What Changes in the State of Hypnosis?

You have used some induction methods to apply hypnosis to your patient. However, how do you know if your patient has really gone into hypnosis? There is no 100% way to know if the answer is whether the patient is in hypnosis (Yapko, 2003, p.198). This is because there is nothing specific to hypnosis and nothing unique to hypnosis that only happens in hypnosis. Of course, many physical and psychological changes occur in the state of hypnosis. However, as mentioned above, these changes do not occur only in the state of hypnosis. Whether or not a person is in hypnosis can be predicted by looking at the changes that occur in the hypnotic state. Another reason we can’t tell 100% whether a person is in hypnosis is because each person’s experience of hypnosis is different. ;

Even for an experienced hypnotherapist, it is not easy to determine whether a person is in hypnosis. It is therefore common belief among hypnotherapists that it is much more difficult to determine whether a patient-client is in self-hypnosis.

It is certain that every person’s experience of hypnosis is different. Different sessions of the same person can change many of their experiences with hypnosis. Because systematic changes do not occur in hypnosis.
However, every hypnotic experience may have common aspects. We’ll now take a look at the aspects that these can have in common.


Relaxation in Hypnosis

From the clients-patients “I was lying on the clouds.”, “I was seeing comforting lights of all colors.”, “I was lying on the ocean.” We often hear expressions that remind us of relaxation and relaxation.

The most easily obtained and most frequently observed thing in hypnosis is peace, calmness and relaxation in the patient. People who experience hypnosis say that they have never been this relaxed before. Although relaxation and hypnosis have to be 100% together, we can say that in 98% of clinical hypnotherapy applications, relaxation and hypnosis go together. The combination of relaxation and hypnosis provides enormous benefits. For example, while working in anxiety disorders, the relaxation brought by hypnosis can cause anxiety to regress. In some cases, the benefit of relaxation brought by hypnosis may overshadow the benefit of hypnotic suggestion.

A person’s capacity to relax can also give an idea of ​​their susceptibility to hypnosis. When working with anxiety disorders, patients can be taught relaxation first and then hypnosis. We think that this approach may be more beneficial to clients than directly applying hypnosis. Because a person with an anxiety disorder may also experience the anxiety of not being able to enter hypnosis. This anxiety itself can make it difficult to enter hypnosis. However, when the client learns to relax before hypnosis, we encounter such anxieties much less frequently.

Other physical changes that occur in the state of hypnosis are as follows.

MUSCLE twitching

Muscle twitches may occur in people who experience hypnosis. These twitches are explained by the neurological changes brought about by relaxation. These twitches are harmless and do not persist after the hypnotic state has ended.


In the case of hypnosis, tear secretion may increase. Therefore, an image appears as if the client is crying. But in reality, of course, there is very likely no crying.


Catalepsy is a condition characterized by muscle stiffness, stabilization of posture, and insensitivity to pain in some hypnotic trance states. Catalepsy is not seen in children’s hypnotic trance state. Children can be fidgety even under hypnosis. The fact that it moves never indicates that a child is not in a state of hypnosis.

Other physical changes that occur in the state of hypnosis are as follows.

– Decreased heart rate.

-Change in reflexes.

– Change in facial expression.

– Slowing, regulation and deepening of breaths.

– At the beginning of hypnosis, the client’s eyes may flicker as if they were fluttering.

Movement of the eyes as in REM or leaning backwards.

-Decreased blood pressure.

-Slowing and regular heart rhythm.

– Increased oxygen consumption.

All the above changes are carried out by the atomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system regulates activities that are not under our conscious control, such as heartbeat and breathing.

Psychomotor Changes

Decrease and slowdown in body movements can be observed.
A decrease in the desire to move (as if laziness) can be observed.


In the case of hypnosis, some people may state that the feeling of heaviness is increased, while others may express the opposite. Some may feel as if their body has become 5 times heavier, while others may feel 5 times lighter. Some clients may even report floating without any body weight. Again, some clients may express that their bodies are enlarged or enlarged or shrinking. One of our clients expressed the feeling of heaviness, “I feel like I just came out of surgery.” expressed in his words. Many patients feel too heavy to lift their arms when I ask you to raise them, or they can lift it too slowly.

Changes in Thought Process

In hypnosis, the thought process slows down and thinking deepens.


Selective attention and concentration are intense during hypnosis. For example, while you are reading these lines right now, if you focus your attention, you may realize that there are many voices around. How much did you pay attention to the sound of the car passing by while reading the lines above? Or are you just starting to pay attention? While reading these lines, your attention was not on the sound of the car. Your attention has made a selection and has chosen to focus on these lines. This is called selective attention. A similar selective attention mechanism works quite well in hypnosis. Therefore, people prefer to pay attention to some things in their perceptual fields and not to pay attention to others.

Emotional Changes

It is possible to bring about changes in the mood of people with hypnosis. So much so that people can sometimes experience and feel a single emotion during the session.

Emotional changes inculcated and sustained in hypnosis tend to persist after hypnosis.

Five Senses in Hypnosis

5 senses work more sensitively in hypnosis. However, some may begin to perceive the hypnotist’s voice as coming from much further away.

Increase in Imagination Power

In hypnosis, the human being creates and intensifies images.
and its sustaining power increases (Hammond 1990).
In fact, images can be as vivid as hallucinations.

Images in hypnotherapy;

1. In patients’ self-descriptions
(with the help of symbols),

2. In the use of his creative powers in therapy,

They can be used in personal development and problem solving.

Changes in Memory Processes

The nervous system can record anything. Therefore, our memories of childhood years, which are very distant, can be vividly evoked in hypnosis. This increase in memory power in hypnosis is called hypermnesia. However, it may not be possible to remember everything that has been forgotten with hypnosis.

Changes in Time Perception (Time Distortion)

The first thing I want from patients after hypnosis is over is to guess what time it is without looking at the clock. They cannot easily guess correctly. Because the perception of time is created in hypnosis, not by external events, but by comparing them to internal experiences. The perception of time gains the speed of inner experiences. Since inner experiences are slow, the time that the hypnotized person stays in hypnosis is very short.

Speaking in Hypnosis

Speech may be slow, monotonous, and paused.

Results :

Changes in the hypnotic state can be considered as different indicators of the hypnotic state. As it can be understood, we have not one but many indicators. Just like a cockpit. Just as it is not very common for passengers to know what an indicator means in a cockpit, it is not easy for a person in hypnosis to interpret these indicators correctly and conclude whether he is in hypnosis.

We can use all these hypnosis signs-signs for the following purposes.

-To develop harmony and cooperation with the patient.

– Using the patient’s hidden talents in treatment, influencing him and revealing positive harmonious behaviors.

-The more the phenomena we have described, which are inherent in hypnosis, are intensified by suggestion by the hypnotist, the deeper the hypnosis will be.

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