To explain hypnosis is easier if you ask me the questions you want to know the answers to, so if you still can’t find the answer to your question - please get in touch.
When people ask what does it feel like when you are under hypnosis or in a hypnotic trance? It is easier to start with what it is not like. It is not like being asleep. After that each occasion is different. Having experienced trance many times I can describe my personal experiences, offer feedback from my patients and after that it’s over to anecdotal records.
I have had some very diverse experiences, the first time I was under hypnosis I felt like my eyes were closed and that I was just doing what I was told. I felt I could open my eyes at any point, although I did not try.
As with all subsequent sessions I could hear what was being said during trance.
I could hear the therapist, hear them clearly, although at times the voice seemed distant and I forgot that I was listening to it as I found that I was also talking to myself in my head. I felt like I was missing out as I would occasionally think of other things instead of focusing on what was being said. I kept telling myself to focus on what was going on each time I had become aware that my mind wondered and then I would notice I missed a word or sentence and push myself to concentrate on what was going on. Overall, I felt that nothing really had happened and I had played along for the benefit of the therapist. Personally I was disappointed as nothing seemed to have worked and I felt that I had missed out on a new experience.
After sharing this with the therapist, I was asked how long the experience was. I was certain that it was 12 minutes. Yep! I am generally spot on with time so not ten or fifteen, just less than half way in between. It was actually 45 mins. I was not the only person who was present and have come to use this as my way of sharing with patients who had the same experience as me.
What I have noticed when using clinical hypnotherapy is that patients who have reservations about their trance experience usually have deeper more satisfactory experience of trance around the third session. I put this down to, like myself during my first session, trying to make it happen, rather than just going with the experience.
From my very first experience of trance, all other experiences have been much more in keeping with my expectations. I can usually hear the voice, for part of the session, depending on the technique used, but do not make any real effort to focus on it and instead look forward to where my mind will take me.
Subsequent sessions under hypnosis have been many and varied. I have also had hallucinations, experienced vivid visualisations and even experienced my senses getting mixed up including being able to taste colours (synesthesia). As I thought of a colour I experienced a specific taste sensation.
Physically you can feel different under hypnosis compared to when you started the treatment. My temperature has sometimes changed during hypnosis I have had occasions where I have got really warm, feeling the need to jettison my sweater whilst I have also worked with patients who have reported feeling really cold.
Other times I have seen patients get very emotional as they experience an abreaction. This is an abnormal reaction to trance. It is rare but not so rare that hypnotherapist are unaccustomed to witnessing it. This normal emotional response to treatment is a healthy response and the skilled hypnotherapist helps the patient by talking through their feelings during trance, being reassuring and allowing the healing from the feelings to take place in a safe environment.
Ultimately then, the diverse array of sensations both physical, sensory and emotionally are so wide ranging it is not possible to outline what trance will feel like, but I have outlined some of the reported sensations felt during hypnotic trance experiences.
The Hypnotic voice that you can hear when you are being hypnotised sounds different from person to person. Some people report that they hear the voice of the therapist very clearly with no identifiable changes. Many people say that during their hypnotic experience they did not notice the voice for very long and instead they had their own thoughts which stopped them listening or even noticing what the hypnotherapist was doing.
You will be hearing the hypnotic voice all the time, even if you are not aware of it.
In reality, hypnosis is a talking therapy where the client will only make changes if they are able to absorb the messages from the therapist or hypnotist. As clients who say they remember nothing still get the changes they seek they must be hearing something.
What does hypnosis sound like when you are in trance?
At the beginning of trance people report that you can clearly hear someone’s hypnotic voice and then it may begin to get a little distant and vague as you get more and more relaxed. Some people say that it feels like having a crash helmet on, or as if you are experiencing the world with your head under water where your hearing works but it feels muffled, disjointed and swooping in and out of emphasis and volume.
As hypnosis continues people may stop noticing or even stop hearing the hypnotherapist's voice as they get more and more intensely relaxed. When the experience is drawing to a close the therapist helps people to become more alert to their voice to help them be more focused on the real world. Despite this people often enjoy their hypnotic experience so much they try to ignore the invitation to return to the room as they know the soothing experience is ending.
Do people all behave the same in hypnosis?
