[ Audio visual brainwave entrainment devices and trance || Create a USP for your business with light and sound || How does AVE help with hypnosis and trance || Why have increased access to trance states ]
What an intriguing thought right!?
Can you induce a trance or hypnotic state with technology?
The answer of course is yes. In fact, as a hypnotist myself I would say that fundamentally all states of mind are a trance. What we are really talking about is changing from a trance that has an accepted normal level of awareness associated to it, to one that has less or more than that normal awareness associated to it.
You may have heard the term ‘social hypnosis’ used before in relation to how we as a society get conditioned to dare I say it.., follow the herd.
Trance is fundamental to our way of life
Tribal peoples, ceremony facilitators, dancers, singers and music lovers and anyone who has participated in any of these activities will know all too well about going into a trance like state regularly. Even being so involved in a television program that when someone asks you a question you don’t hear them, is a trance state.
So there’s nothing new about hypnosis or trance states for any of us. We may just not label them that way.
Call them meditation or flow states if you wish but there is nothing weird or difficult to achieve about them.
What about having access to it at the push of a button though.
Aside from the things already mentioned as natural types of trance you can experience, what is there that requires no or minimal effort, that you can use to quickly and reliably get into a trance or hypnosis state?
The type of trance state that is for most of us, not so easy to get to unaided because it is so different from our normal aware/awake state.
I’m going to talk about one use of technology in particular.
Audio visual brainwave entrainment devices and trance
If you’ve ever tried a stroboscopic light machine before you will know at least half of the audio visual equation. The photic (light) portion of this experience is where the majority of it’s effectiveness comes from when it comes to trance states and the Psychedelic effects due to it’s higher ability to effect neural patterns in the brain than sound.
In a sense the light could override the sound quite easily if the pairing was different and studies do show this to be true.
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen go into a deep trance during a brainwave entrainment session. People go off into another world and when they get back they sometimes look at me wondering if I know that they know. You know? Haha.
And all sorts of good things can happen when you relax that much and bridge that gap between your conscious and sub or unconscious minds.
Hypnotherapists spend most of their working lives perfecting the skills of guiding someone into a trance to then be able to assist with healing and better habits and feelings for their clients. So it’s not just personal use of such technology that becomes valuable once you understand how it works.
Create a unique selling point for your business with light and sound technology
Consistent reliable trance states with audio visual brainwave entrainment are not a new thing.
EEG studies show a unique trance state created by using pulsing light and sound, called photo-acoustic stimulation in some studies. This type of photic induced trance brings with it a reduction in stress hormones like cortisol, relief from depression, and motivation to continue with the therapy. That last point alone is hugely important.
Most therapeutic interventions including hypnotherapy and talking therapies like psychotherapy fail to get lasting results because the client stops coming for follow up sessions. It is true that in some cases especially with rapid therapies like hypnosis and NLP a radical change can occur in just one session. This is rarer than the more common 3-6 sessions or more that bring consistent lasting results though.
The desire for instant fixes
People have come to expect instant fixes and will often be put off by not ‘feeling’ better after the first session.
Ongoing studies with light and sound entrainment have found that the speed of results, motivation to continue, depth and usefulness of trance, and the percentage of successful outcomes increase significantly compared to control groups receiving no entrainment.
This is not only good for the clients but good for your business. Having an additional offering that creates a buzz around your practice as a hypnotherapist, psychologist, health spa or related business is a Unique Selling Point (USP).
And with stress and anxiety being potentially the most destructive challenges of our time, having a reliable way to help yourself or others with this is invaluable.
Repeat business and referrals are the key to the success of these and other helping professions.
How does audio visual brainwave entrainment help with hypnosis and trance states
There are characteristics of trance and hypnotherapy states that have been measured using EEG electroencephalogram that show what happens in the brain during a trance.
Typically our waking brain rhythms or brainwaves are in the Beta (12-36Hz approx) range of frequencies. When we close our eyes and start to relax we descend into first Alpha (8-12Hz) and then Theta (4-8Hz) frequencies or a combination of the two.
Sometimes a person will go even lower into Delta (0.5-4Hz) brainwaves but this is rare and usually results in falling asleep. Using audio visual stimulation for shorter periods like the first 5 minutes or so usually stimulate the central nervous system. Longer periods of stimulation show that in as little as 5 minutes, light and sound based stimulation start to produce profound and relaxing trance states.
