Hypnosis Defined
HomeHypnosis definedBob's BioLinks

Hypnosis Defined

Hypnosis is a common state of consciousness during which you follow your imagination to achieve heightened alertness in a narrowly focused area. It's like getting caught up in a good book or movie. Most people go in and out of hypnosis several times a day on their own without guidance from anyone. It's a naturally occurring state. By learning how to control the process you can begin to use it to your advantage to change self defeating beliefs operating at the subconscious level. The hypnosis process engages your conscious mind in a way that enables your subconscious mind to readily implement acceptable suggestions.

It’s been said many times that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. The logic alone proves this to be true. I may guide you, but you have to voluntarily do the activities. I can’t make you close your eyes, relax or imagine; only you can do that. I’ll teach you the steps to hypnotize yourself but remember, you have control of the extent to which you do each step or if you do it at all.

A person in hypnosis may sometimes appear as though they are asleep when in fact the hypnotic trance state is unlike natural physical sleep. Research using brain scans have clearly demonstrated that different parts of the brain are active during hypnosis than are active during sleep.

With hypnosis, you create a pathway to communicate with your subconscious. This pathway bypasses the conscious mind.  The conscious mind is the thinking, analytical, skeptical and critical mind that will create doubts sufficient to sabotage your efforts to gain control of your weight, size, and body shape through will power alone.

Unlike the conscious mind, the subconscious mind doesn’t have strong capabilities to differentiate between what is real and what is imagined. So by using the pathway of communication established with hypnosis and then using full sensory imagery of you being your goal weight, size, and shape and being appreciative that the subconscious mind is doing what is necessary to maintain this for you, it will then work around the clock to make that goal weight, size and shape a reality. It will change your appetite, motivate you to engage in physical activities, adjust your metabolism and do other things that will move you towards your goal. That’s also why suggestions that work are stated in the present tense as though they have already been achieved.

Additionally, the unconscious mind does not process negatives well. That’s why when you communicate with it, you’ll use suggestions that are positive and focus on what you want, rather than what you don’t want. If you focus on fat, then that’s what you’ll get; more fat. If you focus on weight loss, the grief process will be activated and work hard to stop the loss.

The subconscious mind is one that operates in the world of symbols, images, emotions, and sensory stimulation therefore; exceptionally effective suggestions come with full sensory imagery complete with emotions. They engage as many of the senses as possible and carry an emotional charge with them.

Repetition builds habits. It is a proven psychological fact that any image, idea, or concept that is repeated consciously 30 days or more, automatically becomes a subconscious habit without your knowledge or approval.

The more frequently you see, feel, hear, touch, taste, and sense your suggestions, the more they become a part of your thought and emotional habit patterns.

Repetition reprograms your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes and repetition rewires the physiological brain. This is called neuroplasty.

Over time, the more intense the full sensory imagery is the stronger and longer lasting the habits become. This is how we become who we are and this is how we can now become who we want to be mentally, emotionally and physically.


Suggestions work best when they meet these criteria:

  • stated in the present tense as though you've already achieved the goal "(I am" versus "I will be")
  • focus on what you want not on what you don't want
  • engage multiple senses that let you see, touch, feel, hear, taste and experience them as appropriate
  • emotionally charged in a positive direction to provide incredible mind altering power
  • repetitive such that the subconscious believes it to be true with the result that the mind is reprogrammed and the brain is rewired

The more emotionally intense and the more vividly detailed your full sensory imagery is experienced, the stronger and longer lasting the effect of the suggestions will be. This will enable the formation of the habits you need to achieve and maintain you optimal weight, size, and shape for a lifetime.

The mind is so powerful that it can cause chemical and biological changes in the body just by imagining something that is totally not in the present reality such as “finger nails scratching down a chalk board” can cause that shiver down your spine or “thinking about biting into a big cold juicy dill pickle” can cause you to salivate. Neither one is present but the biological effect occurred anyway. Think about the use of placebos which can be 35% to 65% as effective as the actual medication or therapeutic intervention.

Therefore by altering your state of consciousness and then imagining that you are a certain weight, size and shape along with suggestions to the subconscious mind to continually achieve and maintain that weight, size, and shape will cause it to take the appropriate biological, physical and mental actions necessary to align what is imagined and what is real.

