So, what’s it like to be hypnotised?
Well, not what I was expecting, at all, actually. I was a little worried, I have to admit. I’ve seen stage shows where people are ‘put under’ and come up mooing or other such nonsense and I wasn’t particularly keen on exposing myself, and my sub-conscious, to something like that. I actually thought I would be in a trance state, and wouldn’t remember anything. But none of that actually happened.
It starts easily enough.
Becky has a very soft spoken, soothing, voice, and her only instruction was to listen. So I did. Even if, in the back of my mind I was fighting it a little. It’s all about relaxation. Serious relaxation, oxymoron intended. You just lie there, with your eyes closed and listen to Becky talk. She takes you through various steps, controlling your breathing, clearing your mind, relaxing your muscles. It feels like it takes about 5 minutes, but apparently we were, eh, at it, for about 40! I got to a stage of relaxation where I just felt like I was sinking deeper and deeper into the chair. I suddenly had an itch on my neck, but couldn’t/didn’t want to scratch it. It actually got a little scary at one point because my arms suddenly felt really, really heavy.
And I know all this because I was conscious of it, all the way through… myth number one… no trance!
While you’re relaxing, and that’s an ongoing process by the way, Becky takes you, or rather, took me, through something of a visual journey. I had to imagine my brain as a control centre, with dials and levers and things like that. I’m, apparently, a visual person, so Becky used a series of images to help me understand what I was doing… and left it to me, to do things like turn down my appetite, turn up my metabolism, using the dials and levers. And I have to admit, I did my best to listen and follow, but my mind was completely aware of what I was doing, and at times would wander, or fight against it.
It works differently for different people, but the principle is the same – you’re the one in control, the hypnotist doesn’t control you… myth number two… no mooing!
Then she slowly brings you back out of relaxation… she reverses the initial process, using a countdown. But not like the countdown that you so often see on those stage shows, each number is just a step, associated with bringing something back ‘online’ – your breathing, your muscles, your hearing, etc. It’s a gradual process, and again, you control it. Often you’ll feel re-energized apparently. I felt like having a nap. But then that’s a natural state of being for me, definitely more so than being energised!
Myth number three – no snapping fingers, no instant awareness, because you’ve been aware the whole time!
I’m actually looking forward to doing it again now.