What Is Hypnosis?

Updated: May 25

There are a few ways we can describe hypnosis, also known as the hypnotic trance state. One is that it's a state of focused awareness where the critical faculty is temporarily bypassed. This is like when you're watching a good movie or reading a book and you're totally caught up in the story.

Another way to look at hypnosis is that it's when the conscious mind slows down and we're able to connect with the deeper, subconscious parts of ourselves: the parts of ourselves that govern our emotional states, behavioral patterns, habits, and beliefs.

Finally, there was a study done at Stanford medical school in 2016 that showed that indeed, the parts of the brain that deal with conscious, self-reflective judgement and analysis kind of powered-down in hypnosis, while areas in the limbic system-the emotional/subconscious brain-became more active.

Any way you look at it, hypnosis is a state where enhanced learning, healing, growth, and change become easier than in "normal" states of mind.

What Is Hypnosis Like?

During hypnosis, you are awake and aware. You will hear what the hypnotist says and may even remember the details of your session better than if you had not been in hypnosis.

Another thing to remember is that you will be in control at all times. In fact, throughout this process you may even learn how to be more in control of your thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and behaviors.

You may feel pleasant, heavy feelings of relaxation as you sink deeper into the chair, or couch, or wherever you are sitting. You may feel pleasant, dreamy, dissociated sensations. Or you may simply feel like you're sitting in a chair listening to the sound of my voice and wondering what the heck is going on.

The point is, there's no one, definitive way that people experience hypnosis. I recommend that you just be open, curious, and willing to see what happens.

Sometimes you may feel that every word your hypnotherapist says is extremely interesting. Other times you may find your mind is wandering off. Either way is fine.

That being said, when I suggest to you to imagine being some place, feeling some feeling, or thinking some thought just allow yourself to do so.

While in hypnosis, you will be able to communicate with your therapist. In fact, throughout the process they will most likely be checking in with you, asking you to share your experience from time to time. Sometimes you will want to answer in a lot of detail. Other times you may share a word or even just a gesture letting me know how well you're doing.

Finally, If you ever feel the need to move, itch, or scratch go ahead and do so. Any sounds you hear in the room or outside will only remind you to go that much deeper.

And one more thing: The vast majority of people who experience hypnosis report that it just feels good!

If you're interested in learning more about hypnosis and hypnotherapy, check out my website at or shoot me an email at

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