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What's happening to my brain in hypnosis?

Updated: May 6, 2021

One of the most frequently asked questions I get asked after "You won't have me clucking like a chicken will you?" is "So what exactly is happening in my head when I'm in hypnosis?" A fair point and a good question. It's probably best explained by good old science. Don't worry if science wasn't your favourite subject at school, it wasn't mine either.

Think of your brain waves as radio wave frequencies. When we are alert and doing stuff which require our attention such as now, I really need my focus on typing (without making too many grammatical or spelling errors) I am using the Beta waves ie this is normal waking consciousness. These are the brain waves associated with logic, critical thinking and reasoning. This is also the frequency where we feel stress, tension, fear, anxiety and feeling restless or crap.

When I take someone into hypnosis, I want to move them to the next frequency level of Alpha waves. This level is equivalent to being in a relaxed state with your eyes closed, a light meditative or daydream state ... I am sure you all know what I'm talking about! We all enter various daydream like states throughout the day when our attention is taken away to something...for example, dreaming about your next foreign holiday or simply absorbed in thought about what to do at the weekend.

Now, this is where it gets exciting. This Alpha frequency is the gateway to the subconscious mind so it is from here we open the door to intuition, imagination and visualisation memory. This is the light trance state which is sufficient for hypnotherapy. However, the deeper you go (i.e. the more relaxed your mind becomes) the more chances you will have of accessing the Theta waves and this is an even deeper state of relaxation and is the realm of your subconscious.

From this state, you are alert but deeply relaxed. Your subconscious mind will hear everything without the conscious mind butting in and giving its rationale and comments. When the mind is between the Alpha and Theta range, it is at the optimal range for visualization and rewiring or reprogramming . Our internal awareness is increased and we are more open to suggestions. Being in such a receptive state allows us to explore new ideas and concepts such as getting rid of unhelpful habits, or old beliefs and behaviours that hold us back. In this realm, positive lasting changes can take place and this is where my work really begins!

We have all experienced how when one is relaxed, ideas and forgotten memories often spring to mind but when we are trying desperately to remember someone's name we can't. That's because the subconscious stores all your memories and experiences and to access this data bank, you need to be relaxed...hence if you haven't got it yet, relaxation is key so practise meditation/self-hypnosis regularly. When we are calmer, we become more creative and more open to possibilities. This in turn helps us grow as individuals and gives us a more positive outlook on life. Now that you know what happens to your brain when in hypnosis, why not give it a go?

If you found this blog interesting, please leave a comment below. I will soon be running some self hypnosis classes online and in person so please contact me here.

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