The phrase “fake your own death” always seemed redundant to me. Can’t you just “fake your death” and leave it at that? No. It has to be your OWN death. Why is that? It must have been something decided by The Department of Redundancy Department.
This trick is pretty damned good. Your friends will be talking about this for awhile.
It requires a bit of practice, and an understanding of exactly what you’re doing, but it’s not very difficult to pull off, and your efforts will be well worth it. This one will make your friends shake their heads in disbelief… or run away screaming. It is DAMN GOOD. I probably shouldn’t even be telling you how to do this.
Read these instructions very carefully. Then read them again. Then practice this trick. Then practice it again. Once you learn this, you’ll want to do it all the time… but DON’T. Use it sparingly, and only do it when the time is right.
WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE
In an effort to convince your friends of your outstanding physical control, you ask a friend to find your pulse in your wrist. You ask her to nod her head in sync with your pulse, so everyone watching can appreciate what will happen. You tell your friend to keep close track of your pulse, because you are going to try to slow your heart rate drastically.
You relax, and appear to concentrate deeply. Your pulse (and your friend’s head-nodding) begins to slow. Your eyelids appear to get heavy. Your head starts to roll forward. Your pulse slows even more… your breathing slows. You appear very exhausted. Your pulse becomes erratic, and slows even more. Even. More. And… Then… STOPS.
You slump forward in your chair, lifeless.
Your friends FREAK. You have NO PULSE. You appear dead. As their panic crescendos, your pulse starts up again, slowly at first, then faster and faster until it’s back to normal. You wake up, look around, and compose yourself.
Your friends have just seen you STOP YOUR OWN PULSE and then resurrect yourself.
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?!
This is 5% anatomical trick, 5% practice, and 90% acting. You won’t actually stop your pulse; however, you WILL momentarily prevent the pulse in your wrist from being detected.
Here’s the deal: The heart is a muscle. It pushes blood through the arteries, causing them to expand and contract in response to the flow of blood. You can feel the expansions and contractions, your pulse or heartbeat, in many places throughout the body where an artery passes close to the skin.
The places you can most easily find this pulse are:
- your neck (carotid artery)
- under arm (brachial artery)
- wrist (radial artery)
- knee (popliteal artery)
- groin (femoral artery)
- ankle (tibial artery)
For most people, heart rate and pulse rate are the same. However, the two are technically different: Heart rate measures the rate of contractions of the heart, while pulse rate measures the rate at which blood pressure increases throughout the body. In individuals with specific heart conditions that prevent the heart from pumping blood efficiently with each contraction, the pulse rate can be lower than the heart rate. But that is an exception.
The point is, most people assume that the pulse and heart-rate are the same thing… And we’ll be taking advantage of that assumption during this trick; we’re going to weaken the pulse to the point of nondetectability (is that a word?); we’re NOT actually going to stop your heartbeat.
The pulse you can feel in your wrist is the radial artery, which is fed by the brachial artery higher up on the inside of your upper arm.
In order to make the pulse in your wrist slow down to the point that it’s difficult to feel at all, we’re going to slow the rate at which the blood can flow through the arm’s brachial artery.
We’ll do this by applying pressure under your arm onto the brachial artery, which can be found on the inside of the arm, just below the armpit, in the cleft between the bicep and tricep muscles (it’s where a blood pressure cuff is placed).
So how do we apply pressure to this artery without anyone noticing? Well, first, you’ll need something small and hard (get your mind outta the gutter, ya perv), such as a tennis ball, large rubber bouncy ball, a container of mints, a rolled up wad of cash, etc.
By placing this small object onto the inside of your arm (where the artery is located), and pressing your arm inward toward your body, the object will press onto the brachial artery. Press a little bit, and your wrist’s pulse will slow. Press a little harder, and your wrist’s pulse will be virtually undetectable.
You’ll have to practice this in private, so you can get a good feel for the exact under-arm location and the correct amount of pressure you’ll need to apply. But seriously – do this in the privacy of your own home, because you don’t want anyone questioning why you’re fondling with your armpit.
Because if you told them, then you’d have to kill them.
Also, you’ll need to be wearing a jacket, coat, blazer, or hoodie of some sort. This is to hide the ball from view. If they see you place a ball under your arm just prior to doing this trick, they may develop a pretty accurate hypothesis of what is ACTUALLY happening.
