We often use the metaphor of an iceberg to describe the conscious and subconscious mind. We’re only consciously aware of a small fraction of what is stored in the mental body or consciousness, while the majority of our memories, experiences, wisdom, and skills are hidden under the surface.
Trance is an altered state of consciousness that occurs when we are not fully in the present moment, in mind, body, emotions, and spirit. Since one or more of these are occurring most of the time, the typical person is continuously in and out of trance states. If you pass by your exit on the freeway because you were distracted, if you are depressed about an event from the past, or worried about one that may (or may not) occur in the future, then you are in trance.
Brainwave frequencies associated with states of mind:
Beta: 13-40 Hz – Normal wakefulness, analysis, thinking, reasoning. Also associated with worry, stress, anger, anxiety, moodiness, habits, depression, and fear.
Alpha: 7-13 Hz – Peace, calm, light meditation, focus, relaxation, serotonin, endorphins, and calm.
Theta: 4-7 Hz – Deeper meditation, creativity, intuition, insight, creative visualization, and inspiration.
Delta: 0-4 Hz – Deepest meditation, superconscious, healing, longevity, deep sleep, and an advanced awareness.
The brain accesses the Alpha and Theta states during hypnotherapy. Still, we experience the trance state daily throughout our lives, whether by choice or by default. It allows us to respond automatically to stimuli and to take care of routine activities without constant attention and decision making.
When you act out of habit you are doing this from a certain trance state; it’s an unconscious action. Much of our personalities are really bundles of trance states that have become our identity. Some are beneficial and some are not. Too many people fail to take the time to sort them out and continue to do what they have always done, just because that is what they do.
The intentional use of hypnosis techniques allows us to shape our lives, our responses, and our perceptions, creating the health and happiness we desire. Those brave enough to face themselves and take the steps to make significant improvements are among those who will seek out hypnotherapy because it’s one of the most rapid and effective ways to explore, discover, correct, and enhance our personalities, lifestyles, health, and wellbeing.
Many of our personality traits come from past life experiences, including phobias, preferences, physical characteristics, health issues, and so forth. Helping people to look at these traits through the perspectives of hypnotherapy and past life regression will be endlessly fascinating for you and gratifying for the client.
Hypnosis is also a profound state of relaxation, focused mind, and heightened sensory awareness, achieved when applied techniques take the brain waves of the subject to the level of alpha or below.
You’ll hear rumors that only some people can be hypnotized, and will have clients who call and say they think they can’t be hypnotized. Everyone experiences the trance state, therefore everyone can be hypnotized. When there’s a difficulty, it is due to the client’s resistance or the practitioner’s lack of experience.
We will soon learn to do inductions so you can take your clients into wonderful trance states. But first, this.
Recognition of the Trance State
Various clues indicate that a client is in trance:
- Attentiveness—are they focused or disturbed by minor distractions?
- Glazed eyes—you are familiar with that blank stare when someone has tuned you out.
- Eye flutters—you may notice faint or pronounced fluttering of the eyelids.
- Bodily changes—in rhythm and depth of breathing, the color of skin, muscle tone
- Relaxation—less fidgeting, calmer energy.
- Slow reorientation—grogginess much like awakening from sleep when emerging from a trance.
- Imaginative—creating and finding unexpected answers; less analyzing and reasoning it out.
Clients may also comment on their state concerning body sensations, enhanced or selective awareness, feelings of body weight, time distortion, or that they were surprised by their discoveries or emotional responses.