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The Straight Scoop on Hypnosis & Trance States

The Straight Scoop on Hypnosis & Trance States

There is a lot of nonsense about hypnosis and trance states that have been perpetrated by the movies. So that you understand what really is going on when you listen to any of my programs, here are the straight facts as well as the most popular myths busted.

The Inner and Outer Mind Explained

To explain what hypnosis is becomes easier when there is a basic understanding of the functions of the inner and outer mind. I have adopted this labeling to more clearly differentiate the roles the two parts of the mind play in our lives. In the past, the inner mind was called either the unconscious or sub-conscious. Neither of those terms really fit because this part of the mind never really goes to sleep. It is the part that allows a mother to sleep through a thunder storm but will get her up if her new born so much as turns over or whimpers. It would better be called  “the ever conscious mind” though I still prefer to refer to it as just the inner mind.  The outer mind is the same as the “conscious mind” but again conscious refers to the opposite of sleep which has little to do with the outer minds functioning and roles.

As I see it, the outer mind can be thought of as the “editor or monitor.” It has two basic functions. First it monitors everything that we do to make sure that our actions conform with what it thinks is the way things ought to be done. If you are writing something, it is the outer mind that spelling is right and that you are using the right grammar and syntax and that the plot is making sense long before there even is a plot to make sense of. It is the part that tries to get you to second guess everything as you are doing or planning to do it.

Its other main function is to protect the inner mind from anything that might be contrary to its programming. Its marching orders is to run interference any time that the inner minds programs are challenged or questioned. It has no ability to differentiate between good and bad challenges.

Anyone who has raised kids can tell you that up until somewhere between 11-13 years old they will gobble up most anything you say and will unquestioningly follow you over a cliff. At around those ages, their hands go on their hips, look up and ask, “Why?” That is when this protection function of the outer mind starts kicking in. Up until then, it is important for the development of the child to unquestioningly absorb instruction from parents. That is how they learn language, toilet training, and how to function in the world. By 11-13, most of everything that is needed to survive has been learned and to prevent those programs from being constantly rewritten, the outer mind’s new function makes getting to the inner mind very difficult.

The inner minds main function is to be the repository  of all our programming and creativity. All our most exquisite thought and action comes from the inner mind. Unfortunately, there are ways that bad programming can get past the outer mind and into the inner mind. The most common one is trauma.

The other one is repetition. Anything that is done repeatedly over a period of time (of at least a month) will eventually be something that the inner mind will accept as normal and natural and it will continue to do that action or thought forever. We label that as habit. The outer mind will defend against any efforts to influence a change in that habit. Please remember this for later when I describe why hypnosis works.


What is hypnosis or trance?

All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. Hypnotists or hypnotherapists are merely guides to assist people to go into a trance state and once there do constructive work on reprogramming unhelpful inner programming. More on this in a minute, first, let’s deal with the myth that some people can’t go into trances or do self-hypnosis. If that is what you think about your abilities, please answer the following questions. Have you ever been driving on a freeway or parkway and a high speed and been so engrossed in thought that you missed and exit? Did you ever get to a destination and could not remember anything about the trip because you were deep in thought? Have you daydreamed during a lecture and didn’t remember what was said?  If you answered yes, you were in a trance state on those occasions. Your eyes do not have to be closed. If you were the driver, your inner mind handled the driving quite well, even avoiding hazards, while your outer minds was off somewhere else. Understanding this phenomena and knowing that hypnosis is just a process of purposefully inviting your outer mind to go somewhere else, makes it easy to get that if you can daydream then you can do self-hypnosis.


How does self-hypnosis help me?

Remember the point a couple of paragraphs ago about how the outer mind is the guardian of the gate to the inner mind? What happens with self-hypnosis is that ones a person is in a trance state, meaning the outer mind is no longer guarding the gate, the inner mind is accessible and through repeated suggestion, will start to grasp those suggestions as normal and natural which will over-ride and replace whatever the previous less than functional behavior or thought was. Because it usually takes about a month of repetition for the inner mind to adopt a new behavior or thought as normal and natural, that is why it is very important to play my self-hypnosis programs at least once a day for at least a month.


