So how deep can one go in hypnosis?
Some people have a fear about being hypnotised and never waking up again. This fear is irrational, as there has never been a case where this has actually happened.
Hypnotic trance states have been defined by 3 levels or stages:
It is suggested that out of 100% of people who have never been hypnotised before, 90% to 99% of all people can achieve a light depth of trance. People in a light trance will:
close their eye
display rapid eye movement (REM)
breathe more slowly
swallow more frequently
have flattened or relaxed facial feature
It is suggested that between 70% and 90% of the people who can go into a light trance will be able to achieve a medium depth of trance. People in a medium trance will:
sink their head towards their chest
sink their body into the chair
experience their jaw slacken
experience facial features flatten and relax more
experience their eyelids stiffen (catalepsy)
experience their skin become flushed or pale
experience a heavy feeling in their arms and legs
partial loss of sensation (partial anaesthesia)
reduced awareness of their body, either in specific parts or all over
It is suggested that between 10% and 15% of the people who can go in to a light trance can also achieve a deep trance. People in a deep trance may sometimes experience:
out-of-body feelings (depersonalisation)
Deep trance is sometimes referred to as somnambulism, however it is a specific characteristic state of deep trance and not all people in deep trance can achieve somnambulism. People who are somnambulists sometimes:
slump deeply in the chair
appear to be fully awake
have open eyes
walk and talk (sleepwalking & sleep-talking)
take a long time to respond to suggestions
Can Everyone Be Hypnotised?
It is suggested that the only people who cannot go in to a trance state are those of low intelligence or those with learning difficulties and those who are psychotic, as they already exist in an altered state of consciousness. Also, some individuals with organic brain disease cannot enter trance.