The old black and white movies show the hypnotist with his swinging crystal on a chain, the pendulum waving back and forth until he has control of his subject’s mind. The awaited command is finally given: “Kill him.” The zombie opens his glazed eyes and in his altered state, rises to complete his assigned mission. His robotical motions propel him towards the task that will not be defeated until he has dispersed blood and left the lifeless body in the river.
The mystery of hypnosis is as old as the ages. What is it? How does it occur? And is it indeed factual?
A trance is a common and natural state; everyone experiences different levels of trance many times each day whether it is driving to work or using the computer.
Hypnosis is a deeper, guided state of trance that includes a state of relaxation with the conscious mind clear and the unconscious mind open and receptive to change at a deep level. It is a state of mind that goes into “The Nothing.” The mind is just open and nowhere. When in a trance the body feels light or as if the body is absent. Another form of trance is a state of heightened receptivity with intense internal focus and concentration where the rest of the world is shut off.
You may say, “I can’t be hypnotized.” That idea is false! The correct statement is, “I won’t allow someone to guide me into a state of hypnosis.” It is important to note that with permission – and permission only – can a hypnotist guide a client to this state and offer suggestions that will seep quickly into the unconscious.
Just as one cannot “make” another go into a state of sleep, no one can “make” another go into a state of trance. You would not say, “I can’t go to sleep.” You would say, “I can’t be made to go to sleep.” If one has permission to guide the other into a state of sleep, then they may gently say calming phrases, rub their arm or use other methods to induce sleep. Only with permission in the same way can someone guide another into a trance.
Humans have the most advanced brain of the entire animal world. Human minds have something called the critical factor. The critical factor is one’s reasoning between the conscious and the unconscious mind. The critical factor is always in place to keep you safe and in line with your moral boundaries. No hypnotist can make another person do anything that they are not actually willing to do because the critical factor that is aware of behaviors even at an unconscious level.
Therapeutic hypnotherapists use permission and value-based inductions. They say words you want to hear and agree with such as, “While you relax… for a very good purpose you have come here today… as you notice what is important in your life, you allow yourself to relax ten times more,” etc.
Stage hypnosis is different from therapeutic hypnosis. Stage hypnotherapists use an authoritarian method; they give commands rather than suggestions. Some people are more predisposed to authoritarian-based hypnosis while others are more suggestible to permission-based hypnosis. The stage hypnotist has a four part screening process that sifts out participants to get the outgoing, outrageous personalities on stage sort out those who would not contribute to the fun of the show:
- The hypnotist invites only those who want to come on stage. People who are not “show offs” do not come on stage.
- They give a command such as “Hold the rope tighter and tighter” and notices who is suggestible to the authoritarian commands. All those that are not get kicked off stage.
- They notice who has a fun, entertaining personality. If they do not, they are asked to leave.
- The hypnotist notices who is attentive, who can just let go of caring, go into a trance and be obedient. If they are not, they are kicked off.
The remaining participants on stage are the ones that allow the show to go on. If someone does not contribute to the show, the hypnotist systematically has them leave the stage. Yes, the participants on stage are actually in a deep state of hypnosis. Yes, they are hypnotized and yes, it is real. The audience is simply not aware of his masterful screening process, so it appears that he has just grabbed a group of random people and is able to control their minds. In actuality, there is no control going on, only a permission-based trance with the appropriate levels of suggestibility.
Keep in mind that mind control, or brainwashing, and hypnosis are completely different. Webster’s dictionary defines brainwashing as “a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas” and may happen over time as someone is lead to believe something on both the conscious and unconscious levels. For example, let’s say you were taught that on each Thursday, in order to please God you were to jump up and down before the fireplace five times and shout “Praise the Lord.” You may begin to believe this as you watch your whole family join in this ritual over the years. This is not mind control; it may be called environmentally formed beliefs or family beliefs. Hypnosis would not be necessary to accomplish this belief formation.
Meditation is a form of self-hypnosis where one is self-guided into a relaxed and heightened state of concentration. They may have a predetermined mantra or affirmation that they say or think to themselves while meditating. In the state of trance, suggestions implant deeper in the inner workings of the mind. This is a wonderful process for self-development and inner power.
Hypnosis is powerful and effective. When hypnosis is combined with other action-oriented methods, possibilities of success are endless. Call your hypnotherapist and schedule your impactful session today.
Darlene Braden is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Best Selling Author of, What Stops You, Overcome Self-Sabotage, Personal and Professional. Do you want to achieve your dreams, goals and visions? Darlene’s FREE eBook – Create the Life You Want – shows you how.