People do not all behave the same in hypnosis. Some people want to focus on what is being said and are concerned that if they do not hear every word clearly the treatment will not work. these people or often very analytical by nature. Analytical people often report that hypnosis did not work the first time they have it. They report that it just felt like they were being spoken to whilst having their eyes closed. They report that hypnosis and the hypnotic voice was not different to anything that they had experienced before. Typically for analytical people it can take a couple of sessions for them to settle in, fully relax and get connected with the full experience.
So for them they will report that hypnosis sounds exactly like any other experience. Very quickly, as they change from over analysis of the treatment to just relaxing, they go on to report a very different experience where the hypnotic voice sounds more distant, and is often something that they do not listen to nor notice. This usually happens because, by then, they have got a good understanding of what is going to happen and they are able to stop trying to control the process and instead get fully engaged with it.
Overall then, what you may hear during hypnosis varies form sounding just like having your eyes closed whilst someone is talking to a much more different experience where the hypnotherapist's voice is unheard as it is blocked out by the thoughts of the person whilst having their hypnotic experience.
Are there other times you may hear noise but have no conscious experience of it?
A typical example of where you can hear noise but have no conscious experience of it may be when you have the tv or the radio in the background whilst you are doing something else but you switch focus onto an article that your subconscious has directed you to notice. This is common when, for example, a news story pings into your conscious mind. You were listening all the time but you may not know what you heard or what caused you to connect as you had not consciously heard the radio for some time. This is what it may sound like for you when you are in trance. Each time is different and so what it sounds like in trance, ultimately, depend on how deep into trance you are willing to allow yourself to go.
Sometimes it may be necessary to speak during hypnosis. For example the therapist may want to check in with the client, to make sure that whatever they are doing is best suited to their client. There are times in hypnotherapy when a client may get emotional and the therapist may want to be sure that it is ok for their client to experience those emotions.
When this happens the therapist can clearly be heard, although it may sound distant and for some people, they need extra time to process each question and then plan an answer as the cognitive process appears to slow down. Some people report some key differences when it comes to speaking during hypnotherapy. Some people report that they have clear thoughts in their head but find it is really hard to muster the energy to share these.
A sign of a good hypnotherapist is someone who regularly asks the client questions whilst they are in trance to gauge how they are experiencing the treatment. Because it can be often tiring to speak during hypnosis, one technique used by therapists to more easily aid communication involves getting their clients to either nod or raise a finger to yes or no questions as this is less mentally demanding.
The rate at which a client speaks is not the only thing which may change. If a client is experiencing regression work where they are being taken back to their childhood there can be unusual changes too. Here, they may exhibit the same voice and command of vocabulary as when they were the age to which they have been taken back to. So although a client may be able to talk, their disposition may regress with the treatment and the client may adopt a voice which is one associated with childhood. In these circumstances a good hypnotherapist will adopt language which is suitable for a child to understand if that type of work is being done.
Another way in which a client’s voice can change is when a client is experiencing hypnotherapy which delves deep into their unconscious. Here, a client may speak during hypnosis as a character who governs a particular behaviour trait. A client may look at what drives them to feel guilt and a character may emerge, with a different accent, language, tone and vocal appearance that purports to be the source of this behaviour. A good therapist will work with this character, demonstrate respect and work with this character in a cooperative and collaborative way to help the client solve their problems.
When answering the question “can you speak during trance?” Though the answer is yes, what is said and in what accent or age bracket, set of values and sense of self, may be very different to who is sat in the therapists’ chair.
Getting stuck in a hypnotic trance and acting like a zombie is very appealing to movie makers and myth makers, with the “victim” suspended in cognitive limbo, imprisoned for all time by the power of a ruthless Svengali.
However, the simple answer to whether someone can get stuck in a hypnotic trance indefinitely is no. Trance happens naturally daily, and we do not get stuck in our daydream states, nor do we hear about or fear the idea of being stuck in a daydream state.
Planned daydream mind sets
Hypnosis is just a process of deliberately getting people to enter the daydream-like mindset and it is in this mindset that hypnotherapists are able to work with the mind to have the most positive effects to support people with issues like phobias, anxiety and reaching peak performance.
