/, Hypnotherapy/What is Hypnosis?

In my earlier blog Understanding Mind, we have discussed about our mind in details. I hope you have read it. If not, I would request to go through the above blog to have good understanding about our mind.

A Quick Recap

We can classify our mind into two categories:

Conscious Mind

It is normally 5 – 10% of the total mind and is responsible of thinking, analyses, logic etc.

Sub – Conscious Mind

It is normally 90 – 95% of the size and contains all our emotions, feeling, habits, values, fears etc.

Before understanding Hypnosis, we need to understand two normal states i.e when we are Awake and when we are in Sleep.

Normal States of our Consciousness

Generally we are in two states i.e. either we are “Awake” or “Sleep”.

When we are AWAKE

Our conscious mind is active and in control. Our subconscious mind is also active. Means all information passes through our conscious mind and gets validated by it, before reaching to our subconscious mind.

When we are in SLEEP

Our conscious mind is inactive. Our subconscious mind is active and takes the control.

Even when we are sleeping, all our involuntary functions like digestion, respiration, blood circulation etc are active. Even in sleep, if someone calls our name, we get alert.

What is Hypnosis?

In Hypnosis, our Conscious mind is Active but gives the control to the Subconscious mind.

Therefore, Hypnosis is defined as an Artificially Induced, Altered state of Consciousness, Resembling Sleep characterized by Heightened Suggestibility and Receptivity to direction.

Let us understand every word of it in more detail.

Artificially Induced

As we have seen above, there are two natural states (Awake & Sleep).  The state of Hypnosis is Artificially Induced by self or by an expert Hypnotherapist.

Altered State of Consciousness

We have seen that when we are awake, conscious mind is active and in control. When we are in sleep, the Conscious mind becomes inactive and gives the control to the Subconscious mind. However, the Subconscious mind is always active.

In Hypnosis, the Conscious Mind is Alert but gives the control to the Subconscious mind.

So we can say Hypnosis is a state which is neither awake nor sleep. Or we can say Hypnosis is a state when we are partly awake and partly sleep.

Let us understand by an example.

We have learnt in my earlier blog Understanding Mind, that we can assume our Conscious Mind to be like the Head of an Organization, and the Subconscious mind as all the employees of the organization.

When the organization is new and the procedures and policies are not yet finalized, the Head of the Organization has to be involved in each and every activity of the organization.

But what happens when the procedures and policies of the organization are finalized, departments are made, activities of each department are documented. In this case, the Head of the Organization is available but does not interfere in every activity of the organization.

The organization runs without his interference. The adequate delegation of authority and power has been done. Means the control of the Head is transferred to the respective employees and the Head is also available in the organization.

Similarly, when we are sure that the other person will not harm us; when we have trust in him then our Conscious mind, even though it is active, looses the control or rather transfers the control to the Subconscious Mind.

Coming back to the above example, let us assume if some malpractice starts to happen in the organization or someone tries to break the rules; the Head of the Organization will immediately take the control and take the necessary action against the culprit.

It is important to understand here that the Head of the Organization has only transferred the control (Delegated the Authority) and not lost the control.

Similarly, if someone has the trust on the Hypnotherapist and Hypnotherapist tries to give some suggestion which is against the value system of the person; that person’s Conscious mind will automatically take the control back from Subconscious mind and the person will immediately come out of Hypnosis.

All Hypnosis is Self Hypnosis

So it will not be an exaggeration if we say that ALL HYPNOSIS IS SELF HYPNOSIS. No one can hypnotize you against your own will and even during hypnosis, he cannot give any suggestion against your value systems. So Hypnosis is very safe and the person being hypnotized is always in control.

Resembling Sleep

We have seen that hypnosis is not exactly sleep but it resembles sleep, as the control is with the Subconscious mind and the Conscious Mind is active.

Heightened Suggestibility And Receptivity To Direction

We have understood in my earlier blog that our Subconscious mind is not logical. It does not doubt. So during hypnosis, when the control is with the Subconscious Mind, the suggestions being given by the Hypnotherapist to the person, gets directly registered in the Subconscious Mind without the interference of the Conscious mind.

And we also know that subconscious mind is around 95% of the size. So once it accepts the suggestions, the habits are formed.

So we can say that during hypnosis, the person has heightened suggestibility and receptivity to the directions.

So it is easy to understand now that Hypnosis is an artificially induced, altered state of consciousness, resembling sleep characterized by heightened suggestibility and receptivity to direction.

We can also say that “Direct communication with the Subconscious mind” is Hypnosis.

Another way to look at it is: “Programming the subconscious mind” is Hypnosis.

Types of Hypnosis

There are broadly two types of Hypnosis:

1. Self Hypnosis (Auto Hypnosis)

When we ourselves give suggestions to our Subconscious mind, it is known as Self Hypnosis or Auto Hypnosis.

This technique is effective to change your own habits. It is also advised as a follow up or reinforcement during the two hypnotherapy sessions by the professional Hypnotherapist.

Since some part of the conscious mind is always active to give the suggestions to the subconscious mind, therefore it is not as effective as being done by a Professional Hypnotherapist. Still it finds lot of use and application. It is slow but effective.

2. By Professional

When we are hypnotized by the Professional and he implants suggestions in our subconscious mind. This process is very deep acting, effective and fast. This is because when the instructions are being given by the professional, our Conscious mind need not have any control and can completely relax.


When Hypnosis is applied for therapeutic use, it is known as Hypnotherapy.

We will come up with more details on Hypnotherapy in coming blogs.

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Dr. Pankaj Gupta

CEO, Conquer The Success






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