Hypnosis: Introducing the Altered State
The hypnotic state (also known as a trance state) is often referred to as an “altered state” because its brain waves are alternate to the usual beta-waves of the conscious mind. When the hypnotic state is induced, the critical processes of the conscious mind are reduced to a passive function and the other-than-conscious mind assumes greater activity. In the hypnotic state when the mind current is producing alpha and theta brain frequencies, other-than-conscious portions of the brain are in a heightened state of suggestibility. This state of mind also allows the illumination of forgotten awareness and knowledge.
The experience of hypnosis is one of simultaneous relaxation and awareness. Some hypnosis clients return from the hypnotic state with complete recollection of the details of their session and others do not. Hypnosis is similar to dreaming in that some dreams contain vivid impressions and persistent memories that eventually fade, while other dreams are never recollected.
It is said that, “All hypnosis is self-hypnosis”. Successful hypnosis sessions are very often characterized by the client being fully receptive to the process, surrendering to the comfort of the practitioner’s voice and environment while trusting their own subtle and vivid impressions.
The experience of the hypnotic state is similar to the moments before waking and sleeping, the engrossing depths of focused creative activity, the ‘runner’s high’ and the meditative state. Many clients remark that under hypnosis they feel as if they have “imagined” everything. The other-than-conscious mind perceives abstract experiences as if they were real. The effectiveness of a hypnosis session is not influenced by these feelings or by the presence or absence of the critical, observing mind throughout the session.
The client is an active participant in the journey. The destination is determined by the client and marked by the hypnotist. The client is in complete control of themselves and the session. The client will only accept and respond to suggestions that are in accordance with the ethics, morals and principles to which they already adhere.
Clients coming to a hypnosis session communicate with their hypnotist and establish objectives for the session. In a session, the hypnotist takes on the role of guide, coach or both. In the role of coach, the hypnotist imprints the other-than-conscious with life-affirming, positive, constructive suggestions that create a conditioned response resulting in the meeting of client objectives. In the role of guide, the hypnotist’s purpose is to actively engage the client to ascertain information that will serve to illuminate other-than-conscious knowledge. This process allows the hypnotist to align the client with his or her own personal truth and to access forgotten awareness. The purpose is to seek information that reveals the restrictions and motivations behind present choices and behavior. Once illuminated, an appropriate course of action to modify, eliminate or reprogram the other-than-conscious mind is taken to prepare the client to act on the positive new awareness and manifest their personal and professional goals.
Upon awakening from hypnosis, clients often experience a feeling of being relaxed, refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take the personal responsibility that will transform their lives.