What Does Hypnosis Feel Like? Are you in a Trance?

The altered state of consciousness known as a trance is what defines hypnosis. If there is no trance, there is no hypnosis; and that trance state is different from a normal waking state.

When you are in a trance you are normally super-relaxed; your body is still, quiet, and calm. In a trance, you have what amounts to tunnel vision; your eyes see what is right in front of them if they see anything at all. You won’t notice your body unless your hypnotist of hypnotherapist guides your attention in that direction. As a trance deepens, you may not hear anything at all except the hypnotist’s voice, and possible not even that. While the trance lasts you will usually have no awareness of the passing of time.

Clearly, the hypnotic state is an altered state. On the other hand, it is not at all unusual. In fact, the altered state we refer to as a trance is normal. You spend considerable parts of each day in a trance, and you don’t even notice it most of the time.

Here’s an example. You’re driving somewhere along a route you take frequently. Suddenly you can’t remember if you made a left turn you needed to make; but then you’re at your destination, so of course you made the turn. The thing is, you were driving in a trance. Part of you was paying attention to the road, and the traffic signs, and your speed, and the vehicles around you. The rest of you was someplace else.

Here’s another example. You’re at a really good concert, all wrapped up in the music, and then intermission comes and you realize that you are hungry, and your neck is tight, and the seat is hurting your rear end. You hadn’t noticed any of that before, because the music had you in a trance.

And another. You are sitting with a friend, having a conversation, and suddenly you realise that your friend is gazing at you expectantly, and finally says, “Well, what do you think?” and you realise two things. First, you don’t know what your friend is asking about, and second, you haven’t heard a word your friend has been saying for who knows how long. Your mind had wandered off to some other space and time. You were in a trance.

You can undoubtedly think of many other times when you had experiences like these. When they come spontaneously you may call it daydreaming, or being preoccupied, or being in what some people refer to as a brown study.

When you do it on purpose, with or without a hypnotist’s help, it’s called hypnosis. So now you already know what to expect when you walk into my office on the Gold Coast office for your first appointment.

Can you be Stuck in a Trance? | Myths about Hypnosis

A thing that makes some people reluctant to try hypnosis is fear of the unknown. That’s especially likely to be true if all you know about hypnosis is what you’ve read in books or seen at the cinema. Now you’re being asked to go into some stranger’s office, and let that stranger put you into an altered state and peek into your mind.

It doesn’t help that there are a lot of myths and half-truths about hypnosis. One common concern is this: What if I go so deeply into a trance that I never come back out?

Not to worry. There has never been a recorded instance of anyone going into a trance, no matter how deep, and not being able to come out of it.

For starters, most useful trance states are not all that deep. You are not going to go over the edge and fall into some mysterious shadowland of no return. Most of the time you will be completely, if a little distantly, aware of everything going on around you. You will be in touch with your body, and how relaxed it feels. You will hear what the hypnotist is saying. If your hypnotist uses music as part of the trance induction, you will hear it. If your eyes are closed, you will be aware of that, and know that you could open them if you wanted to.

Now, in some cases, you might slip into a really deep trance, the kind referred to as somnambulistic, where you have no conscious awareness of your body or your surroundings. Not to worry. Even in a trance that deep, a part of you is always aware of what is going on around you, paying attention to what is happening, and ready to pull you back into conscious awareness if need be.

Let’s imagine the worst: You are in a super deep trance, in another world mentally, and your hypnotist has a massive heart attack, slides to the carpet, and dies on the spot. What would happen then is that you would stay in your trance a while longer, then gradually move from hypnosis to normal sleep, and eventually wake up.

The reason for that is a thing called homeostasis, which is the tendency of any system—in this case you—to want to keep on being pretty much the way it usually is. Being in a deep, somnambulistic trance is not at all usual, and so, left to their own devices, your mind and body will find their way back to a normal state of consciousness.

So when you walk into the hypnotist’s office, not only can you look forward to a positive experience, you can be sure that when it’s over you will be able to walk back out again.

Fast Track to Smoking Cessation – Hypnosis on the Gold Coast

The good news in Australia is that fewer and fewer people are smoking, and when they do smoke, they light up less often. Between major price increases and stiffer laws—especially in Gold Coast and the rest of Queensland, where it’s become really hard to find a place to smoke legally—the number of regular smokers is about half what it was twenty years ago.

The bad news is that a lot of Australians are still hooked on nicotine. A good three quarters of them say they want to quit, and many try to quit, often more than once, but most of the things they try have a disappointing success rate.

One approach is group counseling or individual cognitive behavioral therapy. They help some people, but they are also expensive and time consuming, and tend to have a high dropout rate.

Acupuncture and acupressure have attracted some smokers, but once again, the success rate is low. The same is true for things like electrostimulation and laser stimulation.

If you go to your family doctor you are likely to get a prescription for Champix or Zyban. They work for some smokers, but are expensive and come with an array of side effects—agitation, sadness, nausea, headaches, muscle pain, nightmares and diminished sex drive.

Then there are nicotine replacements—gums, patches, inhalers—that have their own side bad side effects; and, of course, you are still hooked on nicotine, just in a different form.

There is a better way—hypnosis.

Hypnosis costs less than at least some of the other approaches. More importantly, it works. Hypnosis has a very high success rate. That is because the smoking habit has multiple causes, and hypnosis attacks that habit on multiple fronts.

First is the physical addiction. You light up, get the immediate pleasurable effects, and feel pretty good. But withdrawal happens quickly, you start craving another fix, and so you light up again. Hypnosis attacks the craving directly.

Nicotine affects your mood. It can lift you up if you are down, and calm you if you are agitated. A skilled clinical hypnotist will help you smooth out the ups or downs.

You may be afraid that if you stop smoking you will gain weight, and it’s true that one of the “advantages” of smoking is that it dulls your sense of smell and taste. Hypnosis is one of the most effective ways of managing weight.

So if you are a smoker, and you are ready to stop, hypnosis is a good way to go. It is cost effective. It works, and works quickly. And the only side effects are feelings of accomplishment and pride in having beaten the nicotine beast.