Saturday, 3 March 2012

The Different Depths of Hypnosis


A frequent question surrounding hypnotherapy is 'was I hypnotised?' The answer to that question is that hypnosis does not work like a light switch that is either on or off, there are different levels of hypnosis in the same way there are levels of sleep when the brain works at different levels or cycles (more like a dimmer switch then).
There are numerous scales of hypnosis that document the different depths of hypnosis the mind works through and the effects that can be seen, some account for up to 50 different levels while the one below keeps things simple at a mere 6. This scale is the 'Arons Depth Scale' named after its creator Harry Arons. This is not the definitive scale as every scale has its differences, but it is a useful and simple indication of what happens to the body/mind under hypnosis and is well worthy of reference.
The scale below is summarised by Joshua Houghton on his fantastic blog  http://www.whatsonmybrain.com/
Stage 1: HYPNOIDAL – Very light stage of hypnosis in which most clients don’t feel hypnotized. The majority of people feel completely awake. Two types of HYPNOIDAL states are Hypnopompic and Hypnoagogic. Hypnopompic is the state by before waking up in the morning and Hypnoagogic is the state right before falling asleep at night.
A lot can be accomplished in this 1st stage: Weight reduction, smoking withdrawal and simple muscle control such as eyelid catalepsy.
Stage 2: More relaxed state where larger muscle groups can be controlled and manipulated such as Arm Catalepsy. Your power of critical reasoning starts to become impaired.
Stage 3: You get fairly complete control of your entire muscular system. Most people won’t be able to articulate a number, stuck to a chair, can’t walk and even partial analgesia.
Stage 4: In this stage you start to produce greater phenomena and is known as the beginning of the amnesic stages. Your client will actually forget items such as their name, number, address and other items. Glove Analgesia and feeling touch, but no discomfort.
Stage 5: This is considered the start of somnambulism. You get cool stuff like complete anesthesia and experience the ability to neither feel discomfort or touch. A lot of different pain control techniques can be used in this stage as well.  You can also experience what is called Positive Hallucinations which means you can see and hear things which do not actually exist. You can also experience real Age Regression in this state and not just remembering the past.
Stage 6: This is the next level of Profound Somnambulism. You can experience Negative hallucinations which means you won’t see or hear things that actually do exist.

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