We all experience hypnosis, sometimes several times a day.
Examples you may be familiar with include day dreaming, driving to work and not remembering the journey, or being deeply absorbed in a good book or film.
Although your eyes may be closed, hypnosis is not the same as sleep.
Some people say it feels as if they are floating, whilst others may experience a feeling of heaviness as their muscles relax deeply.
The mind is like an iceberg. Only a small part of an iceberg is visible above the surface of the water and this is similar to the conscious mind; the part of the mind which is responsible for everyday thoughts, analysing information and making decisions. Below the surface is the subconscious mind, the much larger part of the mind which deals with memories, emotions and the autonomic nervous system. It is this part of the mind that stores all of the individual behaviours and responses which make us who we are.
Hypnosis is a natural and safe state of mind in which you are aware of everything that you experience. Although often mistaken as a form of sleep, hypnosis is actually an altered state of awareness where the subconscious mind is very alert. During hypnosis, the subconscious mind becomes receptive to suggestion and hypnotherapy uses this process to suggest new thought or behaviour patterns and responses. There are no specific feelings associated with being in hypnosis, because everyone experiences it differently.