Hypnosis involves a unique process that puts the person under hypnosis in a state of trance. While some hypnotized people experience a very deep hypnotic state, others experience a trance state that is very light.
To understand the difference between deep hypnosis and the light hypnosis state is based on the four depths of trance. These stages include the light trance, apparent somnambulism, true somnambulism, and coma/ Esdaile states.
1. Light Trance
Light trance can be achieved by just about anyone. It’s a bit more than a state of deep relaxation focused on deep attention. Unfortunately, it might not be the most powerful hypnotic state when you need the best results from hypnosis.
2. Apparent Somnambulism
This is an amnesia-inducing state, and it creates a situation where the hypnotized person cannot feel pain.
In this hypnotic state, also called true somnambulism represents an extremely relaxed state. This state is regarded by hypnotherapists as a state that allows for a high level of suggestion to the subconscious mind.
Theoretically, you achieve a level of nothingness in this state.
This state is also called the highly suggestible state. There are no ongoing thoughts, and the mind’s Conscious Critical Faculty cannot override any suggestions meaning that you can change your thoughts and beliefs in this state.
Surgical works can be performed in this state, and you won’t feel the pain. Also, a state of temporary amnesia could be achieved in this hypnotic state.
3. Coma/ Esdaile State
This is the deepest state of hypnosis, and very few people can achieve this state. In this state, an individual achieves a level of total bliss, as well as euphoria. Basically, you have no concern or awareness of events and your surroundings.
In this state, major surgery could be carried out, and you wouldn’t feel any pain.
This stage of hypnosis is more effective than all the other forms, and though there isn’t much known about how deep this stage is, it would appear that this stage of hypnosis boasts the highest level of suggestibility.
The Esdaile state is the most important stage of hypnosis, especially when it comes to self-hypnosis. This ultra-deep hypnotic state also means total access to the subconscious and the highest level of suggestibility.
Which State Can You Reach?
Unfortunately, you cannot tell how deep you’d reach when it comes to hypnosis, and the only way for you to determine how deep you’d go is by being hypnotized.
Signs of Deep Hypnosis
1. Pupil Dilation
The dilation of your pupils is one of the most common signs of a deep state trance. Under hypnosis, the hypnotized person’s pupils will dilate and grow larger by the second. Dilated pupils mean that you are comfortable and relaxed.
2. Pulse Changes
In a deep hypnotic state, the pulse slows down, although it could also speed up, depending on the message you are trying to convey.
3. Smoothening of Facial Features
A person in a deep hypnotic trance is in a deep relaxed state, which shows when the muscles on your face even out and begin relaxing. Also, the face will become more balanced and very symmetrical.
4. Changes in breathing patterns
You can tell that someone is entering or in a deep hypnosis state when their breathing patterns change. As a hypnotherapist, you can tell that an individual is in a deep meditative state by looking at their breathing around the shoulders and the chest.
You should consider using your peripheral vision not to scare the person under hypnosis.
5. Blinking reflex changes
Blinking is another sign to watch out for when you’re trying to determine if a person is being hypnotized is in a deep meditative state or not. Whether you have faster or slower blinking, these reflexes are indicative of a deep state of hypnosis.
In other cases, however, blinking might stop completely, which could mean that the muscles are frozen/ still. This is a cataleptic state.
6. Heavy Eyelids
You’ve probably seen this in the movies where someone undergoing hypnosis is told, or they say that their eyelids are becoming heavier. A common sign of deep trance response is eyelids becoming heavy and tired.
The eyelids start to close. In most other forms of hypnosis, the eyes don’t close all the way down, and they often remain open as the person being hypnotized is still conscious.
7. Involuntary Muscle Twitching
One of the other common signs of a deep hypnotic state is the involuntary twitching of muscles. Besides the facial twitching, there could also be shoulder twitching.
Twitching is a sign of a cathartic process, and it shows that you are beginning to enter a deep relaxation state. These are just some of the most common signs of deep hypnosis. Unfortunately, you cannot see all these signs just by looking at them.
In most cases, you require good calibration, as well as sensory acuity, to see the micro-expressions and micro muscle changes, and you can only see these changes if you are attentive and patient. Below, we highlight some of the other physiological changes you might need to know about before hypnosis.
There are two main categories of hypnosis; light and deep, here’s how to tell them apart.
8. Physiological Changes
- Head dropping
- Changes in breathing
- Micro-muscle changes
- Shoulder slumping
- Changes in your breathing pattern
9. Physical Changes
- Skin Changes -Changes in skin color and skin tone. The skin looks a little droopy.
- Facial Changes – Changes along the jawline and the softening in the face/head relationship
- Overall Body Movements – twitching, licking of reading, swallowing, and a slowed heart rate.