Hypnotic trances are very natural mental states, and it is possible for most of us to experience them.
As for understanding what they are, it is useful to consider first of all what they are not. The stereo-typical view of hypnotic trances is that of someone lying on a couch in a deep sleep, with their eyes closed, with a hypnotist sitting next to them swinging a watch.
Whilst this image may have a certain dramatic quality, it is an extremely limited and in some ways very misleading view of trance.
In fact, a hypnotic state is a heightened sense of awareness, which can be experienced with our eyes open or closed, lying down or walking around.
What makes it a special state is that it invites us to look within, and to connect with our deeper self. And it is this connection with our deeper self which allows hypnotic suggestions to be applied through trance to a wide range of applications such as marketing, therapy, self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques, for instance.
Marketing? Yes, perhaps not what you might have thought of in connection with hypnotic states. A classic example is the use of beautiful models in advertising, or the use of certain language patterns in sales letters and presentations. Both of which are designed to introduce altered states of awareness in our consciousness.
These two examples also illustrate another feature of hypnotic trances, and that is that they do not have to be ‘deep’ to be effective.
One of the pioneers of conversational hypnosis, which allows us to experience light hypnotic states with ease is, Milton H. Erickson. His view was that the unconscious mind was always listening, and whether or not the a person is in trance, suggestions could be made which could have an hypnotic influence.
For a great home-study course in Conversational Hypnosis, click on the link below.
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© David R. Durham
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