Sunday, November 21, 2010


What is Hypnosis?
The word Hypnosis describes a state of mind that all human beings experience naturally several times a day, each and every day. The word Hypnosis comes from the name of the Greek god for sleep, Hypnos.
Hypnosis is dubbed "an altered state" of consciousness. It is really a natural state of consciousness that usually means that human brain wave frequencies are vibrating in the alpha level of approximately 7-14 hertz. We call this state of mind “hypnosis” when we access this state on purpose, yet all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.

Hypnotic States
Hypnosis is a state of focused and expanded awareness. You can be aware that you have more than one level of consciousness when you are in hypnotic trance. You can experience a high level of focus as you imagine, visualize or pretend you are experiencing a situation. Basketball players, golf pros, and other sports athletes commonly use this type of focused awareness when preparing for competition. Patients with cancer and other painful medical conditions use hypnotic trance to compliment their procedures and reduce pain or discomfort.

While in a hypnotic state, you may have a heightened awareness of sounds and movement around you without having the slightest inclination to do anything about it. You will be more focused upon your inner experiences.
Your inner experiences will expand greatly. You may discover a deep, multi-layered understanding of a feeling, situation, relationship, or event that you could not conceive of when in the ordinary waking state. Just having this profound understanding can help you to change unwanted behaviour and is the reason that one of my professional slogans is Expand Your Consciousness on Purpose.

Think of the times when you have taken a long drive in your car and arrived at your destination without consciously remembering what you were doing as a driver or passenger because the scenery was so enchanting. Think of when you have found particular enjoyment and lost yourself in a work of art or a particularly moving piece of music. These are instances of trance state activity or the hypnotic state. This state is characterized with relaxation of the body and waking consciousness. When measured with an Electroencephalogram or EEG, the brain wave frequency is in the 7-14 Hertz (Hz) range. You can train yourself to access the alpha brain frequency range just by closing your eyes and taking a deep breath.

Other states of consciousness are beta state with a brain wave frequency in the 14-30 Hz range, which is the range of normal waking consciousness; the delta state with a brain wave frequency range of up to 3 Hz, which is the deep dreaming and restorative sleep state; and the theta state, which has a brain wave frequency range of 4-7 Hz and occurs in the drowsy/sleep state. There is also the gamma state, which is a highly agitated state of psychotic anxiety and shows a brain wave frequency of 30-100 Hz.

In the delta state, you experience a deep, regenerative sleep. Your body recovers the energy you expended during the day and repairs any damage quickly and efficiently. Sometimes, your body may become rigid in this state because you are so deeply relaxed. The exception to this is the somnambulist state in which a person may have scattered delta state brain activity and be up moving around. Scientists believe that a person’s emotions may have something to with the somnambulistic, sleep-walking state of consciousness.

The theta state occurs when we are asleep and dreaming. At this level, you exhibit rapid eye movement (REM) and deep dreaming occurs. In hypnotic trance, this is the state of insightful subconscious. Some researchers believe this to be the state in which lasting and profound behavioural change begins and other studies show that a light alpha state may accomplish successful change just as lastingly and effectively.

The alpha state is the altered state that most people are referring to when they speak of hypnosis. Alpha is the state most often and easily accessed by trance. The body relaxes, yet the mind is alert. This is the state that you are in when you are enchanted by beautiful music, a wonderful work of art or something that captures your attention so that you become unconcerned about your surrounding environment. This is also the state you are in when you move from the waking state into sleep or from sleeping to waking up, so you are in the alpha state at least twice each day.

© 2010 Dr. Shanimah Leal Ra, PhD.
Clinical Hypnotherapist, Forensic Hypnotist and Angel Therapy Practitioner®

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