Hypnotic trance can be an absolutely amazing experience but there are many people who struggle to understand and/or enjoy hypnosis to its full potential. After all, the hypnosis community is growing steadily, but the reality is that at present it remains a relatively small niche area and the information available is limited. At the same time, misconceptions, preconceptions and assumptions about what hypnosis is and how it work abound and can create confusion and uncertainty.
I would like to take the opportunity now to dispel some of those myths and to share some information about hypnosis – what it is and isn’t, why it’s totally safe and how you can more easily and effectively enjoy discovering and experiencing all the amazing possibilities on offer. Please bear in mind that the view I am presenting are subjective – they represent my interpretation and understanding, but at the same time I have been involved in hypnosis for many years, and a lot of people have fed back to me that they have found my explanations useful. I hope you do, too.
If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt curious about hypnosis, but may be struggling to understand how it works. The first thing you need to know is that the ability to trance successfully is a natural, innate skill that we all possess. Ever daydreamed, become so focused on a task in hand that you forget what’s going on around you, got lost in thought or been driving on a familiar route, eventually arriving at your destination without fully recalling how you got here (aka driving on autopilot)? Those are all examples of light trance. They’re not remotely dangerous and you can bring yourself out of trance any time you want. None of that changes when you’re working with a hypnotist.
The best analogy I have found to explain hypnosis and to dispel some of the more common misconceptions is to liken trancing to learning a new skill. For instance, if you wanted to learn to play the piano, you can teach yourself the basics, but if you want to get really good at it then you bring in someone to show you how – someone to teach you how you can build upon what you’re already capable of. This is exactly what a hypnotist does. Hypnosis is not something that is “done” to you. Hypnotists are simply teachers/guides/facilitators. We’re there to show you how you can effectively tap into your own natural trancing ability and get better at it. We can help highlight to you the signposts your mind and body offer which tell you that you’re on the right path in terms of going into trance (e.g. breathing slowing, mind becoming clearer and more focused, etc) and we can be there to support and guide you through exploring and discovering all the possibilities which hypnotic trance offers.
If you’re looking for someone to teach you, then presumably you’ve done your research into your teacher. You’ve checked that they have experience, that they are happy to put your mind at ease by answering any questions you have, and that you are comfortable with their style of teaching. You research and check all of these things because you are making an investment. It is no different with regards to hypnosis.
I also recommend starting out with a live session (it doesn’t have to be in person – via Skype works just fine) if you can as the experience will be more personalised – more tailored to your specific requirement and it will give you a firmer foundation from which to build your experience. The hypnotist will be able to answer your questions, explain what you may be experiencing and why and is better placed to help guide you and teach you how to recognise the signs that you are going into trance. This is very important as a lot of people have preconceived ideas about what will happen and how it can feel, and if the reality doesn’t match their expectations they can feel as if they’ve failed (even when they haven’t) and it can delay your ability to fully enjoy and appreciate the power and pleasure of trance.
The most simplistic explanation of trance is to suggest that instead of your typical conscious awareness, which is outward looking and focuses what is going on around you, trance shifts the balance to the internal focus of the subconscious which looks inward. This makes you more self-aware of what and how you feel, and also gives you greater self-control which is what allows you to make positive, long-lasting changes in therapeutic hypnosis and in recreational and erotic hypnosis gives you the power to enjoy incredible pleasure and experiences. In other words you’re not “asleep” in trance – quite the opposite. You’re more self aware, focused and in control than usual. The reason many people close their eyes (which relates to the false idea that hypnosis is sleep) is either because they assume it is a necessary part of trance or because it helps them to focus.
One issue which crops up a lot is the concept of control. I just want to clarify that it is not necessary for you to give up any control to enjoy hypnosis. However, if you are so way inclined, you can (ideally once you have built up a sufficient rapport and level of trust with the hypnotist) offer to give up/give over control to the hypnotist you are working with so that he or she is “given the reins” so to speak and can give commands and suggestions which you automatically respond to. For some people this is an incredibly erotic concept and it can be used to great effect with hypnosis, but I want to reiterate, especially for those who are worried or concerned about losing control that it is merely an option (if you choose to do so) rather than a necessity. Look at it this way – you have to have control to be able to give it up. Control cannot be taken from you – it can only be requested by a hypnotist and/or offered up by you.
I hope you’ve found this article useful. If you have any questions, queries or feedback you’d like to share then please get in touch. You can drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @British_Hypno.