A Deeper State of Natural Hypnosis
by Steve G. Jones
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You may not realize it, but hypnosis is a natural state that many people experience throughout the day. That is why they are often surprised when undergoing hypnotherapy, that although they are instructed to relax, they are still fully aware of every word spoken to them and do not ever go completely to sleep. This is true, even during the part of the hypnosis process known as “deepening.”
A state in which we experience hypnosis may be that daydreaming state of mind we go into while driving down the road. You may not realize how far you’ve gone or that you have passed familiar landmarks until you have reached your destination, and start to “wake up.” During hypnotherapy, the same level of semi-consciousness is brought about through the deepening process. Although you are aware of your surroundings during this stage, you can more easily shut out the distractions that may make it more difficult to hear the therapist’s message; yet if you had to, you could instantly become alert again.
Deepening is achieved in a few different ways, but generally deepenings involve some sort of descending movement. It could be the sun setting, counting backwards from 10 to one, or imagining yourself physically going down a set of stairs. Most deepenings involve a couple of these mental images combined.
The deepening portion of the hypnotherapy is usually about 5 minutes long. It is a continuation of the induction stage and brings about a greater, or deeper, state of relaxation. Here are some examples of the words spoken during deepening:
1. “As I begin to count from 10 to one, close your eyes. Imagine at the same time the sun is setting and moves a little closer to the horizon with each number I speak. 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1.”
2. “Now imagine you are at the top of a small set of stairs. As I count from 10 to 1, picture yourself taking one more step downward. 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1.”
3. “Put your hand in mine as I hold it high at your shoulder level. Close your eyes and put all your weight on my hand. As I count, I will lower your hand, until it is resting by your side. 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1. Now, I will do it with your other hand.” (The process of lowering the arm is repeated with the other hand.
All of these descending images bring you to a deeper state of relaxation. You will most likely not be asleep, but very close to it, if you have allowed yourself to become completely relaxed. Sometimes a deepening message will include imagery of washing relaxation over your body starting at the head and working toward the feet -- again in a descending order.
Deepening is essential in preparing the mind and body for the hypnosis script, which is the heart of the process. Allowing yourself to trust in the hypnotherapist and go into a deeper relaxed state will make hypnosis more effective at initiating life long changes.
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Steve G. Jones is a graduate of the
University of Florida and is certified as a Clinical Hypnotherapist by the
National Guild of Hypnotists and the American Board of Hypnotherapy.
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