How it feels to be hypnotised
Whether a professional hypnotises you or you do it yourself, the results are the same: every muscle in your body becomes pleasantly relaxed and all tension disappears. You feel this relaxation in various degrees from one hypnotic experience to another until it becomes an entrenched pattern. Eventually you are able to completely relax in ten to thirty seconds. After your nerves and muscles relax, your mind also lets go, and although you can remain aware of the noises and activity around you, they do not disturb your tranquil, relaxed mood in any way.
You are able to think if you desire to do so, but only an emergency triggers such a desire because you prefer to continue enjoying the pleasant relaxed feeling of complete security and contentment. It almost feels like being awake while sleeping, or watching yourself sleep ” in your mind’s eye”. You need not “pass out” or become unconscious, although you can if you want. In fact most people don’t believe they have been hypnotized. They say they enjoyed the experience immensely but they expected something much different. You may remain conscious of where you are and what you are doing but generally feel too relaxed and comfortable to want to think about it.
You can come back to complete conscious awareness at any time you choose. For instance, if the telephone rings, you can discard the trance and answer the phone without remaining in hypnosis. After the conversation you may re-hypnotize yourself if you wish. No one has ever been unable to come out of hypnosis and the sensational stories you hear about people you “can’t get back out of it” are completely unfounded.
A few neurotics have been known to enjoy the pleasant, relaxed state so much they refuse to awaken at another’s command, but they can do so at any time they wish. If they refuse to return to the normal state of consciousness, they eventually go into normal sleep, and awaken as usual when rested, often wanting to be re-hypnotized. If you wish you can be your own alarm clock and decide upon the time you want to return to normal awareness before you hypnotize yourself. You will always come out of it at exactly the time you specify.
During the ten- or fifteen minute trance, both your body and mind become revitalized, and you awaken feeling physically refreshed and emotionally serene. You will have renewed energy without tension, and you will find much easier to cope with the frustrations of daily living. You will look forward to your next hypnotic experience with pleasure. One reason people have difficulty learning self-hypnosis is that they don’t know when they are hypnotized. Because they expect something much different, they believe they have failed when they have not.
There are various depth of trance which can be achieved, usually classified as the light trance, which is the feeling described above, the medium trance necessary for anaesthesia and age regression, and the deep trance which appears to be, but is not, deep slumber. The light trance is easily achieved by self-hypnosis, and it is sufficient for reaching and planting suggestions in the subconscious. The medium trance naturally follows with regular practice, and since it is a matter of degrees, you will find yourself in different depths during different sessions until you have been conditioned to the point where you are able to choose. With practice you can go into the depth you desire in ten to thirty seconds.
Here are some of the sensations you may experience while in hypnosis: your arms or legs may seem to float a few inches above the floor, or they may feel heavy, as though they were sinking into the floor. They may seem to be in a different position than they actually are. YOU may lose conscious awareness of parts of your body, or all of it, and be conscious only of your mind. You may see strange visions or beautifully coloured patterns of light. None of these sensations are harmful, and they are usually very pleasant.