Hypnosis & Trances
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Hypnosis is a developmental and empowerment tool to help program the mind and communicate directly with the unconscious. The best way to learn and naturally produce permanent change is by working with both the conscious and unconscious mind. Hypnosis is one of the most natural states of mind we experience. Hypnotic trances happen to everyone, everyday naturally, just before you drift off to sleep, wake first thing in the morning, when your bored, and your mind begins wandering thinking about the past or the future, when you daydream, drive in your car, watch TV, or are enthralled or excited. 

We could consider Hypnosis to be: 

A relaxed, Hyper-suggestible State:   Where you would  experience deep physical and mental relaxation, becoming "present" and  more open to suggestions.

A State of Focused (Absorbed) Selective Attention: Focusing your attention narrowly, on a specific subject, event, or situation, form a vivid perception of it as though it were real, and excluding all else from your awareness. You could think of it as developing your powers of concentration.

A Natural Altered State of Consciousness: A state that is different than their normal state (when the conscious mind is dominant), Where the conscious is still present and perhaps observing, yet the unconscious mind is dominant factor and we become aware of it's experiences. This is attained through a very natural process, because it is a normal function of the mind, it is simply a shift in perceptual positions.

A temporary Dissociation: You experience a temporary suspension of logical information processing; often completely aware of your surroundings, whether forward or backward in time mentally and emotionally. Gaining insight into the experience from a non-personal perspective.

Guided Imagination: You are guided by your self or another person (hypnotist) by engaging the creative imagination to create a selected "experience" and then establishing it as a believable reality.

Hypnosis uses Trance-like states and works with the unconscious mind. 
Here are some various interpretations that will help give you a clear idea about What Hypnotism is:


"Hypnosis is an induced mental state that consists of bypasses of the critical mind and establishes selective thinking."  
Elman

"Hypnotism is the art and science of mentally controlling thoughts and actions."  Cook

"Hypnosis is a reverie state of Mind. It is much like daydreaming."   
Dunne

"Hypnosis is a heightened state of awareness where you accept suggestion from without and within."   Stockwell

"When the Mind is under control, the mind becomes like a pure crystal reflecting equally, without distortion, the perception, the perceiver, and the perceived. It is through such a mind that consciousness is known."   
 Patanjali

"Hypnosis is largely a question of willingness to be receptive to beneficial ideas and allow these ideas to be acted upon without interference."   
Witzenhoffer & Hilgard

"Hypnosis is a state of intensified attention and receptiveness to an idea or set of ideas."  - Erickson

"Hypnosis is an aspect of conditioning"  
Salter
Hyper-Acuity of the Senses:

    Hypnosis focuses the field of attention for perfect concentration. In this state sensory perception is more acute, distinct and active. Logical Powers of the mind are heightened. A narrow field of attention and stimuli is determined by suggestions given. Smell and Taste are easily enhanced with hypnosis. Eyesight is reportedly improved. 

Hyper-Acuity of Memory:

   The state of hypnosis allows us to access all "stored" memory. It is possible to revive and recollect circumstances and impressions from long ago that have been lost to the conscious mind. Every sensation ever experienced, everything ever learned, can be recalled with hypnotic suggestion. Likewise, you can also suggest that something be forgotten.

Fixation of Attention:

   Hypnosis limits the field of attention until a concentrated and unvarying field results. How narrow the range of focus is strongly influenced by suggestion given. It utilizes the mind's natural ability to concentrate fully on a very specific point without distraction or a tendency to wander.

Reflexes and Nerve Responses are Easily Influenced:

   Pulse rate may be altered, areas anesthetized, blood flow and bodily sensations regulated, childbirth time can be determined and automatic bodily functions controlled. You can stimulate a curative effect or produce a pathological one. A burn can go away or you can suggest a burn and redness of the skin will appear. You can change your body temperature, or the temperature in one specific area of the body. 

Less Autonomy as perceptions become Controlled by Outside Suggestion:

   Usually someone in hypnosis complies with suggestions, as long as those suggestions are congruent or fall within their natural responses and behaviors; if those suggestions go against their morals, core beliefs or they perceive it as unpleasant or painful; they will refuse to act on the suggestion or terminate the trance.
POSSIBLE USES:

Self Esteem & Confidence

Past Life regression/ Karmic themes

Improving Imagination & Creativity

Releasing negative (destructive) emotions

Improving mental ability

Dream work

Increasing intellectual capacity and performance

Positive Internal Dialogue - programming your mind

Letting Go

Self Improvement suggestions

Developing Self-Image and performance ability

Finding meaningful methods of self-expression

Hypnosis is just one key that opens the doors of your mind.