THE SECRET SET-UP
When you’re going to do this, be sure to be wearing your jacket, and have your secret ball in your jacket pocket, or somewhere nearby. That’s it.
THE RIGHT TIME TO DO THIS
I mentioned this earlier, but use this sparingly. Only do it when the time is right. Don’t do this “just because.”
Halloween is a great time; this is, after all, pretty creepy.
You’ll want to do this apparently impromptu, when a related topic comes up in conversation.
Maybe you and your friends are chatting about something medical related. Maybe you’re chatting about mind-over-matter. Maybe the topic is sideshow performers, stupid human tricks, or weird talents. Or death. There are a million topics that you could easily steer in the direction you like, if you have any conversational skills at all.
A MINUTE BEFORE YOU DO THE TRICK
A minute or two before you’re going to show the trick, you’ll need to do your secret, yet simple preparation. When your pals aren’t paying attention to what you’re doing, take the ball out of your pocket and slip it under your jacket and under your arm, in the correct “press on the artery” position.
The idea here is that we want the ball hidden from view. Nobody should know about the ball.
Don’t make a big deal about sneaking the ball from your pocket to your armpit. Just don’t be obvious, and don’t act nervous or guilty, and nobody will particularly care what you’re doing. The same advice holds true for shoplifting, probably.
Just put the damn ball under your arm when nobody is watching.
Apply ONLY enough pressure to hold the object in place. Do NOT press too hard – you don’t want to stop your pulse prematurely. And you may have to wait around for a minute or two before your actual demonstration begins. That’s fine. You don’t have to rush it.
DOING THE TRICK
At the appropriate time, brag up your skill – your odd ability to slow your pulse with concentration alone. But do it kind of humbly; don’t be annoying. Just tell them you’ve discovered you can do this neat thing, and you can barely believe it yourself. Someone will likely ask you to demonstrate. You oblige.
PRO-TIP: if nobody expresses interest or asks you do show them, just let it go. Don’t push a trick on unwilling participants.
PRO-TIP #2: Do NOT tell them that you’re going to STOP your pulse. Let THAT part be a surprise. Just tell them you can drastically lower your heart-rate.
Have a friend (preferably someone both trustworthy and attractive) find the pulse in your wrist (the same arm as the hidden object, obviously). Warn her to not use her thumb, because she may accidentally feel her OWN pulse in her OWN thumb. Have her use her other fingers. When she is satisfied that she has her fingers firmly on your pulse, ask her to nod her head in sync with your pulse. This is so everyone else can visually appreciate what is about to happen.
Now, break out your best acting skills. Fix your gaze on the ceiling and concentrate. You want them to think this is a great skill, not a cheap trick.
Slowly, and covertly, begin pressing your arm inward against the secret ball, creating pressure on your brachial artery. Remind your friend to nod her head in unison with the pulse she feels. Slowly apply more and more pressure, as you appear to fall deeper and deeper into a sleepy state. Your friend will notice your pulse slowing… slowing… and eventually STOPPING.
Stare at her, and wait until she says something to the effect of, “It’s gone.”
Let your eyes roll backward, and let your body go limp. Twitch a bit. Drool a little. After about 10 seconds of panic (maybe a bit longer – try to push it right up until they’re about to call 911), slowly release the pressure on your arm.
Your pulse will return. You friend starts nodding her head in sync with your pulse, slowly at first, then faster and faster until it returns to normal. You slowly wake. You have resurrected yourself.
AFTER THE TRICK
For a minute or two after this trick, act exhausted, as if you exerted great mental and physical effort. After all, you have apparently just murdered and resuscitated yourself using only the power of your mind.
And that… THAT… is kind of a big deal.
If your friends are particularly impressed, you might consider starting your own religion. That would be neat.
A NOTE ABOUT SAFETY
This SHOULD be pretty safe, for MOST folks. However, as blood is kinda necessary, do not stifle blood-flow to any body part for more than a few seconds at a time. Also, if you’ve had any type of heart or circulation problem, or injuries that may be affected or re-injured by attempting this, you should probably just play it safe and NOT do it. If you have any doubts at all, ask your physician the next time you visit for a checkup. I’m not a doctor, and you should not take medical advice from a guy who does card tricks and dick jokes, mmmkay? Mmmkay.