Is there a specific feeling that you are to experience while under hypnosis? How do you know that you are hypnotised? How does it feel to be hypnotised?
I run a full-time hypnosis practice in Pretoria, and see my fair share of clients who say that they have been to a hypnotist before, but that the hypnotist couldn’t “get them under” and they left disappointed, feeling they were not hypnotised.
Some people don’t believe they were hypnotised because they felt in control the whole time, as if they could open their eyes at any moment. Others come out of a hypnotic experience and the first words they utter are: ”I don’t feel I was hypnotised. I wasn’t asleep!”
I have even had clients who have come for a series of sessions and were in the process of making profound changes in their lives, saying that they still did not think they were hypnotised, because the experience was nothing like it was supposed to be on based on their perceptions of what hypnosis is, as presented on television and liv hypnosis shows.
It is so very important that the client’s misconceptions of hypnosis are dealt with during the first session. The more the client understands what hypnosis really is, how it works and how to use it for success, the better results will be.
First of all, hypnosis is not sleep. You are indeed awake during hypnosis, hearing everything that is being said, aware of everything around you. Your senses may even sharpen. If you were to sleep during a hypnosis session, it would be a very expensive nap!
And yes, you are in control during the hypnosis experience. In fact, it is an experience you create on your own, just by following suggestions. In other words, if you choose to, you could open your eyes whenever you want to. You could choose not to follow the suggestions, and do something completely different. In other words, for hypnosis to take place, you have to give your complete consent. You have to agree to follow the suggestions and do exactly what is said, which means you will engage in a process that is for your highest good and benefit. In short, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.
Furthermore, if you have been for hypnosis before, and you didn’t feel you were being “put under”, you are absolutely right. Nobody can “put you under”, except perhaps if you were wrestling. Yet just because you think nothing happened does not mean that you did not experience hypnosis. Perhaps you were just not well informed about what to expect.
So is there in fact any specific way you ought to feel during a hypnosis session? Indeed there are two things that need to happen. The first is relaxation, the second is concentration. When used in combination, these two “feelings” create an ideal opportunity for subconscious change to occur. Through the use of positive suggestion and other processes, you can make profound positive changes to yourself and your life by just relaxing and concentrating at the same time.
With the assistance of a skilled hypnosis practitioner, you will quickly learn what to do to get to that point of the process that we call trance. By experiencing the process a few times, it becomes easier and easier to enter the trance state, because you start learning how to do it. The more you do it, the better you get at it, the more hypnotic “feelings” you may experience, like a heavy feeling in the limbs, or a feeling of being both detached from and inside your body at the same time. Perhaps you may not even remember some parts of the session and what was said, as your subconscious mind takes more responsibility than your conscious mind.
The best advice I can give is that you do not bring your preconceived ideas to the session. Rather open yourself up to a wonderful new experience, with which you can change your life for the better. Choose a capable hypnosis practitioner and ask questions, before and after the session, so that you understand what you are supposed to do to experience the hypnosis process.
And remember that it is an experience unique to you. There is no right and wrong way, there is only your way. If you are looking for a feeling, perhaps you might consider a massage. If you are looking for real positive change, then give hypnosis a feel.
Hendrik Baird is a Consulting Hypnotist in Pretoria. www.hypnosis-works.co.za