Why all the visualizations and mental movies in your self-hypnosis programs?

Your inner mind is like a very intelligent 9 year old in the way it computes. It is most comfortable visualizing which is why I believe dreams are visual. Visualization and word pictures are the most effective ways of communicating inside with the inner mind. The visualizations we do are called mental rehearsals. We picture and imagine doing or thinking whatever it is we want to happen, AS IF IT IS ALREADY HAPPENING. Doing this repeatedly, gives the inner mind the evidence it need to make the shift to the new way.

Don’t take my work, though. In 1996 Dr. Blaslotto at the University of Chicago conducted a study where he split a group of basketball players into three groups. Before he started the experiment, though, he tested their ability to take free throws. One in the three groups, he had the first group practice free throws every day for an hour. The second group were instructed to refrain from actually shooting free shots for the month and instead, just visualize for an hour each day accurately throwing free throws, making the show every time. The third group did nothing.

After 30 days that three groups were tested. The group that physically practiced improved 24%. The group that did the visualizations improved 23% (a statistical tie)! Of course, the third group had no improvement. This self-hypnosis visualization is powerful stuff! If you want results, then religiously listen to these programs and follow my directions on how to structure the visualizations.


What is the Self-Hypnosis Process

There are three main sections of a self-hypnosis program:

  1. The Induction phase. We start with a relaxation exercise where the outer mind is given the opportunity to relax and drift off. If you find that the induction on my programs is not long enough for you to thoroughly be relaxed, then you need to listen to my Conditioning for Self-Hypnosis program which trains the outer mind to quickly drift off.
  2. The main body of the program where I offer up many suggestions and you are given a number of times where you can do visualizations mentally rehearsing the main ideas.
  3. The leaving the trance and getting back to the now. I gently talk you back to conscious awareness.

Many of my clients report that not only do they get the results they are wanting just by regularly listening to the programs but also are more energized upon the end of the session than when they started.

Any questions, just email me.

Why Will Power is Won’t Power

To understand why will power is not the most effective way to get to do things or to change habits, it is important to know a bit about how our minds are organized. Although science has yet to find an Outer (Conscious) Mind and an Inner (Sub or Unconscious) Mind, it is a useful way to describe the functioning of our minds. As I see it, the outer mind’s major functions are to be mindful of real time happenings of the person, such as what is going on right now, what the next appointment is and what time is it. It also functions as a critic and the guardian of the inner mind and of the status quo. As you will see, these last two functions are what keep most of us stuck.

The inner mind is where all our automatic programming resides. Anything the inner mind recognizes as being normal and natural (the way we have always done it) it will do and direct the person to do, forever!. This is why habits are so difficult to change. Once they are locked into the inner mind’s standard operating system, they will continue to operate until the inner mind adopts a new way of doing things. The way it understands that there is a new operating system is only after at least a month of the person acting (or thinking) in a new and different way.

There is a problem, though. To get to act or think differently means that the person has to consciously override the inner minds programming. Before it can even get to that inner programming, it needs to get through the guardian functions of the outer mind which will do everything in its power to maintain the inner mind’s programming and to resist change. This conscious effort is what is normally labeled as will power and as you can see, its chances of succeeding are slim.

There is a better way to achieve the same goal of changing inner mind programming. The easiest and most available one is through hypnosis or self-hypnosis. All hypnosis really is, is a method of inviting the outer mind, the guardian of the inner mind, to temporarily drift off and take a vacation. When it does that, the inner mind will be accessible for positive suggestions that can directly change inner programming that is no longer useful or is downright destructive to the person’s being. It will also be open to quickly adopt any new programming that will instill new positive habits.

Once the inner mind understands that these new ideas and ways of doing things are the way it is, it will do them automatically and with zero need for will power.