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What is a Hypnosis Induction?

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  • Written By: Marjorie McAtee
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
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A hypnosis induction is the process by which a hypnotherapist leads a subject into a state of hypnotic trance. Hypnosis is generally regarded as a state of extreme alertness and concentration, in which the subject nevertheless remains relaxed and tranquil. It is often used as a complementary therapy to help subjects modify behavior, cope with stress, manage medical conditions, or prepare for medical treatments. There are several methods available for hypnotherapists to perform a successful hypnosis induction. Therapists may alter the process of hypnosis induction somewhat, depending on the temperament and needs of the subject.

People who have been induced into the state of trance known as hypnosis generally experience an increased state of relaxation and ability to focus. They may be extremely open to the hypnotherapist's suggestions. Most hypnotherapists believe that people cannot be coerced or influenced to do or say things against their own will while under hypnosis.

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The state of hypnosis is often likened to the state of relaxed concentration one might experience while driving or watching a compelling film. People who find themselves focused on one set of stimuli, to the exclusion of all others, may be undergoing a type of hypnotic trance. Though experts don't yet fully understand how this occurs or why, they believe that hypnosis induction can be used to purposefully create this mental state in a subject. Subjects may be able to benefit from the state of alertness and relaxation to absorb the therapist's suggestions and incorporate them more readily into their everyday lives. Hypnosis is believed to make subjects more open to the possibility of accepting suggestions, whether these are from the therapist performing the hypnosis or from the subject himself.

There are a number of methods of hypnosis induction available to the hypnotherapist. One method, relaxation induction, typically requires the subject to consciously release tension from all the muscles of the body, in a progressive way that moves slowly from one body part to the next. Eye fixation hypnosis induction, in which the subject is generally asked to focus the gaze on an object or point while listening to the therapist's instructions, is often used in stage hypnosis. Many hypnotherapists rely on the confusion method of hypnosis induction, in which the therapist's illogical suggestions and statements are believed to wear out the logical mind and induce a state of hypnosis. Some subjects may be able to perform a type of hypnosis induction known as self-hypnosis, in which the subject successfully puts himself into a trance.

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