Hypnotic states and depth of trance

What is depth of trance?

In short, depth of trance is the measure of the hypnotic subject’s susceptibility to suggestion in a given moment. This means, that a person who is “deeper” will be able to realize a larger spectrum of suggestions than a person who is “shallower”. Depth of trance is tested by using suggestions in various directions. Below, I am listing the commonly accepted criteria for each of the hypnotic states, and the suggestions which characterize them.

When the critical faculty bypass has been stabilized on some level, that creates a state, or a hypnotic trance. There are numerous different trances, however we’ll focus here on those which are most common. Alongside each, I will note the minimal criteria required to judge whether a person is in that state, but also the most common contexts in which those states are used.

What are the hypnotic states?

  • Light trance
    • Characterized by the subject being able to realize suggestions for:
      • Catalepsy (relaxing or tensing a limb to the extent where the hypnotic subject cannot consciously move it),
      • Kinaesthetic hallucinations (regarding the physical body; e.g. feeling ones hands as warmer than they are),
      • Decreasing the sensation of pain.
    • Most commonly used in order to get to deeper states.
  • Medium trance
    • Characterized by the subject being able to realize suggestions for:
      • Analgesia (turning off pain, but not other sensations),
      • Distortion of ones sense of time.
    • Most commonly used in order to get to deeper states, however also widely used in conversational hypnosis.
  • Deep trance (somnambulism)
    • Characterized by the subject being able to realize suggestions for:
      • Amnesia (which also has several levels, i.e. “light, medium and deep somnambulism”):
        • Comfortable non-thinking means light somnambulism.
        • Amnesia while in trance is the marker is medium somnambulism.
        • Post-hypnotic amnesia (i.e. we suggest amnesia, bring the hypnotee out of trance, and they still can’t remember) is the marker of deep somnambulism.
      • Anesthesia (turning off all sensation, locally or generally),
      • Positive hallucinations (experiencing something which isn’t there),
      • Negative hallucinations (not experiencing something which is there).
    • Most commonly used for everything which isn’t covered by the deeper states.
  • Hypnotic coma (the Esdaile state)
    • Characterized by the subject not responding to any suggestions, due to the state being so comfortable and pleasant that the hypnotee basically ignores the hypnotist.
    • Automatic anesthesia of the whole body. (Automatic as in, it doesn’t have to be suggested.)
    • The body shows a pre-catatonic response – automatic catalepsy of skeletal muscles follows when you move the hypnotee’s limbs around. That gives them a ‘waxy’ quality.
    • Catatonia can be induced in a limb by decisively pulling on (“setting”) joints, which results in the muscles locking, and the limbs “springing” back to the way they were set should we try to move them.
    • The Esdaile state is most commonly used for anesthesia during surgery.
  • Ultra-depth state (the Sichort state) – achieved via the hypnotic coma
    • Characterized by absolute relaxation, including deep abdomen muscles, and skeletal muscles.
    • Anesthesia continues.
    • Indirectly, via the subconscious, the hypnotist can affect:
      • physical body regeneration, quickening healing processes,
      • fortifying the immune system,
      • the balance of the hormonal system.
    • The Sichort state is used as anesthesia in surgery – especially those dealing with the abdominal cavity.
  • Ultra-height state – achieved via the hypnotic coma
    • Characterized by complete conscientiousness, which allows for:
      • Rapid realization of suggestions,
      • Dynamic realization of more complex suggestions by the hypnotee,
      • Expanding the horizons of the mind – conscientiousness allows for discovery of ones own abilities and tendencies.
    • It is a very useful state in therapy, as it allows for going through the whole therapy process within a few minutes, rather than several sessions.
  • Hypnotic sleep
    • Characterized by the absence of the conscious mind in the hypnotee, which means that this state allows them to realize all suggestions (which, of course, still have to be safe and beneficial for them – the self-preservation function is still active, regardless of state).

I hope this write-up is useful to you.




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