National Hypnotherapy Society | What is it like to be Hypnotised?

For some people, the thought of being hypnotised can be a frightening one. The unknowing of what will happen, the fear of feeling ‘out of control’, the thought of being completely helpless and not being able to remember anything can be a reason for not considering hypnotherapy as a way to help manage, control or alleviate problematic issues being experienced.

So, what’s it really like to be hypnotised?

According to Dr John Ryder (2009), “The experience of a hypnotic trance not so unusual or strange. To the contrary, it feels vaguely familiar to countless other moments in your life where you were absorbed in a zone, lost in thought, enthralled by bliss, or perhaps simply meditating. Meditation is actually the closest you can come to a state of trance without being guided there, as you would experience in hypnosis. I often refer to it as taking my clients on a journey, a metaphorical trip in your mind or imagination.

There are countless ways to enter a trance. It is similar to falling asleep just not losing conscious awareness. That means that you are able to hear and sense things around you but, typically your eyes are closed, you are not moving, just resting comfortably relaxed. Amazing things happen when you relax on purpose. You should notice that your breathing slows down and most of your muscles become relaxed. There is this sense of distance from where you are, the passage of time gets distorted and often you feel a pleasant, almost euphoric state of peace.

The depth of a hypnotic trance varies, it can be very light or extremely deep. When you feel comfortable with the hypnotherapist, you are willing to "let go" to and allow yourself to enter a trance, then you can experience the special power of the mind and imagination. The power of hypnosis does not depend on the depth of the trance, rather it is a matter of skills the hypnotist has to help you experience something special.

As you enter hypnosis, you actually disconnect your mind from the body and surroundings. That means that your awareness is withdrawn from the normal alert state you walk around in and goes inwardly. The power of hypnosis is your ability to harness the full potential of your imagination without the normal restrictions of the critical mind. This is when a skilled hypnotherapist can help you make dramatic changes in your life. The hidden power of trance is in the suggestions you listen to and how much you embrace these new ideas.

Hypnosis does feel very nice and relaxing, almost like taking a nap. The big difference is in what you are guided to experience during the trance. There are many unusual effects that hypnosis can have on a person. An example of a famous one is the arm levitation, where your arm rises up with a distinct sense that you are not doing it intentionally. There are many strange sensations a person can have during a trance which can only happen under hypnosis; none of these can cause you any harm or pain. Remember, that you cannot be hypnotized against your will, it works only if you agree to let it happen. So, perhaps you are now getting a bit more curious about taking a journey and exploring the hidden labyrinth of your mind”

Hypnotherapy can help with a variety of issues such as smoking cessation, fears and phobias, weight loss/weight management, emotional issues, exam nerves, public speaking, confidence, motivation, stress, depression, anxiety, pain management, child birth, excess sweating, sleep problems, IBS, sexual problems and many more…..

To find out more about how Hypnotherapy can help and to find a Registered Hypnotherapist visit the National Hypnotherapy Society here.


John Ryder (2009), What Does Hypnosis Really Feel Like?, Psychology Today Online: