Exploring the Depths of Trance
We use the word “trance” to describe the hypnotic state, yet what exactly is a trance, how deep does the rabbit hole really go, how do we induce this state, and how do we know when clients are actually in this state? Understanding this one keyword can truly help us to know what hypnosis is all about. To begin, we can define hypnosis as a natural, yet altered state of mind, where we have communication and responsiveness with the subconscious mind. Trance is therefore just another way of referring to the altered state of hypnosis, and there are different ways to measure this. Read more here as we explore the details of the trance state, known as hypnosis.
What is Trance?
An altered state can be considered a trance state, yet when we refer to “hypnotic trance,” we are referring to a natural, and not chemically induced state. In this context, “altered” simply means different from your regular waking consciousness. Simply daydreaming can be considered a form of trance or even having your mind wander while driving down the road when you pass your exit can also be considered as such.
What is Depth of Trance?
Many people consider hypnosis to be relaxation, however, professionals seldom measure the depth of the hypnotic state through mere relaxation response alone. We know that we have a sufficient depth of trance by testing for things such as catalepsy (the inability to use a certain muscle group), hallucinations (adding or removing something from a person’s experience), pain control (the ability to reduce or eliminate discomfort,) and also certain forms of amnesia (causing people to forget certain aspects of the session.) Depth of trance is measured through different hypnotic scales based upon how people respond to suggestions.
How do we induce the Trance State?
There are many ways to cause altered states, yet there are basic components to almost any hypnotic induction. Some of these components include fixation (the capturing of the attention), distraction (distracting the mind from anything but the hypnotic ritual itself), and the repetition of suggestions for relaxation (or using the word ‘sleep’). Other induction styles might include loss of equilibrium, psychic shock, and/or conscious mind overload.
How do we know when someone is in a trance?
Hypnotherapists use what are called suggestibility exercises (or tests), to measure depth of trance. This is all based upon responsiveness to suggestion. It is not only the client’s subjective experience that tells us if they are hypnotized or not; we have various tests we can use to ensure that a client is responding properly for any given technique or demonstration.
Hypnotherapy Training can be quite in-depth, and a quality training should be truly comprehensive. We’ve offered this brief overview to begin this discussion, and for a truly comprehensive hypnosis training we recommend it should be at least 300 hours and ideally closer to 500 hours. To learn more, visit www.InstituteofHypnotherapy.com or call 800-551-9247.