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What is Hypnosis? How does it work

Hypnosis (literally means sleep) is a natural state of mind, in which the mind is in between sleep and complete awake state.

Table 1: States of conscious and sub-conscious

Table1Naturally occurrences of hypnotic states

  •  Just before sleep
  • Just after waking up, till the time you are in full awake state ( This is the reason these two times are traditionally used for prayers, so that good thoughts go in our mind)
  • When we are doing some repetitive task (e.g. driving on a familiar road)
  • When we are doing some task without applying conscious mind (watching TV)

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A broader definition of Hypnosis – Anything that involves modification of human behaviour through modification of belief systems is known as hypnosis.  By this definition a lot of things fall under the term hypnosis – a sales pitch, an advertisement, a seminar, a meeting, many cult practices. In fact all these are forms of covert hypnosis (without formally inducing hypnosis), where the pitch is targeted to invoke certain emotions and modify your behaviour.

Covert Hypnosis:

There are some methods of hypnosis, wherein the person being hypnotized does not know s/he is being hypnotized. It’s also called conversational hypnosis, since hypnosis is done under pretext of having conversation.

Some thieves use hypnosis to steal things by engaging a person in a conversation. Personally I had come across a tribe in Gujrat, who were traditionally petty thieves using this as one of the methods of stealing.

Stage hypnosis/ mass hypnosis:

Some hypnotists conduct shows of hypnosis wherein they hypnotize some people on stage. Many a times, easily hypnotizable individuals are picked from the crowd as volunteers. And they are made to do things that seem impossible to do. e.g.  a person is given an potato to eat and is told under hypnosis that it is an apple. Other example is making the body stiff, demonstrated by supporting the whole person lying down on just ends of two chairs.

Mass hypnosis is when the hypnotist hypnotizes the whole audience and creates illusions of vision, taste etc.

Many hypnotherapists are opposed to this use of hypnosis as this can be misused etc. Personally I believe lot of mass hypnotists have done a good job at taking hypnosis to the masses, making them aware of this powerful technique and explaining the science behind it. Many of these mass hypnotists are also therapists, who attend to clients who get interested after a show.

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How is Hypnotherapy different from Hypnosis?

Hypnotherapy is use of hypnosis for therapy – for resolution of issues.

 For what, is it useful?

There are many areas where hypnotherapy can be used. Any of the techniques mentioned above can be used for issues below.

Table 2: Short list of issues that can be dealt with HypnosisFor a more detailed list check our comprehensive list

list of issues that can be dealt with Hypnosis

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How does hypnotherapy work?

Hypnotherapy is a targeted at changing belief systems in subconscious mind and replacing it with a more empowering belief system. This can be done with two major ways

  1.  Suggestions: Directly telling the subconscious mind the suggestion that are more empowering than current belief. Simple example would be – if the client is not confident, the hypnotist gives him set of suggestion to mean “ you are confident in all areas of life. Sometimes metaphors are also used in suggestions.
  2. Going to the root cause: The hypnotist gives the person a suggestion to take him back in time and space to the origin of the problem. This could mean age regression, inner child healing, past life regression or EET. The person re-lives the experience that is the root cause of this belief and then emotional release can be done under hypnosis. After this the person has no reason to hold on to that emotion or incident any more. Sometimes even root cause and emotional release can be metaphorical.

Both methods work well and are sometimes used in conjunction with other. Once a new belief system is installed, the person’s behaviour changes accordingly.

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 We use a variety of different methods under hypnosis

In a specific session, the choice of techniques is driven by the client’s issue, his/her depth of hypnosis and flow of the session etc.

Scientific techniques

  • Issue understanding and Counselling
  • Determine suggestibility and sexuality of the client
  • Suggestions/ Affirmations
  • Visualization
  • Teaching self-hypnosis
  • Hypnodrama (especially for anger release)
  • Mental bank technique
  • Age regression therapy
  • Dream suggestions, dream analysis
  • Basic hand-writing analysis

Spiritual techniques

  • Inner child integration therapy
  • Past life regression therapy
  • Emotional empowerment technique
  • Crystal dowsing
  • Energy cord relocation/cutting with belief or person
  • Core issue identification
  • Higher self-therapy
  • Talking to the sub-conscious mind
  • Releasing vows, oaths and curses
  • Foreign energies release
    • Spirit release
    • Releasing dark force entities
  • Parallel Reality
  • Life between life therapy
  • Life-script therapy

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 Typical sessions we provide

First session: First session is introduction, understanding and cognitive discussion (including some counselling) of the issue that you are facing. Also there could be short demo of experience of hypnosis. The more sessions a person has more deep he can go. But some people can go really deep in first or second session.

Duration: 1.5 hr to 2 hr session. Sometimes it may extend beyond two hour (if the client is willing to work). It’s always best to come with some extra time in hand, just in case it extends beyond designated time. Between two session gap may not be required, they can be done on consecutive days also.

Length of treatment: 2-5 session for each issue are usually enough. In some cases resolutions can come in 2 or less sessions. In many cases more than 3 session can be needed

Cost: Rs 2000 for each session.

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Can I learn it myself?

Yes, anyone can learn it. All you need is willingness to learn and some interest in human psychology. There are many institutes that give training courses. The institute I learnt it from is California Hypnosis Institute of India (CHII) in Mumbai, India.

Can I learn self-hypnosis?

Yes you can learn two things. One is Self-hypnosis. We can train you to do this. This training can be done after experiencing hypnosis for at least 1-2 sessions. Learning self hypnosis with identification of keywords is a one-time process, it takes around 1.5 hours. You will be able to do affirmation/suggestion based work with this easily.

The second is EET (emotional empowerment technique), you can learn this easily lot of resources including videos are available on internet for EFT (emotional freedom technique). We can also teach this in a 30 minute session. This is a wonderfully simple and effective technique for working with mental, emotional and physical health issues.

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FAQs (Please check myths about hypnosis on our blog)


  • What if I do not come out of hypnosis?

That is not possible. As it is clear from table 1 above, hypnosis is a state between sleep and awake state. So, in worst case, you can go to sleep or you can come back to awake state. Both states are not dangerous.

  • How many sessions will I need?

 Typically 2-3. Also depends on what is your issue, how deep you go in a session and how willing and open you are.

  • Any prerequisites before the session?

 No. Just willingness and openness

  • Any side effects of therapy?

 If you go to a trained therapist, there should be no adverse side-effects. Good side effect could be Happiness J

  • Will I tell you anything/ do anything under hypnosis?

 No. And since part of your conscious mind is awake so you can choose to disobey or filter out information that you do not want to speak.

  • Can Hypnosis be used in bad way?


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  • I remember all that happened during the session, was I hypnotized?

Yes, you will remember every thing you experienced. Since part of your conscious mind was awake, it will register what happened. In rare cases, if there is a traumatic experience, we give a suggestion that you will forget what you saw.

  • Was I imagining this?
  1. In a way yes. All your memories are imagination of going back to that time.
  2. In a way no. Because you experience every emotion, every bodily feeling you experienced that time.
  3. As a therapist, it doesn’t matter to me if you were imagining it. Even, if you are imagining, whatever your problem is you are releasing it through a metaphor. As long as the therapy is done, the wisdom is available to you from therapy, our work is done.

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