When people enter trance they report that they feel rested, calm and focused and so it is not surprising to hear about people who are reluctant to leave their trance states when they are encouraged to do so.
How hard is it to bring people out of hypnotic trances?
So how hard is it to get people to leave a trance state once they are in it? Relatively straight forward. The therapist invites the client to “Re-orientate yourself to the room when you are ready” or "At the count of ten you will be back in the room,” both of which are very effective approaches.
Despite this, there are reports that some people who have used hypnosis techniques to guide people into trance were unable to restore them back to the room.
What does a clinical hypnotherapist say to end a trance?
In my own practise I have worked with people who are reluctant to return to the room straight away and have had to be much more direct to bring people back into the room. A more direct approach would be one where you repeat the invite to return to the room and if that is nor effective you may count them back into the room using a slightly more enhanced voice and failing that you can say when I snap my fingers you will open your eyes, alert and ready for the rest of your day. this final technique is not extensively used due to the potential for "hypnosis hangover".
Clinical hypnotherapist like me need to be highly skilled at managing ending trance because it is often the case that we have other patients booked in and so need to be confident that we are able to stick to times. I have never struggles to manage this nor am I aware of any professional struggling to do this.
Stage entertainers also have to be able to end trance at will either during or at the end of a session, otherwise their acts would come to a sudden and boring stop. Despite this there are stories of unskilled hypnotists leaving people stuck in trance.
School children stuck in hypnotic trance for hours
So do people get stuck in a hypnotic trance? A recent report from Canada cites an inexperienced practitioner, Maxime Nadeau, who used hypnosis at the College Du Sacre Coeur in 2012 with a group of students where his work resulted in a very successful trance. However the hypnotist appeared to be unable to end the trance experience and there were reports that the students were stuck in trance for up to 5 hours. Find out more here.
Does that mean that they would remain stuck forever? No. People exit trance naturally in their own time. As trance is a relaxed state many people want the experience to continue and so actively maintain their trance for as long as possible.
The hypnotist in this story appears to have had only a tiny amount of training, just 14 hours. The students would have returned back from trance naturally, although on this occasion, not before he had support from his tutor.
Trance is a natural state and hypnosis is only the process to deliberately get you into this state. You will always be able to leave it, freely when you wish.
Some people claim that "I'm not hypnotisable" because they have tried to be hypnotised but that it did not really work. Is it true that some people are unhypnotisable and that these people cannot be put in a trance?
To answer this question there is a need to understand what it may be like to have a trance experience. In reality the experience of trance for different people is very different. If two people are hypnotised at the same time by the same person using the same technique they may, and almost certainly will report different experiences. Repeating that same technique at a different point will also offer another different set of experiences for the same person. This is because the experience of trance always changes. People who report that they have not been hypnotised are actually communicating that their expectations of trance was not met and not that they were not in trance.There is a lot of research on how people experience hypnosis and how engaged (or deep) they choose to go each time. There are many scales to which record how deep people allow each hypnotic experience, read more information on these scales here.
I have yet to meet someone who is not hypnotisable
So are some people unhypnotizable? There remain some people who make this claim but in my experience it may be that they did not recognise any changes or those they were not able to access the experience trance at that time they tried to be hypnotised.
Trance can be experienced in very different ways.
Analytical and people with low self esteem need more help to relax into hypnosis
Some people, especially those who are analytical by nature or lack self esteem report that they are not hypnotisable because they focus on the hypnotherapist and their words and fail to notice any changes which are taking place. For some people they experience a very light trance the first time they try hypnosis and do not recognise this as a trance experience as it is so light.
For some people they associate hypnosis as a form of thought control or a sign of being weak and so want to project that they cannot be hypnotised as it infers that they are themselves psychologically weak. For these reasons people want to convey that they are not hypnotisable and cannot therefore experience trance.
Everyone is hypnotisable.
In reality, naturally occurring trance situations are common place. We experience trance through out our daily lives, where we get absorbed by any experience which cuts us off from our immediate surroundings.
A skilled hypnotherapist can work with people who have these fears to give them the confidence to commit to a trance experience. Typically someone who is analytical may take two or three attempts to fully experience trance, whilst someone who is nervous or perceives the process as losing control or even being controlled will also find very quickly that trance is a restful and safe environment where long term planned changes can take place. People have no fear about experiencing a day dream or having such an intense focus on a film or a book to the extent that they are unaware of their surroundings and yet this is a typical naturally occurring trance state. The key difference is that a hypnotherapist guides you towards a trance state deliberately instead of the naturally occurring process which takes place during our daily activities and after the hypnotic experience will also guide you safely out so that you can get on with your daily plans.
Is hypnosis dangerous? Fear is one reason that people do not try hypnosis. People are often keen to discover how dangerous hypnosis is before they will consider treatment. It is natural to want to determine the risks associated with hypnosis so that people have informed consent just as you would with any other treatment option.
Hypnosis risks and the B movie myths
The basis of the perceived risks of hypnosis stem from popular culture, usually B movies which focus on a Machiavellian controlling character that makes people behave in a way that is beyond their will. In recent times programmes like CSI have also suggested that hypnosis is used to make people do bad things. But is there any evidence that you can be harmed by positive hypnosis?
When things have gone wrong with hypnosis
There have been reports that people have been hypnotised to do out of character things which could lead to them being vulnerable to convictions for criminality. In 2008 an Italian shop assistant was found to be 800 Euros short after being hypnotised to hand over too much change. Whilst in the UK, the hypnotist Derren Brown used hypnosis and convoluted scene setting to convince highly suggestible people to commit a robbery and even confess to a non-existent murder. It is stories like this suggest that hypnosis can be dangerous.
Stage hypnotist sued for poor directions
So hypnosis has links to getting people to do something which they would not ordinarily do. But is hypnosis dangerous? Will it harm you at a psychological or physiological level?
There have been documented stories of people being injured by the effects of participating in a stage show using hypnosis. In 2001 there was a case of a stage hypnotist who was sued in the UK for rekindling memories of childhood sexual abuse when he asked a participant to go back to a time in their childhood and they revisited a time when they were being abused.
The use of hypnosis was not the main issue here but it was the vague and inexact use of language which lead the participant to relive the feelings of child abuse. Any skilled therapist would be mindful of how to phrase their language to prevent this issue. So, in this case, hypnosis was the focus of the report despite being a secondary factor.
Accidents using hypnosis
Other examples include someone being struck in the face by another participant who was directed to do something out of character; and so punched the person next them on stage or a person who sustained foot injuries after jumping off the stage because they were responding to a suggestion that they were riding a horse. These examples have nothing to do with positive hypnosis and would not happen in the clinical environment, as all clinicians adhering to their code of ethics. Clinical hypnosis involves training, clinical supervision, adhering to a code of ethics and ultimately a desire to do good for the patient.
When you consider the question of is hypnosis dangerous, it has to be taken in context. There is no evidence that hypnosis is harmful, and the evidence remains inconclusive that you can be forced against your will to do something against your moral code. Stage hypnotists have been prosecuted for failing to fully manage the risks of working with the public when they have been more focused on the entertainment aspect of their role. Basic common sense around the well being of their volunteers would have prevented all the above stories.
It is this negligence which has resulted in prosecutions not the use of hypnosis itself.
The concerns of hypnosis have been tested by ongoing research and in 1996 the Home Office in the UK published its own report which concluded that stage hypnosis "posed no serious risk to the public and that all indications are that there is not a significant problem directly associated with stage hypnotism".
HSE assessment, Stage Hypnosis poses no threats
Whilst the Health and Safety Executive’s own study concluded that, "it should be made clear to all authorities that HSE has no evidence to suggest that stage hypnotism poses a general risk to the public if it is carried out according to the Home Office guidelines".
So is hypnosis dangerous? No more and no less than other talking therapies. But when an unskilled or negligent person uses hypnosis, the lack of training may result in unintended consequences.
Many of the techniques used in both stage hypnosis and clinical hypnosis can be the same or very similar, however the key difference between stage hypnosis and positive hypnosis are about who chooses to get hypnotised and who benefits from the process.
Just like a pharmacist, a drug dealer distributes medication and chemicals which affect the person using them. However, the dealer is solely interested in themselves. Similarly the stage hypnotist does no assessment on the psychological and physical wellbeing of the participant before asking someone to engage in hypnosis and ultimately is more interested in giving the audience an entertaining evening instead of how the participant may be affected during or after the show’, whereas the hypnotherapist uses the same skills entirely for the client. They do not use the client for their own ends but will only work for the client and withdraw treatment if they cannot offer a clinical reason for continuing with any treatments.
A stage hypnotist is paid to entertain the audience, to give the audience a fun evening and to meet the expectations of the audience. The audience want to experience a fun, light evening where volunteers act foolishly whilst in trance.
To make sure the volunteers give an entertaining performance the hypnotist uses a few techniques to generate a greater desire for people to get on stage and with it a desire to meet the expectations of the audience. Firstly, they will ask the audience to undertake some simple suggestibility techniques. This allows the stage hypnotist to eliminate any audience members who will not be very entertaining
From here the stage hypnotist will invite some volunteers up to the stage and will get them to compete for a limited number of places on stage.
Those using stage hypnosis have been known to use some underhand ways to get people to make the stage hypnotist look good. Paul McKenna cites a story of when a stage hypnotist discreetly said to a volunteer that he would give him £50 for “giving a great performance”. At the end of the show, he told him and the audience that “When you wake up you will be convinced that I owe you fifty pounds and you will get more annoyed and insistent about it”.
In stage hypnosis, to raise the compliance of those selected to go on stage, hypnotists can set the stage out so that there are fewer spaces on stage than people selected, so already people are being invited to compete. Hypnotists can also tell people that boring people will be rejected as it would spoil everyone’s evening and that people have paid a lot of money tonight and if you don’t want people to think you are boring you need to be entertaining.
The focus on entertainment has resulted in some hypnotists being sued for failing to keep the volunteers safe whilst on stage.
These approaches demonstrate that hypnotists unlike hypnotherapists have a focus on entertainment and not the wellbeing of those being hypnotised.
With hypnotherapy, it is the client who chooses the hypnotherapist, not the other way around, whilst therapists will only refuse to treat patients where there is an ethical reason for not treating a client. Unlike stage hypnotists the use of hypnosis is discussed with the client, treatment is unique to each client and informed consent is essential so that there is no coercion to maintain hypnosis. The hypnotherapist should explain the process, giving as much time to the client’s needs as is necessary, encourage the client to withdraw if the treatment is not something they want to continue with and focus on building a positive, trusting and respectful relationship such that the client has the best possibility of treatment outcomes.
So when looking at what the differences are between a stage hypnotists and those who practise positive hypnosis and hypnotherapy, there are some similarities in terms of techniques, but the differences are mainly centred around the application of the techniques, the ethical and moral framework in their use and how the client or patient is involved in the process of their treatment.
A Positive Hypnotist is solely concerned with client needs
No. A Positive Hypnotist is focused solely on the positive benefits for the client, as clinical hypnosis is geared to treat the needs of the patient.
Many people ask this question because of how television and popular culture suggests what hypnosis is like. The media portray hypnosis as an agent of control and the hypnotherapist is shown using it to embarrass or harm the patient. This makes great drama, but does not make good therapy.
Why do some people fear clinical hypnotherapists?
People fear clinical hypnosis, which is just a talking therapy in a way that they do not fear other talking therapies. This fear stems from mixing up clinical hypnotherapy and stage hypnosis. The two activities use many of the same techniques but therapists are trained to use the techniques to improve the wellbeing of the client. Ambulance drivers and motor racing drivers both drive fast at times, and often use the same techniques to keep control of a fast moving vehicle. However, the ambulance driver is always mindful of the needs of the patient and the public, whereas the racing driver’s sole focus is to be fast and to disregard how he impacts on others.
A positive hypnotist should be a member of a professional body and as part of that membership, sign up to the professional body’s code of ethics.
The code of ethics, for any professional body, will, as a minimum standard, demand that all treatments and all experiences have clinical foundation, do no harm to the client, and put the client’s wellbeing as the primary purpose of every aspect of the work undertaken.
Embarrassing someone is a form of emotional harm and unethical
Embarrassing someone, whether by making them behave in an embarrassing way or feel vulnerable, childish, or stupid in any way, are examples of doing some emotional harm. When working with people who have low self esteem any negative emotional experience will have immediate but also long term harm to the client.
