William J. Bryan Jr., founder of the American Institute of Hypnosis, has defined hypnosis or the induction of a State of Trance as:
"A normal, physiological, altered state of consciousness, similar to, but not the same as being awake; similar to, but not the same as being asleep; and is produced by the presence of two conditions: 1) a central focus of attention and 2) surrounding areas of inhibition.
The state of hypnosis produces three things: 1) an increased concentration of the mind, 2) an increased relaxation of the body, and, 3) an increased susceptibility to suggestion."
A less technical definition of hypnosis is: A naturally occurring altered state of consciousness in which the critical faculty is bypassed (mind in the conscious mode) and acceptable selective thinking established.
This simply means that the reasoning, evaluating, judging parts of your mind (conscious) are bypassed. While we wonder how this could possibly happen, we are subject to it all the time. The advertising industry is dedicated to bypassing our critical judgment all the time in order to influence our buying behavior.
We suspend our critical judgment other times when an authority figure makes certain comments; doctors, clergy, professors, and many others fall into this category.
Children suspend their critical judgment frequently in games of "let's pretend". Actors do it in playing a part; they have to suspend their critical faculty, and they ask the audience to suspend theirs, and to accept them as being someone else.
This focus on a specific goal or behavior is done with laser-like precision and intensity in hypnosis. It's a little like looking through a telescope from the wrong end. You see just one tiny spec of the environment in focus, though you may be aware of everything around you.
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These techniques will work for stage hypnosis or hypnotherapy, however, they are taught here for information purposes only. After reading this book you will have the knowledge and ability necessary to hypnotise people, but please do not practice hypnosis without first undergoing more intensive study.