“I’m scared to be hypnotized!” “What if I don’t come out of it?” “Will you make me cluck like a chicken?”
I’ve heard it all. When I talk to the clients at my hypnotherapy practice about the therapeutic benefits of hypnotherapy, these are just some of the concerns they share.
It’s natural to be afraid or skeptical of something you don’t understand. But I believe no one should ever be afraid or uncomfortable about the process. That’s why, when clients come to me for hypnotherapy, we begin with a frank talk about what being hypnotized is, and what it isn’t.
Their preconceived notions come from the way our culture sees hypnosis, as well as the powerful potential that hypnotherapy holds as a therapeutic tool.
I joke with my clients about how they might be worried about working with a hypnotherapist who could mysteriously declare, “You are now under my power…”
Or, we might discuss what will happen to their brain while they’re in a hypnotic state, and how they’re going to be “back to normal” when it’s all over.
We’ll even talk about hypnophobia, the fear of going to sleep or being hypnotized. People with hypnophobia don’t want to lose control of their normal state of awareness.
After my clients and I talk about their fears and misunderstandings, I fill them in on the science of hypnosis and hypnotherapy.
Hypnosis is the state of mind resulting from a trained therapist relaxing you into a trance state. Hypnotherapy lets you access your unconscious and allows it to communicate with your conscious mind.
Whether you want to break a bad habit, understand the past more clearly, or even visit a past life, you’ll need to open communication between your “normal mind” and the unconscious part of your brain. Hypnosis makes this possible.
Once you’re in the trance state, a hypnotherapist can’t (and wouldn’t want to) control your mind. Your therapist merely controls the trance state, so you can have productive insights during your session. As you’re about to see, your time with a hypnotherapist is a whole lot safer than many of the situations you meet up with in daily life.
The trance state is actually a natural state of mind. In fact, there are many times during the course of a normal day when you enter the same kind of trance you experience in hypnotherapy. It happens when you’re very relaxed or very focused.
In both cases, the unconscious mind is still “listening,” even though the conscious mind is either intently focused or totally distracted.
When you’re in a trance, your brainwave activity is dominated by theta waves. Theta waves bring on a state of relaxation that removes any blocks you may have to your repressed memories and deep emotions
Anyone watching you while you were being hypnotized might think you’re not 100 percent aware of what’s going on around you. Yet, inside your mind, there is a whole world of activity! You’re “turned on” to the world of thought and feeling that is always listening to and recording the things that happen every moment of your life. There is so much you can learn while you’re there.
In case you’re still scared to be hypnotized, remember:
You get hypnotized several times a day without even realizing it! Here are some examples.
Have you ever noticed that, although you may be contorted into a twist or straining to balance on one foot, you feel perfectly at ease in yoga class?
The flow of words from your instructor, your breathing patterns, and your body motions change the way your brain behaves, relax you, and put you into a trance. If you don’t get there before, you’re sure to be completely blissed out in rest pose at the end of the session.
Your brain needs a lot of entertainment, so when it does something over and over again, it no longer pays attention to the details.This can be the case with your commute.
Whether you drive the same route daily or take a bus, train, or ferry, you’ll probably notice that you rarely think about the details of the ride. That “lost time” you experience while you’re commuting is often because you fell into a trance state.
TV is a guilty pleasure for some, and for many, a constant companion. The flashing light that emanates from the screen looks unassuming enough, but in fact, that alone is enough to put you into a trance by changing your brain’s wave dominance.
In many cases, people feel so good when they’re in the middle of a video binge trance, they don’t want to stop watching TV. That must be how the world got “couch potatoes,” and why you probably have more “As seen on TV” products than you’ll ever need.
Watch what happens when you put your earbuds on and crank up the volume on your favorite tunes. Whether you dig the symphony or groove to actual “trance music,” it isn’t hard to see that this is another way to get to Theta wave domination, and yes, a state of trance.
Your mind finds pleasure in being stimulated by sound, and lets you get lost in it. Watch out if you happen to get totally detached from what’s going on around you. When you’re about to jump into the crosswalk, it’s time to come out of your trance.
Whether you’re thinking, drawing, writing, or out on your morning run, any time you’re “in the flow,” you are in a trance. Your conscious awareness takes a break and allows you to experience the ease of being on“autopilot.
You feel like you’re at one with the task you’re performing, and you easily filter out any and all distractions. Your friends and co-workers might find it really hard to distract you when you’re in this state — because you’re “in a trance!”
It isn’t just kids playing video games who become entranced by digital interaction and entertainment. Like a TV, your smartphone flashes light and tricks your brain into a trance. Combined with your impulsive need to interact, this can grab your attention completely.
You’ve probably seen a couple sitting in a restaurant, both on their phones, texting and playing games rather than gazing into one another’s eyes. Or, you might have done this yourself. In either case, someone’s in a trance!
In many traditions, the act of worship involves the use of a repetitive prayer or mantra, chanting, or both. If you’ve experienced this, you know how you can shut out the rest of the world while you engage in these practices.
Your oneness with the words, the sounds, the intonations, take you into a trance state and connect you with a source of divine love. This is probably one of the most enchanting trance experiences of all. In almost all cases, this trance also feels very safe and precious!
These examples are just a sampling of the ways you become entranced in daily life. Now that you see how frequently you get hypnotized without realizing it, you can see that being in a trance during hypnotherapy isn’t anything to be afraid of. A trained and certified hypnotherapist can truly help you understand your unconscious motivations — and change your life. Find a great one to work with you today.