Embarrassing clients don't respond well to treatment
Further to this, a positive hypnotist will not make you do anything stupid or embarrassing because for clinical hypnosis to have the best outcomes for the client, the client and practitioner relationship must operate with a high level of trust. Trust is established by being focused on the needs of the client, building rapport, demonstrating respect and unconditionally valuing the client. By making someone do something embarrassing, regardless of what it is, will serve only to limit the trust in the clinical relationship.
A happy client is good for business
At a commercial level, a clinical hypnotherapist also needs to respect the wishes of the client because the patient will not return to complete their treatment. Completing treatment is essential for the long term sustainability of a professional hypnotherapist because they tend to be self employed and will further undermine their earning potential if they do not get recommendations for their work and instead have complaints from these dissatisfied clients.
No - It's unethical
Overall, then hypnotherapists like medical practitioners will operate in a kind and sensitive manner and are motivated by the satisfaction of helping a client to reach their potential. This is only possible with a healthy, trusting, professional relationship built on respect, a sound code of ethics and a desire to do well in all circumstances.
To hypnotise yourself using the techniques employed by a trained hypnotherapist seems to some impossible. Self hypnosis is completely possible because one perspective of hypnosis, is that all hypnosis is self hypnosis. Hypnosis is a talking therapy and so if you are not prepared to listen and accept the messages and suggestions, then you will not make changes. If you want to learn to hypnotise your self using self hypnosis, you are not unusual. Many therapists, like me, teach self hypnosis which includes simple affirmations, points of pausing from one behaviour to adopt another, teaching the patient to get into a different mind set, so that the patient can operate in a more useful way, for example, when they are triggered to smoke or over eat, managing this trigger, staying calm and staying in control.
There are lots of ways to hypnotise yourself and put yourself into a light trance.
Follow the simple steps below and have a go.
Step 1 Before you hypnotise yourself plan what you want to change and the positive message you want to give yourself to reach your goals.
Either plan some useful messages you want to give yourself.
Useful messages which you may want to give yourself as you hypnotise yourself include:
I am a confident person
I am in control of my eating/drinking/gambling/spending.
I am calm
Or plan useful images, or a mix of both.
Useful images may include picturing yourself:
Living a healthy lifestyle
Step 2 Get in position.
Find a nice comfortable position before you start to hypnotise yourself and adopt a relaxed posture. You can be sat down, lay down or whatever works for you. Aim for an open body position so legs and arms uncrossed and something to rest you’re head on. You can do this sat in your car, in a supportive office chair on the sofa or lay on the floor.
Step 3 set your eyes on the prize.
To hypnotise yourself close your eyes or shut out the world by focusing on a spot on the wall in the room you are in. Now, focus on what you want to change or do differently. This could be becoming slimmer, end excessive drinking, adopt a healthy (smoke-free) lifestyle. Set your goals around what you want, avoiding setting goals in negative terms. (I want to have fresh breath, more money to spend, better health instead of I don’t want to smoke).
Step 4 Relax into a new you.
Focus on your breathing. Slow deep calm breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth or if you prefer in and out through your mouth. Do this three times and then give your next breath after that a colour. It will be your colour of relaxation. Imagine it flowing into your lungs, getting deeper and deeper in colour as you continue to breathe slowly and calmly.
Step 5 Immerse your whole self in relaxation.
Notice as the colour in your lungs starts to spread around your body. Notice wherever it goes it releases all the tensions of that part of your body leaving you calm and relaxed. Notice how it spreads first to your toes and slowly up your body.
At the same time you will focus on your out breath. Each time you breathe out you will imagine that you are gently blowing all your troubles away and that they are floating deeper and deeper into space. Floating further and further away leaving you trouble free, tranquil and calm.
Once you have moved up your body to your head, you are ready for the next step.
Step 6 Hypnotise yourself into your hypnotic world.
Imagine yourself doing something you enjoy as you will repeat a version of it 10 times and with each time it will take you to a level of deep relaxation. This could be playing 10 holes of golf, watching your float and catching a fish, swimming past a buoy, driving passed the next service station whatever you enjoy doing. Whatever you choose use all your senses when you imagine the activity you enjoy doing.
