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.

What does hypnosis feel like? Am I asleep?

Hypnosis isn’t sleep and it doesn’t feel like anything. Granted, many of my clients will feel relaxed or even like they went to sleep in session, but that isn’t necessary. They may find that their thoughts are wandering all over and they hear everything I say. That is actually normal. I will often share the story of a man who came to see me many years ago. He wanted to stop smoking. After our session, he said he didn’t think he went into trance. I offered him a chance to go out and have a cigarette and we could do another trance session. He didn’t want the cigarette, so we agreed he would call me after the weekend (this was a Friday). On Monday, the phone rang with several callers, his son, his granddaughter and a co-worker. They all wanted to quit smoking like he had, by talking to me! To this day he says that talking to me is what helped him quit.

If that is all it takes, is to chat with me, I am okay with that. However, I have talked until I am blue in the face to people about many subjects and there has been no change. I talked to my sons on more than one occasion as they were growing up about any number of issues. If they didn’t want the change, it didn’t happen. But, when people want change and see me for hypnosis, change happens, regardless of what they felt during the session.

When I can, I assist my clients into feeling relaxed; it helps them with the process. I may make suggestions for other sensations as well; it helps to anchor their intended change.  There may be other feelings and sensations that occur during the process, but it isn’t necessary for all sessions and all individuals. I have found that there are those who have reservations about their trance experience. Therefore, they will spend the first session trying to make it happen, rather than just going with the experience.  One tell-tale sign that they were under is a loss of awareness of the time spent in trance. These individuals will relax with subsequent sessions and usually by the third time they are going into a deeper state of comfort and relaxation and feel it a more satisfying experience.

There are times when in trance because of a drop in blood pressure, the client may feel colder as the session progresses, other times the opposite and things “heat up”. Some clients go into a dream state, having wonderful events unfold in their mind, some begin to create a To-Do list when suddenly they report they have lost awareness. Still others may find themselves get very emotional. This normal emotional response to treatment is a healthy response and the skilled hypnotherapist helps the client by talking through their feelings during trance, being reassuring and allowing the healing from the feelings to take place in a safe environment.

There is such a diverse array of sensations both physical, sensory and emotionally it isn’t possible to outline what trance will feel like. It is best to just allow the experience to unfold and be prepared for the changes you want.