If you want to be a slim and trim person you must act like one; as though you already are one. So, what and how much does a slim and trim person eat? What physical activities do they engage in that tone their muscles?

Self-hypnosis is a wonderful tool and ability that as you’ve seen comes naturally to you. When you deliberately put yourself into a trance you have total control of it. You choose how deep you will go, you choose what will be accomplished during this time, and since you put yourself into trance you will always have the ability to instantly come out when you’re ready or should any circumstance require it.

It bears repeating that your brain will always maintain an awareness of what is transpiring around you and should anything alarm you while you’re in trance you will immediately come out of hypnosis, be fully alert and ready to handle the situation.

As you will experience, with a little preparation and positive expectation, going into trance happens relatively fast. From that point on you will learn how to deepen the hypnotic state to a level you’re comfortable with which is also the level that is sufficient to give and receive suggestions.

Remember that during hypnosis, it’s normal to hear everything around you or not hear anything around you. If you do hear something such as a phone ringing, a car passing by, or a plane overhead, acknowledge it, let it help you increase your focus and relaxation, then let it fade away.

During hypnosis you may smell different aromas, have taste and physical sensations, feel emotions, as well as, see colors, pictures, and have other positive experiences associated with the imagery you create.

One of the techniques I will teach you is how to deepen your trance state by simply opening and closing your eyes. We’ll use this method as part of the induction procedure. Another technique I’ll teach you is how to stay in trance with your eyes open. You will want to be able to do this so that you can read suggestions that you’ve either selected from the booklet, website, or written yourself following the guidelines provided.


There are four depths of trance that range from light, medium, deep, and very deep (somnambulistic). It’s also normal to move up and down among the various depths of hypnosis during the session. If you sense yourself moving to a lighter stage, acknowledge it, and drift deeper into hypnosis.

For many, it takes practice with Self-Hypnosis to move to the deeper levels. Please understand that the light state is all that is needed to accomplish your goals.

Light Trance State: Everyone who can carry on a normal conversation can go into and stay at this level quite easily. Most people go in and out of this state as a natural part of day-to-day living. This altered state is one that people normally experience several times a day.

  • Have you ever had a wonderful day dream and failed to hear the phone ring or someone calling your name?
  • Have you been so bored that your conscious mind tuned out and distracted itself elsewhere?
  • Have you ever felt intense emotions while watching a fictional movie?
  • Have you been so focused on something while driving that you missed your exit? 

If so, you've then experienced heightened alertness in a narrowly defined area while your conscious mind was distracted. That being the case, you were in a light state of altered consciousness we call hypnosis. And you put yourself there (self-hypnosis). We'll show you what you did and how to do it repeatedly to help you achieve your goals.

In the light trance state you will hear everything around you, feel normal sensations and remember all that transpired within this state. It sometimes feels like you were just relaxing and focusing your attention and emotions on select imagery. For hypnosis to work for weight control, the light stage is all that is needed.

Medium Trance State: As soon as you notice your breathing changing to a shorter rhythm for a brief time, you just crossed over into a medium depth trance. 60% of the population can readily reach this level on their first or second time in hypnosis.

Your relaxation becomes so deep that you don’t have the necessary muscle tone to hold your head up and it rolls forward or to the side. You may not remember parts of the session. Your imagination becomes very strong and you can envision, touch, smell, hear, taste, feel and experience things you create in your mind.

Deep Trance Depth State: At this level you feel detached to some greater or lesser extent. You may have a sensation of lightness, or of floating. It may seem as though my voice is fading in and out. Through suggestion, you will have greater muscle toning capabilities.

Very Deep Trance State: At the very deep trance level, you are aware of your surroundings and can hear conversations and requests but responding seems to be too much of an effort.

At this level you find yourself in a state of total euphoria where you are perfectly content to let the world keep moving on without your participation while you enjoy this hypnotic indulgence.

Robert "Bob" DeGroot, M.Ed., DCH

Site Design and Content © 2005, 2015 by Robert DeGroot, DCH
Client photos are not used in this site.