An example for someone who enjoys swimming in the ocean would be:
Imagine yourself in the warm sea. You can see the crystal blue ocean with clear blue skies above with one gentle fluffy cloud moving slowly for the left to the right of the scene, hear the ocean waves and notice the tingling sensations on your body of the tiny bubbles escaping from under you as you swim toward as buoy. As you swim in these safe and supportive waters towards the next ten buoys, just in front of you, you will reward yourself by going deeper and deeper in trance.
Now start swimming, focus on the sensation of your strokes and what it feels like to be immersed in your enjoyable activity. Notice as you pass each buoy how much more relaxed you feel and by the time you are at number five you are very deeply relaxed, away from all other distractions and detached from you surroundings. By the time you reach number seven you can only feel, sense what is going on and that you are completely relaxed, by the time your pass eight you as tranquil, nine safe and silent and 10 completely serene.
As you pass the 10th you notice three rings in the water.
Step 7 Hypnotise yourself with your hypnotic suggestion.
Each ring has a picture or a message written on it. The message could be a source of strength for dealing with your chosen goal. It may be to remain calm in difficult situations, it may be confidence or it may be even a picture of how you want to see yourself in a six months time’
Put on the rings and as you do read out the message or absorb the image and you will take on the power of each ring,
The message on the rings is your positive message for your self so it may be “I will remain calm in difficult situations or I am a good person or I will succeed any message or image which is positive and useful to your goals.
Step 8 Return as a new you.
When you have placed the rings on your fingers you can return to the start of your swim and as you get closer to the starting point you will become more aware of your surrounding until you are completely restored to the room.
Step 9: Discover a new you.
Repeated use of this self hypnosis technique will allow you to change. Some changes will be immediate, such as feeling and being able to feel relaxed, other changes may take more time.
As you practise self hypnosis, you will find the technique easier and easier to utilise so......................
Keep practising to keep growing
Deeper hypnotic trances is still debated within hypnosis
The idea of some people being in deeper hypnotic trances than others and what that really means is still debated in hypnosis research.
Some people report that their experiences of trance allow them to experience a deeper experience than what they or other report before them. What it means to “Go deeper” is that they are able to get further removed from their immediate surroundings and senses than others. This means that what they experience is that they hear and feel very different things than is going on in the room as they are in trance. They no longer hear the noises in the room, may visualise or hallucinate; their sense may feel internally and emotionally different too. When asking individual subjects how one experience of trance compares to another that they have experienced, they report that each experience of trance often has a very different set of sensations than the previous ones.
What are the different ways in which you can tell "how deep" some one goes?
The range of experiences that someone in trance says it feels like can vary from it feeling like no real difference from just closing your eyes, whilst the most detached experience that those hypnotised describe is being totally unable to remember anything that has taken place during the trance experience. Whilst they are hypnotised their bodies may go completely rigid, with arms and legs stuck solid in one position, or as the picture above shows even the whole body can become so rigid that it can be balanced between two chairs.( Due to the damage this can do to the neck, this practise has now stopped).
Deep trance can give total confusion
For those people who re-orientate to the room with no recollection of events, they report that they had no recollection of the therapist’s voice and return to the room puzzled about what they have experienced. For some people they can experience a level of distance from their immediate surroundings so great that they may demonstrate a catatonic state whilst in trance, appearing rigid and as some stage hypnotist demonstrate can be laid prostrate across chairs with the participant not reporting any immediate effects.
Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale
There have been lots of research into the deeper hypnotic trances people can and do, experience; and the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale is one way of measuring this. This scale is intended to measure how deep a subject can go in trance, however as already outlined; people get different depth of trance with each experience. So regardless of how deep people have reported going, each experience can be and will be different.
Anxious patients often have light trances
Some people do present as only ever having a light trance experience. This is common with people who are anxious about the process of trance. Once this anxiety is addressed they report that they are able to go deeper. Not everyone can experience deepest hypnotic trances, that of being rigid or “catatonic” states. So it is true that some people report they are unable to go as deep as others.
Does how deep you go into a hypnotic trance affect on how well the treatment works?
In terms of therapeutic effect, going deep into trance or just lightly into trance does not impact on how effective the post hypnotic suggestions, those messages which are designed to help people make positive changes are received and acted on.
When a group of subjects are guided into trance together, using the same technique, the same person, in the same room and at the same time you would expect the subjects to report similar experiences, given that they have experienced precisely the same event. Predictably, this is not the case. People report different experiences of trance, from light to catatonic depth of trance.
A chocoholic is someone who has a love of chocolate to the extent that they have little control over it. Some foods can be really hard to resist and so it is common for some people to resort to drastic measures to deal with their cravings resulting in the often asked question “Can I be hypnotised to dislike certain foods?” |The type of hypnosis where someone is hypnotised to dislike something is called Aversion Hypnosis.
HYPNOTISE ME TO HATE CHOCOLATE
In principle it is possible for self proclaimed chocoholics and those who feel they have no control over other foods stuffs to be hypnotised to dislike a particular food. As a hypnotherapist, I am able to offer this as a solution to help manage weight or bingeing. Whilst I do offer this treatment, I offer it in conjunction with treating the other, underlying issues. People struggle with their weight due to a host of reasons.
Hypnosis for change
TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT DISLIKE?
People who ask to be hypnotised to hate any food stuff should consider if they want this to be a temporary dislike which will decline once they have learned all the skills to managing their weight or if they would like it to be permanent. Choosing to stop permanently so that you can never have a piece of chocolate is very disempowering. It suggests that chocolate has control over you and by choosing to hate it forever you will never regain control from it again.
Can I Hypnotise People to Hate Substances for those with Drug Addiction and Alcoholism?
I can treat people to dislike substances using hypnosis but I work with addiction practitioners to make sure the treatment is appropriate.
FROM BIG AMOUNTS TO SMALL IS BETTER THAN SUDDENLY STOPPING
Alcohol users, for example may need to cut down slowly making a sudden dislike is very dangerous. Sudden stopping of alcohol use can and does lead to fitting, so seek professional help before making sudden changes.
Alternatives to hypnosis for Addictions
When dealing with dangerous addictions like heroin or alcohol there are treatments which can be prescribed to prevent drugs working or make a person very ill if they took the drug. This medicine, prescribed by professionals is used to prevent relapse and the risk of death. Chocolate and other food stuffs do not have that high level of risk associated with them. Just because you can be hypnotised, it is important to address reasons for overeating. Using Aversion Hypnosis does not treat any underlying reasons for bingeing on food.
Treat the Cause not the Symptom
As a therapist I would encourage the client to allow me to support them to identify and treat this issue so that they felt more positive about certain situations and were able to manage them independently instead of using a particular foodstuff to sanitise their thoughts and feelings.
SOME FOODS ARE ADDICTIVE
Recent research has shown that some foods such as sugar and simple carbohydrates affect the same parts of the brain that heroin and alcohol affect. This suggests that people are using food to deal with their negative emotions and feelings, just as addicts do.
Learn to love food instead of hate chocolate
It would be much more beneficial to the chocoholic to support them to deal with those feelings effectively instead of denying them the food that they use to deal with it at the moment. Once properly dealt with the client would not need to overindulge but could instead be able to savour and enjoy that food stuff as others do. The risk of not treating the underlying issue, the real cause of weight gain and instead focusing on the foodstuff, the symptom, is that the problem will emerge in another unhelpful way, such as bingeing on, or overeating another food stuff.
Unknown ingredients could make you ill!
To use hypnosis to dislike a particular food stuff is very straight forward. You could get someone to associate it with all the things which they find repulsive so that each time they smell it they would feel sick. This is not always useful though, because there are times when you may eat something whilst unaware of its contents and so would be ill even though you would normally have been happy to do so. The other main reason that I am reluctant to treat someone in this way is that it is very dis-empowering. It suggests that, for now and for ever, a food stuff can control you when in reality with effective treatment you could gain control over this and the key underlying issue in your life with the right profession support. Whether a chocoholic or a bread snacker, the choice is yours!
There are a number of professional bodies for clinical hypnotherapists. Ethical trained and insured hypnotherapists are registered with The National Council Of Hypnotherapists, The General Hypnotherapy Register and the National Council of Psychotherapists and The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council.