But Really, Is Hypnosis Real?

But Really, Is Hypnosis Real?

Woman with her hand on her chin in hypnosis

Is hypnosis real? And if so, how does it work? Get down to the bottom of it, its legitimacy, and how it scientifically works.

Understanding in hypnosis is the most liberating transformative power,” says Marisa Peer, world-renowned Rapid Transformational Therapy trainer. But the ever-lingering question is,Is hypnosis real?

There are some who say yes, while others believe it’s a bunch of malarkey. So to get to the bottom of it once and for all, here are some frequently asked questions about hypnosis that you can find the answers to:

Let’s dive into finding out what this state of consciousness is, how you can experience it, and how it can benefit you.

Is Hypnosis Real?

Getting down to the nitty-gritty — yes, hypnosis is real. It’s used as a legitimate form of alternative therapy for a variety of health conditions, like pain, anxiety, depression, trauma, and eating disorders.

Hypnosis has a long and checkered past, especially in entertainment with the swinging pocket watches, clucking like a chicken, and other pop-culture clichés.

But it’s not about being asleep or out of control, according to Marisa at the 2019 Mindvalley Reunion. She explains that hypnosis is, instead, opening up to receiving the suggestions to let abundance in.

And when you better understand it, you can reap its full benefits for your wellbeing.

Woman in hypnosis and wondering is hypnosis real
Participant at the 2019 Mindvalley Reunion in Los Angeles

What Is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis, also known as hypnotherapy, is a state of consciousness; however, your attention is focused on your inner experiences such as feelings, cognition, and imagery instead of your immediate external environment.

Now, you may have heard several terms thrown about hypnosis, hypnotic, hypnotize. What do they all mean? Our good friends over at Merriam-Webster dictionary have answers to the question:

Hypnosis (n.)
A trance-like state that resembles sleep, but is induced by a person whose suggestions are readily accepted by the subject

Hypnotic (adj.)
Tending to produce sleep: of or relating to hypnosis

Hypnotize (v.)
1) To induce hypnosis in or 2) to dazzle or overcome by or as if by suggestion

Hypnotism (n.)
The study or act of inducing hypnosis

But these hypnosis definitions fail to mention that we don’t need a hypnotist to enter a state of hypnosis — actually, we enter hypnosis all the time.

Is hypnosis dangerous?

The practice of hypnosis is safe. However, like any other kind of therapy, it’s always highly recommended to be cautious and have a trained therapist conduct the sessions.

Why? Well, hypnosis may not be appropriate in people with severe mental illness, according to Mayo Clinic. Furthermore, there could be reactions such as headaches, drowsiness, dizziness, or dizziness (although it’s very rare).

Are There Different Types of Hypnosis?

One common misconception is that hypnotherapy is just that an alternative therapy using hypnosis. However, what surprises people is that there are several types of hypnosis. Here are a few popular ones:

  • Cognitive hypnotherapy: helps ‘update’ your subconscious so that they fall in line with your personal goals, values and needs. 
  • Solution-focused hypnotherapy: focuses on the present and looks at your current situation as well as how you would like your future to look. 
  • Eriksonian hypnotherapy: created by psychiatrist Milton Erikson and uses indirect suggestions and storytelling to alter your behavior.
  • Neuro-linguisitic programming: not so much a type of hypnosis, but more of a technique used by hypnotherapists to incorporate in their practice to help change your thoughts and behaviors in order to help achieve desired outcomes.
  • Rapid transformational hypnotherapy: created by hypnotherapist trainer Marisa Peer and teaches you to communicate with your subconscious mind in order to address the root cause of your issues. 

It’s best to try the different types of hypnosis in order to find out which one works best for you.

And if you’re interested in learning more about it, specifically the rapid transformational hypnotherapy, you can head over to Mindvalley and learn from Marisa herself in the Rapid Transformational Hypnotherapy for Abundance Quest.

Crowd in hypnosis during Marisa Peer's session of is hypnosis real
Participants in hypnosis during Marisa Peer’s session at the 2019 Mindvalley Reunion in Los Angeles

When Do We Experience Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is the trance-like state of heightened concentration between normal waking consciousness and sleep. 

Simply put, we enter a state of hypnosis right before we wake up and slip into this hypnotic state every night as we fall asleep.

