relax with a free hypnosis audioOften, someone who calls me to ask about hypnosis will ask questions such as, “What if I get stuck in hypnosis?” They will express a bunch of concerns that are common. So common in fact, I have addressed them on my F.A. Q. page. Regardless whether they have read the page, they need to hear from me that it will be safe. They want to believe that hypnosis can and will help them, but concerns may linger.

When the time for the appointment arrives, this same nervous individual will come in with such trepidation I know we need to discuss the process again. They might say, “I’m scared to be hypnotized!” “What if I don’t come out of it?” “Will you make me cluck like a chicken?”

It’s natural to be afraid or skeptical of something you don’t understand. I was a bit nervous the first time I tried hypnosis. Still, no one should ever be afraid or uncomfortable about the process. My job is to assist each person in reaching their goal safely. 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.

Movies have made hypnosis mysterious and appear to be all controlling. I will joke with my clients that if that were true, I would have been able to make my sons do chores automatically when they were teenagers. We’ll even talk about hypnophobia, the fear of going to sleep or of being hypnotized. People with hypnophobia don’t want to lose control of their normal state of awareness.

Connecting With Different Parts of Your Brain

After we talk about their fears and misunderstandings, I fill them in on the science of hypnosis. Hypnosis is the state of mind resulting from a trained hypnotherapist assisting you into a trance state. Hypnosis gives you access to your subconscious and will create communication with your conscious mind. It is simply achieving a level of focus that has been recorded in Alpha and Theta brainwaves with the intention of creating change.

What is Trance?

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 hypnosis. It happens when you’re very relaxed or very focused. In both cases, the subconscious mind is still “listening,” even though the conscious mind is either intently focused or totally distracted.

As I mentioned, in trance your brainwave activity can be 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. Even though to the casual observer you may appear to detached to what is going on, 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.

On my intake form I ask if the individual has ever been hypnotized before. If they mark yes, I ask about the experience. Often, it is a no. Then I know they aren’t aware that you are hypnotized several times a day without even realizing it!

Everyday Chances for Trances

On Your Commute

Have you ever driven to work, only to worry when you arrive whether you stopped at the stop sign because you don’t remember it? Your brain needs a lot of entertainment, so when it does something routine, it no longer pays attention to the details. This can be the case with your commute. It is as if the vehicle knows how to get there, so you are busy chatting on your phone, listening to the radio or some other activity.

That “lost time” you experience while you’re commuting is often because you fell into a trance state.

Listening to Music

Your mind finds it pleasurable to be stimulated by sound, so you get lost in it. Music therapy is utilized for the reduction of stress and management of pain among other uses. I have a client who gets lost in her piano when she needs to keep hands and heart busy. Another woman I know escapes into opera when the “devil” is chasing her.

Watch what happens when you put your earbuds on and crank up the volume on your favorite tunes. It isn’t hard to see that this is another way to get to Theta wave domination, and yes, a state of trance.

Smartphones, Tablets or Television

Kids and adults alike, when playing video games, become entranced by digital interaction and entertainment.   TV is a guilty pleasure for some, and for many, a constant companion. The flashing lights from the screen change your brain dominance. Similarly, your smartphone and tablet flash lights 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. Some restaurants even provide tablets with games.  Many have TV’s blaring. Someone’s in a trance!

Getting Into the Flow State

When you are in the flow state, whether you’re thinking, drawing, writing, or out on your morning run, you are in a trance. Your conscious awareness takes a break and allows you to experience the ease of being on “autopilot”.  When you feel like you’re at one with the task you’re performing, and you easily filter out any and all distractions you are in trance.

There are many other times throughout your day you are in trance. Maybe now you will begin to recognize them!


How Do I Know If I Am Under?

In my email recently was a note from an individual who wanted to know more about hypnosis and whether it could help them pass a test. It seems they have tried several free audios online and didn’t feel secure that it was working. There is an upcoming test of great importance to this individual and a recent test during which he froze up and couldn’t answer even the easy questions. Now studying had become a challenge as thoughts raced and fear began to take over.