In the case of guided hypnotherapy the therapist will use what is called an induction to help the person relax and get more in touch with the unconscious parts of their mind. This induction is just one part of a successful hypnosis session and entrainment has been shown to help with that too.
More than that though are the following benefits of adding light and sound to your trance sessions.
The benefits of entrainment induced trance
The whole basis of audio visual brainwave entrainment, is the brain learning to follow an external source of information. And this is also the whole basis of hypnotherapy. Without the client following instructions there is no trance of any value. Hypnosis is NOT mind control.., it is trust and following instructions for improvement.
Getting to the right level of trance:
Knowing what the brain frequencies are that have been measured as present during effective trance states, with entrainment technology, you can take advantage of a function of the brain called the frequency following response.
This effect is what happens when an external stimulus of regular light flashes or sound pulses or in fact any rhythmic repeating pattern, synchronises with the brains neural frequencies. Then as the external stimulation changes, it brings the matching brain rhythms with it. This can of course be to a lower or higher frequency depending on your goal.
With this knowledge therefore you can have a consistent target for trance states, some of which have been shown to be better than others for specific therapeutic or beneficial changes.
Added to knowing what level of trance to go for, is the effect of light and sound on disassociating you or clients from the outside world. This leads to a much more useable and beneficial trance than just the voice of the therapist alone.
Having this reduced perception of surroundings increases hypnotizability and openness to suggestions and has some nice side effects like anti-depressive effects.
Trance is in essence primarily a switch from an external focus to an internal one.
Hypnotic visual imagery:
Due to the nature of how flickering light effects the cells in our eye’s.., often patterns, shapes, colours and spirals can appear spontaneously adding a sense of wonder and an altered state experience even for those who are reluctant to relax enough during typical hypnotic inductions. This is usually more subtle than a light session designed to give this psychedelic effect but enough to create a unique experience. And unique is what classifies a trance state from a normal state.
Motivation to continue with therapy:
Getting people to have more than one or two sessions can be a challenge. Using light and sound in this way creates the desire to experience more. And this leads to a higher success rate for both you as a business and the client.
The experience of light itself can of course be used both as analysis afterwards for processing of unconscious messages.., and as a utilisation strategy with comments like “As you move into the light your body relaxes and your mind lets go”.
Using targeted suggestions like this linked with the experience of light and sound, you can suggest deepening of trance and success in the goals of the session.
Light can be very symbolic of spiritual idea’s and practices and even associated with God like beliefs. If you frame the light session as an opportunity for ‘something to happen unexpectedly’ it can even act as a convincer of the hypnotherapy session to follow.
Consistency and repetition:
Not only do you have a way to repeat the results you get in one session by using the same protocol, but you take advantage of conditioning (called anchoring in NLP). This is where a unique event or trigger (like in this example light and sound), gets associated with a particular state (in this case relaxation and trance). The two get linked in a positive sense in the same way that hearing a song can make you feel nostalgic about the past or seeing a puppy can make you feel like playing with it.
Any unique event or stimulation/trigger experienced at the same time as a unique feeling can be linked together so that the re-experiencing of the event or trigger will automatically bring with it the same feeling.
Sometimes this happens by accident like in the formation of a phobia. Sometimes it is done on purpose like with advertisers that attempt to link pleasure to the product they want you to purchase.
So why not use the effect to your advantage.
Why have increased access to trance states
As mentioned earlier, there is nothing new or unique about being in a trance state and the benefits of these deeply relaxing states are both profound and necessary for health. But why would you want to increase your ability to enter such states at will?
If you consider that trance and meditation have many similarities then the answer is obvious. Less stress and anxiety, greater creativity and focus, more body comfort and deeper levels of sleep being just a few of the most talked of benefits.
Some trance states lead to deeper exploration also. Connecting with that which you consider a greater power and exploring dream like realities whether real or not has led to many people having a happier, more productive and fulfilling life.
Connection is key, and this is not just about connection with others. Connection with deeper parts of your own mind and experience plays a valuable role in a life worth living. No one else can ever know you as well as you do.
Some research links: