Although there are competing theories on the true nature of the human brain during hypnosis, the concluding factor and general consensus are that it is simply a state of cooperative interaction. In simple terms, hypnosis acts as the bridge between the lucid, conscious mind, and its more agreeable, more focused subconscious state.
What does hypnosis feel like?
Have you ever been so enthralled in a good book or a great movie that you become completely oblivious to your surroundings? This euphoric condition of total mental relaxation is exactly how it feels when you are in a hypnotized state. According to John Ryder Ph.D., this state is quite similar to meditation, where you voluntarily relax your mind and drift off into an altered state of consciousness.
Are You Awake?
To put this in perspective, let’s double back to what it feels like to be hypnotized. If you are driving, then most times all your senses are concentrated on the road. Or, for instance, if you’re working, same rules apply to reading a book or watching a movie you like. All these experiences suggest an altered state of consciousness where the entire fiber of your subconscious is completely focused on the task at hand.
Despite the fact that there are dozens of myths that paint hypnosis as a kind of mind control, it is not, and there is absolutely no magic involved. Now, to answer your question, while hypnotized, your senses are fully awake, your alertness is at its peak and you have complete control of your actions.
There is also a rather common misconception that once hypnotized, you can be made to do anything! While you are in altered mind state, note that you are still fully aware of your actions, and although you are slightly suggestible you still have some semblance of good and bad, and you can choose right from wrong. Everything you do during hypnotherapy is no different from things you do in your everyday life. Not a lot changes.
Hypnosis simply allows your brain to bypass the conscious brain’s tendency to be apprehensive, to ask questions and to generally be mistrustful. According to an article published in the Cerebral Cortex Journal Published in 2016 by a group of scientists, hypnosis affects various parts of the brain, but, perhaps most notably, is the SN (Salience Network)-the part of the brain that lights up when there is something to worry about. According to this study, this part of the brain actually relaxes, making you more experiential.
If you continue further into the study, you will find hypnosis defined as a state of quiet concentration, where hypnotized participants do manifest increased brain activity courtesy of the ACC (Anterior Cingulate Cortex). The chances of achieving this state while asleep are slim to none! So yes, in essence, you are awake during hypnosis, in fact, many hypnotherapists insist on it.
This premise is complemented by 50 years of careful research that actually supports the conclusion that hypnosis has more in common with everyday wakefulness compared to other conscious states, and there is the argument that it is possible to hypnotize yourself simply by suppressing all manner of mental resistance!
Applications of Hypnosis
The most notable advantage of hypnosis is that it can be used to eliminate mental restraints. Case in point-a baby elephant restrained by a piece of string will grow up thinking it cannot break free even when it is fully grown. It accepts a life of captivity simply because it doesn’t know any different. Hypnosis can be used to foster, create and nurture new belief systems and get rid of these limiting factors.
Hypnosis is also a widely accepted treatment in non-clinical stress management, and it has clinical utility in its rehabilitative, curative and restorative capabilities. Hypnotherapy has been used for many years to help people deal with everyday problems, and it has been known to produce miraculous results.
Most people don’t realize that the subconscious contains the bulk of a person’s mind power, and as such, hypnosis is the single most effective tool to harness this power. What you say and do in a hypnotized state is similar to what you would say while fully conscious. It is not a trance, and it is not a distinct state of consciousness.
Finally, there are suggestions that the results of hypnosis are largely a result of expectations rather than the state itself, but, based on research over the years, it is quite clear that its value both in clinical utility as well as self-improvement has been proven beyond doubt. It really does work and if you want to experience hypnosis then install the Attention Shifting iOS or Android hypnotherapy app. You will have a first hand experience of the power of hypnosis.