This letter struck a chord with me; I have allowed fear to rule in my past. Fear stinks. When it interferes with our ability to move forward, it really stinks. Thoughts begin to race and it seems like words begin to blur on the page. Then a repetitive pattern of the “I can’t’s” seems to take up residence in our thoughts. This can become a spiral down the rabbit hole.

Hypnosis can and does help with test anxiety; I have assisted many with that issue. In fact, I went in to a local college math class and worked with the whole group prior to the final exams and the teacher informed me the class as a whole saw improved test scores.  The reason I bring up the group is significant to the individual who wrote me, as his initial question was how he would know the hypnosis was working. He has tried audios and couldn’t tell if he was under or if there was any effect. He wondered how does hypnosis feel? He was expecting to sleep or at least feel something. This wide group of students had a variety of responses to trance, some felt like they were daydreaming, some felt like they had napped before the test and others figured it was just a chance to use their imagination, still all benefited and it showed in the grades.

I had an interesting question posed the other day. The person wondered as they had watched a hypnosis video, if there would be a problem for the individual who was being hypnotized as the count into hypnosis was 1 – 10 and the count up was only 1 – 5. They wondered if that might cause a problem as it was only half way or was it intentional in order to make a behavior change. Well, great question, but the truth is, it is neither dangerous nor is it for the sake of change.

Trance is a natural state that we all go through during the day. The ritual we call hypnosis is just an accepted way of achieving that trance state with intentions for change. I utilize as many different ways of inducing the state of hypnosis as I have clients. The obvious ones include some suggestions for relaxation, as many of my clients are stressed. However, there are some who prefer a rapid induction; they want to get to the work. Then there are those who begin the work as soon as they hit the chair and no formal induction is ever performed, they seem to naturally slip into the state.

Emerging has the same number of variations.  There are people who like hearing a count; it is a familiar signal to them that time is up. I had a client who would shake her head no if I tried counting, she liked the relaxed state and wanted to slowly find her way back. It is important that your hypnotherapist understands your personality and style. It allows for a better experience when the communication is clear and comfortable for you.

This question led to other similar questions, such as, what happens if one is not taken out of trance?  The client, if comfortable (as in my recliners) could simply fall off to sleep and then awaken as normal. This happens with people who fall asleep to one of my audios. I have received anxious calls from someone who was afraid they might not get the desired benefit because they fell asleep. As the last thing that they heard was a suggestion for change as they drifted off to sleep, the benefit can still be there. Another possible response is that the individual notices that there is no more patter and things seem unusually quiet, so they emerge themselves. Still, another possible outcome is that just as in self -hypnosis, the mind determines that the work is complete and it is time to return to the everyday happenings.

As I have previously stated, trance is a natural and safe state. Although it might feel mystical and magical, it is really quite normal. So, my suggestion is to just relax and enjoy!

On January 31, 2014 the celebrations begin for the Year of the Wood Horse. From what I have found, according to legend this promises to be a year of speedy success, unexpected adventures and surprising romances. There is high regard for the horse, as a speedy and powerful land animal, it is considered important to befriend the horse. It is thought of as an independant animal, for instance consider that the young foal is able to stand on it’s own within 10 minutes of birth, walking almost immediately after that.

Perhaps it is a good time to consider what the horse might represent in our own lives. Here are some examples of how we refer to horses in our everyday conversations:

Get on your high horse
Hold your horses
Horsing around, horse play
You lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink
Straight from the horses mouth
Horse of a different color
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth
Don’t put the cart before the horse
Work horse
Horse power
Kick like a horse

Do any of those expressions describe your thinking or behavior? Are you on a high horse or do you consider yourself a work horse? Do you wait for a hero to ride in on a white horse to rescue you ?

I have worked with clients who have had images of horses in their trance states that helped them ride to freedom, away from the worries they were carrying. They felt powerful and safe. After the session, they could hold onto that feeling in other settings and circumstances. It is beneficial to think of the horse and the qualities it represents to you, then close your eyes for a few moments and imagine those qualities becoming yours. Take a ride to your desired destiny and then begin to take the actions to make that dream a reality.