Am I in Control when I'm hypnotised? What is hypnosis?

Updated: Feb 11, 2019

Clients are often a little fearful about hypnotherapy. They may have seen stage hypnosis where people flap their arms around like chickens or they may think of it as powerful manipulation tool. They like to know that they are going to be safe and in control. During clinical hypnotherapy you are taken into a trance. This trance is similar to the relaxation you may feel during a meditation or guided meditation. You can hear the words, you can stop the therapy and you are cogent and conscious. You can enter a light, medium or deep trance.


The reason we take you into a trance is that when you are in a theta or alpha brain state you are more able to absorb information and changes into your unconscious. Your mind has infinite possibilities in any given moment. However your unconscious guides 95% of your decision making. It's incredible to discover this - that who we pick as a partner, which profession we seek and the thousands of decisions we make each weeks are often informed by the huge data bank of the unconscious. In that data bank is a whole bunch of stuff that happened to you as a child and adult - your trauma, disappointments, wins, achievements and all those socialising messages you have received from day 1. The older we are the bigger the data bank. There are personal scripts, beliefs and habits all intertwined and triggered in our daily lives by events. You may find your beliefs don't even belong to you, that you have picked up a parental belief or fear. When you clear your unconscious by letting go of unhelpful patterns or beliefs, your choices become greater - you are more fluid and flexible. Hypnotherapy is a strong tool for helping with this process of change. Hypnosis will not change who you are, but it can assist you to step up into your more mature self. So a shy person cannot magically transform into a confident person - but we can work with a child self who has low self esteem and teach them how to love themselves and feel they have value. In doing so there is this shift to a more matured state of confidence.



Relaxation is imperative for our bodies wellness. In some cultures relaxation is prescribed rather than medication. The inability to switch into relaxation is at the base of anxiety and sometimes depression, insomnia and some illnesses. When we are in a state of relaxation our body can create hormones that assist the immune system. When we move into an Alpha or Theta state we are more intuitive. Here are the 4 main brain wave states and how you will experience them.


1. Beta (14-40Hz) — Alert

Beta brain waves are what our brain emits when we are in a normal awake and conscious state. This is when you are alert, logical and have strong critical reasoning. The beta waves are important for us to function but they can also make you feel stressed anxious or restless.


While the Beta state or voice is effective for work it can also be associated with your nagging inner critic.


2. Alpha (7.5-14Hz) — Deep Relaxation

When you are deeply relaxed with your eyes possibly closed or slipping into a meditation or daydream, you are in an Alpha brain wave state.


This is an optimal time to work with your unconscious to program it to bring about the changes you are after. It is also a state of heightened imagination and visualisation, memory and concentration. It is the gateway to your unconscious.


The Alpha voice could be described as the intuitive voice. The closer you move to 7.5 hz the more intuitive clarity you will have.


3. Theta (4-7.5Hz) — Meditation & Sleeping Wave

Theta brain waves are present during deep meditation (or hypnosis) and light sleep, including the REM dream state. It is the realm of your subconsciousness and only experienced momentarily as you drift off to sleep from Alpha and wake from deep sleep (from Delta).


Some people say that unity with the universe can be experienced when in Theta. It is a place of inspiration, profound creativity and insight.


It is at the Alph/Theta border from 7-8 Hz where optimal unconscious reality shifting transpires. In this state you are conscious of your surroundings but in a deep relaxation.



4. Delta (0.5-4Hz) — The Deep Sleep Wave

The Delta frequency is the slowest and is found when you are in a deep, dreamless sleep or when you are in a very deep meditation.


Delta is important for the healing process and for body and mind regeneration.



5. Gamma (above 40Hz) – The Insight Wave

Gamma is a fast frequency and only more recently discovered. It is associated with bursts of insight and high level information processing.


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