It’s like a dream, yet you feel a subtle awareness. And as you let go of your awareness, you are engulfed in the cycle of unconscious sleep.

You know, those pulsating shapes and colors that form behind your eyelids as you fade away from normal waking consciousness… The visual haze that slowly morphs into defined objects, people, and landscapes… The way your thoughts begin speaking a language of sounds, images, smells, emotions, and feelings…

Sound familiar?

Well, how about when you get completely “zoned out” while driving home from work that you don’t even remember details of the drive? Or when you space out completely, get lost in a daydream, and stare wide-eyed at nothing?

These are all states of hypnosis.

What makes hypnosis real is when our conscious and subconscious minds seemingly vibrate at once. We become so focused on our inner world that the outer world temporarily ceases to exist.

And we often don’t recognize it happens.

For this, we experience no control over how long we stay in hypnosis or how deep we go. And we rarely influence or direct the experience as it becomes more dream-like.

How Does Hypnosis Work?

The magic of hypnosis is that it lowers our brainwaves from the beta frequency to the midrange frequencies of alpha and theta — between the conscious and unconscious. Within these midrange brainwaves, the subconscious mind is expressed through emotion and vivid imagery.

Let’s take a step back for a minute and look at the states of consciousness through brainwaves. Scientists use EEG (electroencephalography) to measure them which are categorized into five groups based on frequency (from highest to lowest):

  1. Gamma (above 40 Hz) — The Insight Wave
  2. Beta (14 – 40 Hz) — The Waking Consciousness and Reason Wave
  3. Alpha (7.5 – 14 Hz) — The Deep Relaxation Wave
  4. Theta (4 – 7.5 Hz) — The Meditation and Sleeping Wave
  5. Delta (.5 – 4 Hz) — The Deep Sleep Wave

Higher frequencies are associated with high-intensity alertness, while lower frequencies are associated with relaxation.

During normal waking consciousness, our brains are typically functioning in the beta frequency. As we enter deep sleep, our brainwaves lower all the way to delta (unconsciousness).

The hypnotic state exists between normal waking consciousness and sleeping.

Does hypnosis work?

In this hypnotic state, the subconscious mind is open, focused, and highly suggestible.

EEG readings show that we can actually fall into a state of hypnosis (of varying intensity) several times throughout the day. Not just before falling into a deep sleep and before waking, but also while daydreaming, getting lost in a book, and even while doing something repetitive like driving home from work.

You know that feeling of being so into a book or movie that the rest of the world seems to disappear and you lose track of time? That is a state of hypnosis. Surely, you are familiar with this flow-type state in one way or another.

Participant at the 2019 Mindvalley Reunion in Los Angeles

How Is Hypnosis Performed?

The act of inducing hypnosis — hypnotism — can be real. Hypnotizing someone is a real art form, but a person can only be hypnotized if they are open to it.

This is good because we wouldn’t want to be hypnotized by random people on the street!

Amongst a crowd of people who are potentially just seeking the attention of the spotlight, how does the hypnotist pick out someone who really believes they can be hypnotized?

The hypnotist chooses certain people from the crowd by judging their suggestibility. This works because some people are naturally much more suggestible than others.

These highly suggestible people are known as somnambulists, or more commonly known as sleepwalkers. Studies show that they make up about 10-15% of the population.

Before the show, the hypnotist will find the somnambulists by interacting with a group of contestants. The hypnotist will ask questions and take note of each person’s answers and reactions. They look out for specific body language, vocal tones, eye movements, and more.

Do you ever see contestants discarded from the stage? That is because they aren’t passing the somnambulist test.

Step Into Your Greatness

The mind is powerful and you have more control than you think,” says Marisa. And if you’re interested in learning how to use it to approach life that’s full of abundance, then you can learn from Britain’s #1 therapist herself.

In Mindvalley’s Rapid Transformational Hypnotherapy for Abundance Quest, you’ll be able to:

  • Break through the self-sabotaging beliefs and mental blocks
  • Learn techniques that will allow you to automatically channel new positive habits, thoughts, and emotions
  • Embrace true freedom to design a life of abundant joy, fulfillment, and wellbeing

What’s more, as a Mindvalley Member, you’ll have access to the bonus meditations guided by Marisa as well as be part of a tribe of like-minded individuals.

Don’t wait for success to come to you,” Marisa advises. “You must go to it.

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