The earliest definition of hypnosis was given by Braid, who coined the term “hypnotism” as an abbreviation for “neuro-hypnotism”, or nervous sleep, which he opposed to normal sleep, and defined as:

“a peculiar condition of the nervous system, induced by a fixed and abstracted attention of the mental and visual eye, on one object, not of an exciting nature.”
“Hypnosis often is used to modify behavior and overcome phobias and bad habits – it can help you make changes that you’ve been unable to make otherwise.”
– National Women’s Health Resource Center, November 2003

Hypnosis is a phenomenon with which we are all quite familiar, and certainly, the majority of us are amenable to hypnotic induction at the hands of an operator, or hypnotist. The induced condition, or trance, is an altered state of consciousness totally dissimilar from either the waking condition or that of sleep and in its commonest form, it consists of a trance induced in a subject by a hypnotist. When a trance is induced by an operator (as opposed to self- hypnosis), it establishes a strong bond, or rapport, between the hypnotist and the subject which is best illustrated by the act (of the subject) surrendering his or her critical faculty (the Censor) to the operator. The trance also entails a heightened response to a suggestion by the subject and, as the trance deepens, so the attention of the subject is concentrated on the inner mental, sensory and physiological experience.

When in the trance state, the responses of the subject are controlled by the hypnotist, yet the phenomena or behavior that the subject manifests objectively is still the product of his or her motivational set(of the person who is being put in trance).
And not that of the hypnotist.

What this means is that the subject’s response reflects what is sought from the experience. Hypnosis can be induced by another person, the hypnotist or operator, or it can be self-induced (self-hypnosis) by the subject alone. Most of us can be hypnotized quite easily, just as most of us are able to master the induction of self-hypnosis (although this usually takes time). The depth of trance we may achieve is, however, subject to a number of variables. What this means is that either being hypnotized by an operator or inducing the trance state yourself requires work in the form of repetition in order to reach the deeper levels of the trance state. Naturally, the deeper the trance the more positive the achievements, although therapeutic effects occur in even the lightest trance.

There are at least four different electrical brain emissions that can be detected by the appropriate instrumentation.

There are at least four different electrical brain emissions that can be detected by the appropriate instrumentation.

  • ALPHA: A state most often described as pleasant, passive and relaxed. This is the state of hypnotism and meditation. It appears to be a slowing down of electrical discord into a pulsating hum, which sweeps regularly over the brain’s cortex from front to rear.
  • BETA: The higher brainwave usually associated with the normal waking state. It consists of a flurry of electrical static and usually implies that you are using your brain to get something done.
  • THETA: Is associated with both creative hallucinations and, occasionally with anxiety. Theta and Delta represent even slower rates of cortical synchronization.
  • DELTA: Occurs almost exclusively during sleep.

The ability to enter into Alpha prior to listening to a hypnotic cassette, for example, is extremely valuable. Alpha is associated with hypnosis and the results will be materially improved upon by doing so since it speeds up the induction of the trance state.

Things you should know about Hypnosis:

  • Hypnosis is a natural state of mind and has been established as safe. It has been accepted as a therapeutic technique by various medical bodies across the world.
  • In over 200 years, no one has ever been hurt by hypnosis.
  • Hypnosis is often confused with but it is not mind-control.
  • As a subject going through hypnosis, you are always in control and can choose to come out of the hypnotic state.
  • You can hear at all times.
  • It is not what is mostly portrayed in stage shows or in movies.
  • No one has ever been stuck in hypnosis if the practitioner stops for some reason you either come out of trance straightaway or will go in natural and relaxing sleep.
  • Hypnosis is not “sleep”, it is heightened consciousness.
  • Sleep is a state of unconsciousness, whereas “Sleep” in hypnosis means closing your eyes and going deeply relaxed.

At WisdomTree Solutions, we run a 3-Day program on Hypnosis and Time-Based Techniques as part of our NLP Master Practitioner Certification track.
The module is outcome-oriented and empowers the participants with hypnotic tools that can be used efficiently to yield marvellous results either for self through Self-Hypnosis, or others using trance-inducing Hypnotic Scripts.

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