How To Tell When You're In Hypnosis

Have you ever been hypnotized and wondered 'is this really working?'

In all my years of private practice it's probably one of the most common questions I get asked.

Often my clients are confused after having heard so many myths about clucking chickens and bamboozled hypnotic subjects.

Fortunately there are certain signs that you can look out for that will tell you whether or not you are hypnotized.


So what is actually happening in your brain during hypnosis?

Stages of being in a hypnotic trance

If you were hooked up to an electroencephalogram (EEG), it would monitor four specific levels of brain activity. These are: beta, alpha, theta and delta. Hypnotic suggestions are most effective in the alpha and theta states.

Beta: (15-30 cycles per second (Hz)). When you are in beta, you are wide awake and fully conscious.

Alpha: (9-14 Hz). This is a state of relaxed awareness or light trance, similar to daydreaming or visualisation.

  • For example, when you hear the voice on your MP3 recording guiding you to ‘imagine you’re on a beach’, this is when your state changes; when you carry out that instruction you are moving into alpha.
  • You may not feel any different to your normal state of consciousness, yet hypnosis is very effective when you’re in this state.

Theta: (4-8 Hz). This is a state of medium trance. During hypnosis, when you find your mind wandering off and you sometimes forget the things I say, you’re going into theta.

Delta: (1-3 Hz). This is the slowest brainwave of all and you go here when you are in an extremely deep trance. It is possible to perform surgery without anaesthesia when you’re in the state of delta.

You move in and out of various levels of trance while you’re listening to the MP3 recordings and hypnotic suggestions are equally successful regardless.


But How Can You REALLY Tell?

It's pretty safe to say that most of us don't have access to a, EEG machine. So how does the average lay-person know if they're hypnotized? Here are a few common signs of being in a state of trance:

  • You can feel your eyelids fluttering;
  • You feel deeply relaxed;
  • Your body feels comfortable and heavy or you feel light and floaty;
  • You know you could open your eyes at any time but you just don’t want to

More Signs Of Being In A Trance

  • You’re able to visualise, imagine, or follow along with the guided imagery in the hypnosis MP3;
  • Your mind wanders off to other thoughts while my voice is speaking to you;
  • You forget or miss sections of the MP3 because your mind has wandered;
  • Your perception of time alters (IE: you think 5 minutes have passed but it’s really more like 20 minutes)

Whatever you experience will be right for you at the time. Don’t try too hard to relax, that will happen all by itself and in its own time. Just let go and let it be what it is.