Hypnotherapy brainwave entrainment allows you to create trance at the push of a button. What an intriguing thought right!?
And inducing a deep trance state is often the goal of many hypnotherpy sessions. Because some therapeutic results are easier to accomplish in deeper levels of trance. And techniques such as fractionation in hypnosis have come about from this desire for effective hyonosis sessions.
So can you achieve this 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.
Is trance 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. Shamanic trance states have been studied extensively. 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. In fact there’s nothing new about hypnotherapy brainwave entrainment either. We may just not label them that way. Hypnosis and brainwave entrainment go hand in hand. And hypnosis and brain oscillations are a useful measure for researchers when testing new drugs or monitoring mental states.
Call trance meditation or flow states if you wish but there is nothing weird or difficult to achieve about them.
What about having access to trance on demand at the push of a button?
What is there that requires no or minimal effort, that you can use to quickly and reliably get into a trance or hypnosis state?
For most of us, trance states are 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.
What is hypnotherapy brainwave entrainment – using audio visual entrainment devices and trance
Brainwave entrainment or audio visual entrainment (AVE) is the use of external stimulation to effect and synchronise neural activity in the form of brainwave frequencies. 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 this is 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. Light stimulation used in specific ways is also where psychedelic brainwave entrainment becomes possible.
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen go into a deep trance during a brainwave entrainment session. Some sessions are designed to be slow relaxing meditative journeys and some are designed to be a drug free psychedelic experience. In both cases, people often 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 hypnotherapy brainwave entrainment is not just a clever way to use technology for personal gain. It also becomes a valuable tool for therapists once you understand how it works.
How do you create a unique selling point for your hypnotherapy business
Consistent reliable trance states and hypnosis with brainwave entrainment is 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. The use of light and sound in dentistry has been one interesting application of the technology.
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.
Why do people have 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. Something that hypnotherapy and brainwave entrainment can do very well.
Repeat business and referrals are the key to the success of these and other helping professions.
How does hypnotherapy brainwave entrainment help with 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 and hypnosis.
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 hypnosis and trance states. If desired, a level of hypnagogia can also be maintained. This is the state we enter just as we drift off to sleep or just as we transition from sleep to wakefulness.
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 hypnosis brainwave entrainment has been shown to help with that too.
Added to that, are the following benefits of adding light based brainwave entrainment to your trance sessions.
What are the benefits of brainwave entrainment in hypnotherapy
Using audio visual entrainment and brainwave entrainment in hypnotherapy isn’t for everyone. But here are some reasons why you may want to consider adding it to your hypnosis tool kit.
Why does brainwave entrainment helps people follow instructions
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. Entrainment happens by an affect called the frequency following response. And this perfectly sets up a pattern and habit of following external instruction.
How does hypnotherapy brainwave entrainment help get to the right level of trance
Science knows what brain frequencies are present during effective trance states and hypnosis. Including the best levels of brainwave activty for suggestability. And with hypnotherapy brainwave entrainment, you can take advantage of a function of the brain called the frequency following response.
This effect is what happens when an external rhythmic repeating pattern of stimulus (like light flashes or sound pulses) synchronises with the brains neural frequencies. Then as the external stimulation changes, it brings the matching brain rhythms with it. This can be to a lower or higher frequency depending on your goal.
Therefore, with this knowledge you can have a consistent target for trance states. And some of these have been shown to be better than others for specific therapeutic or beneficial changes.
What is hypnotic dissociation
Added to knowing what level of trance to go for, is the effect of light and sound on disassociation. Dissociation is like letting go. And this is an important part of hypnosis that entrainment does very well. Because focusing on the unique effects of brainwave entrainment based hypnosis, your clients can disassociate 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.
Hypnotherapy brainwave entrainment creates hypnotic visual imagery
Due to the nature of how stroboscopic flickering light effects the cells in our eye’s.., patterns, shapes, colours and spirals can appear spontaneously. And this adds a sense of wonder and altered states even in those who are reluctant to relax enough during typical hypnotic inductions. This can be subtle and gentle., or it can be all encompassing in a way that creats a full emersive experience. The experience is very unique. And unique is what classifies a trance state from a normal state.
How do you get people to be motivated to continue with therapy
Getting people to have more than one or two sessions can be a challenge. And the successful outcomes of your work rely on this. Using light and sound in this way creates the desire to experience more. Because the experience is very unique and enjoyable. And this leads to a higher success rate for both you as a business and the client. Most challenges never get solved because people fail to continue doing what works!”
What is hypnotic utilisation and how to use brainwave entrainment
The experience of light itself can be used both as analysis afterwards for processing of unconscious messages.., and as a utilisation strategy. Hypnotic utilisation is the practice of using expected or unexpected sounds, sensations or any interuption as part of the hypnotic process. And this can be done spontaneously or by design. For example 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. And you can frame the light session as an opportunity for ‘something to happen unexpectedly’. In this way hypnotherapy brainwave entrainment can act as a convincer of the hypnotherapy sessions goal.
How do you get consistent repeatable hypnotic states with brainwave entrainment
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 like how seeing a puppy can make you smile and feel like playing with it.
Any unique event or stimulation/trigger experienced at the same time as a unique feeling can be linked together. And re-experiencing 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 is increased access to trance states useful
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 and increased awareness 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. Hypnotherapy brainwave entrainment adds another dimension to increasing awareness and exploring dreams.
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.