The human mind operates in 4 predominant Brainwave States or Frequencies.
1. Beta: This is where our mind usually operates in daily life. In that state we have full conscious awareness and attention of everything around us and usually only one side of brain is operating. Higher cycles of beta frequency usually equate to stress, anxiety and ‘over thinking’ as the conscious mind becomes misguided or reacts negatively to a given situation. High brainwave beta frequency also equates to hypertension, increased heart rate, increased blood flow, cortisone production and glucose consumption. Generally speaking, you do not want to experience the high beta state too often if you are concerned about your health.
2. Alpha: A mild daydream or light relaxation state. Operating in alpha can be exemplified to when you are driving a car and just cruising around or when you get captivated into a good book and sort of lose track what is happening around you. Alpha is typified by partial conscious awareness and partial subconscious predominance at the same time. It is easy to absorb information when in alpha and it is considered to be highly desirable for more effective studying. Alpha promotes more of the left side of the brain to be used for processing.
3. Theta: (The hypnotic state) Deep relaxation where the conscious mind is, for the most part, ‘switched off’, and the subconscious mind is left to flourish. This is usually typified by sleep, heavy day dreaming, very deep relaxation, and is where most hypnotists aim at taking their clients. Theta is where ideas, visualizations, and suggestion are more likely to enter the subconscious mind, and consciously we become less aware of what is going on around us.
4. Delta: Extremely deep relaxation / sleep with complete subconscious operation. Delta is experienced in the deepest of sleeps and is interesting because it is proven that the physical body begins to recuperate and recover at a heightened level. You can be in waking delta if you are in an advanced state of meditation. It is interesting to note that a very skilled hypnotist who can take the client into delta, is able to perform such phenomena as using hypnosis as a replacement for anesthesia during surgery and this has been documented on numerous occasions medically and scientifically.
Being hypnotized feels like…
Hypnosis is a very powerful means to take the mind of the client or listener into different levels of consciousness and brainwave activity. The spoken voice, using professional hypnotic deepening, inductions, and confusion techniques is able to artificially induce lowered brain wave states.
Even though being hypnotized may feel different with each person, it basically feels like heavy day dreaming. You will be in the ‘theta state,’ very relaxed. You may even go to sleep, but don’t worry, your subconscious will still absorb the suggestions.
In hypnosis you will be in an alternative state of consciousness with a very narrow focus of attention. Hypnosis is a peaceful state of stillness. You will hear everything that is being said. Most people remember everything the therapist say during the session.
The hypnotic state is very pleasant. You feel mentally very calm, content, relaxed, focused, and yet alert. It is a form of deep mental and physical relaxation.
It is similar to falling asleep, just not losing conscious awareness. That means that you are able to hear and sense things around you but, typically your eyes are closed, you are not moving, just resting comfortably relaxed. Your breathing slows down and most of your muscles become relaxed. There is this sense of distance from the present, the passage of time gets distorted, and often you feel a pleasant, almost euphoric state of peace.
The depth of a hypnotic trance varies. It can be very light or extremely deep. When you feel comfortable with the hypnotherapist, you are willing to ‘let go’ to and allow yourself to enter a trance, then you can experience the special power of the mind and imagination.
Most people are usually nervous on the first session because they have a fear of giving up control, or saying something private, or don’t know what to expect; however, the following sessions are usually more effective since the client is more relaxed once they experience that hypnotherapy is a pleasant state and there is nothing to be afraid of.
As you enter hypnosis you actually disconnect your mind from the body and surroundings. That means that your awareness is withdrawn from the normal alert state you walk around in and goes inwardly.
The power of hypnosis is your ability to harness the full potential of your imagination without the normal restrictions of the critical mind. This is when a skilled hypnotherapist can help you make dramatic changes in your life. The hidden power of trance is in the suggestions you listen to, and how much you embrace these new ideas.
Remember, that you cannot be hypnotized against your will. It works only if you agree to let it happen.
Once in a while, on coming out of hypnosis a client might express disappointment with the experience. They insist that they have heard everything that was going on, and that they did not go to sleep. This comes from misconceptions about what hypnosis is. The amnesia and lack of consciousness that they may have anticipated are not experienced by the vast majority of people. Nevertheless, although an individual may consciously believe that their trance was extremely light, or that they had not been hypnotically affected, the suggestions which have been given to them will in most cases have an influence.
Those who insist that they have only experienced a light trance, or no trance at all, should realize that it is perfectly normal to hear external noises and to maintain rapport with the hypnotist, and to remember everything that occurs during the session. In other words, on coming out of hypnosis you may feel no differently than you did before being hypnotized, but the effects will be there.
Do not expect to go to sleep or lose touch with reality. You are fully aware, and you will know everything that is going on around you.
Being hypnotized may not feel as you expect it to feel, but that does not mean that you were not in hypnosis.
“People who are hypnotized for the first time are frequently disappointed to find that they experience nothing overwhelming. They feel mildly relaxed but they remain in touch with reality and in control of their thoughts. They may discover that the hypnotist’s suggestions are quite resistible. Contrary to what most people believe, a person under hypnosis need not fall asleep, or lose contact with his surroundings, or relinquish his will. He is often able to recall everything that happened during the trance and will act perfectly normal.” – Psychology Today, June 1977
Sensations you might experience while hypnotized:
Your body may feel cold
You may not be aware of your body
You may feel light, like floating into the clouds
You may feel a bit disconnected from your body
You may feel like you are conscious but yet not conscious
Your body may feel heavy, like it’s sinking into the chair or bed
You may feel numbness or a tingle in your hands or feet or arms or legs
You may experience ‘time distortion,’ a one hour session may feel like either
only 10-15 minutes, or a few hours long
Who can NOT be hypnotized?
The only people who cannot be hypnotized are those:
Have an IQ below 70
Don’t want to be hypnotized
Have a disease like dementia
Have a fear of giving up control
Intoxicated with drugs or alcohol
If a person deliberately sets out to prove that the suggestions will not work, then they won’t work.
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