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Trance Is Where Learning Occurs

By Monika Nygaard, 
The Alderlea Magazine May/98

Hypnosis is still not understood very well. Hypnosis is where learning occurs and hypnotherapy allows us to make changes at the deepest unconscious level that can have a profound effect in our lives.


In my work as a hypnotherapist, I often hear concerns expressed that if one allows oneself to be hypnotized, that a person will lose control of themselves and do things against their will and not remember anything that happened. This is what is called deep trance.

I think the Revine's of the world and old fiction movies have done this powerful therapeutic tool a great disservice. The people they pick through a series of suggestibility tests are only those who do not mind behaving in a silly or ridiculous manner. What a hypnotist can never do is make you do something against your values.

For instance, if you are sleeping you may hear familiar noises such as the fridge going on, your dog or cat scratching, the hum of a radio or TV. But if an unfamiliar sudden jarring noise is heard, you instantly wake up with your senses fully alert. And, if it is against your values to rob a bank, you won't.

Most trances are actually quite light, such as when you are meditating, daydreaming, listening to a boring speaker or right before you go to sleep. Even jogging or Tai Chi has been called meditation in motion. It is something you do quite often all on your own. It is in this light trance state when you are relaxed, that your conscious mind can more easily communicate with your unconscious.

What few people realize is most of your life is unconsciously determined. However, the unconscious is not necessarily unchangeable. All of the experiences we have today affect our unconscious mind as well as our conscious mind. If I read something that inspires me, my unconscious mind has been changed. If I have a meeting with a person who is important to me - my unconscious is changed. Trance is where learning and openness are most likely to occur. It is where we are aware of the vividness of inner mental and sensory experiences, and where external stimuli such as sounds and movements assume less importance.

In the trance state physiological processes slow down allowing us, both at a conscious and unconscious level, to really concentrate on the task at hand; to access experiences from the right side of the brain and to understand our problems differently with the left side of the brain. Critical judgement is reduced to allow for new insights and new understandings.

Nutritionists say we are what we eat. Psychologically speaking we are what we believe. Bees have bodies much too heavy for their wings, but don't know it, so they can fly. Your unconscious is your best therapist - the problem state is attached to the conscious mind, the resource state to the unconscious mind. You have all the resources you need and you may need to access some in your unconscious to find solutions you are looking for.

Quantum physics says we do not change slowly over time, rather we leap from one state to another. Interestingly, movies are shown at the rate of 32 frames per second. If we were to slow that down and show one frame every hour, would it even make sense? Our conscious mind is very slow. By getting in touch with the vast reservoir of our unconscious, we are speeding up the probability of change many fold.

Your unconscious is a powerful tool and a very useful one to add to your toolbox of resources which then can assist you in making changes and moving forward in your life. After all, if you only have a hammer everything starts to look like a nail. Pretty hard to build a house with only a hammer.


Monika Nygaard is a Certified Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Trainer, Time Line Therapy® Master Trainer and Hypnotherapy Trainer. She can be reached at nlp4change@shaw.ca

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