust in the hero participant.
I have many ideas for magic products I’ve never made because I assume someone else must be working on them. I’m forever surprised we have not seen a fake Apple Watch heart rate app. Imagine performing a pulse stop in the pub, with one mate feeling one wrist as the rest of your mates see the beats on your apple watch stop on the other.
Another and perhaps more cunning way to make the routine visual and enhance it is to combine it with another trick. I often think back to watching Paul Zenon stop his pulse simultaneously with a spectator’s watch held in his other hand. I like this. I can strongly recall seeing this for the first time as a kid and thinking how smart it was to combine these two effects.
So let’s talk about three methods. The tried and true method, the best underground method on the magic market (released in the 2,000s), and a totally new concept.