What happens in hypnosis?

This depends on whether you’re visiting a stage show or a hypnotherapist.

Hypnosis stage shows are purely for entertainment and participants can end up doing the most ridiculous things. This is because the hypnotist is, by and large, directing the participants’ attention mechanism.

It takes only a couple of minutes (and sometimes much less time) to stimulate the REM state. The brain switches over to right-hemisphere dominance and it is as if the hypnotist directs a ‘waking dream’.

So when you see people doing crazy things on the stage, it’s no different to the crazy, non-sensical  dreams we all have every night. The same mental processes are in operation.

A hypnotherapist will use hypnosis for therapeutic ends, having identified with each client their goals of therapy.

And then, using a variety a techniques in trance, you might experience…

  • Age regression – like going back to an earlier time in your life
  • Age progression – going forward in time to mentally rehearse things going better in your life
  • Amnesia – to help you forget certain things and let go of the past
  • Dissociation – used in the right way, this can help you disconnect from troubling memories
  • Post hypnotic suggestions – given to you whilst in trance that have a positive effect later
  • Sensory distortion – sounds, physical sensations, feelings and emotions are often experienced differently in hypnosis: pleasurable emotions can be amplified whilst troubling emotions can be diminished
  • Time distortion – a common trance phenomenon

RELATED CONTENT: For more about what you might experience in hypnosis check out my page on trance phenomena

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