Relevant signs of hypnosis

Here is a list of typical signs of hypnotic trance
(Not a comprehensive list)

  • Different perception of reality
  • Time distortion
  • Turning pale
  • Body heat
  • Redness or spots (on the neck and/or chest)
  • Wet hands
  • Physiological tears
  • Stomach noises
  • Repetitive yawning
  • Repeated swallowing
  • Sigh
  • Fixed gaze
  • Eye movements
  • Squinting under the eyelid or only the whites of the eyes are visible
  • Blink of an eyelash
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Wiping effect under the eyelids (REM movement)
  • Pink or red whites of the eyes
  • Jerky movements
  • Slowing down of the Ideo motor
  • Signs of relaxation or tension

Not everyone will show all of these signs.
Some people may not show any of these signs.

During a hypnotic induction or when the client is already in a trance, it is interesting to observe the various signs. They make it clear that the client is indeed in a “different” state than the waking state or conventional sleep.

Many of these signals are common to the classic states of relaxation, but others have very peculiar characteristics

Muscular relaxation, limpness
The muscles are completely relaxed.
Especially those that are visible on the face which may appear “smoother” than usual.
The general color tone of the person is gradually changing.
Deeper breathing.

Slowing of the breathing rhythm
Breathing can be “shallower”.

Facial symmetry
When we are awake, our face is generally asymmetrical.
The differences between the two lateral halves of the face tend to fade in a trance-like state.
It should also be noted that people who maintain their trance practices regularly
(meditation, yoga, self-hypnosis, etc.) their face “re-symmetrizes” and gradually smoothes out over time.

Movement of the eyes under the eyelids
The eyes appear to “wander” behind the eyelids as if asleep.
The eyeballs move back and forth.

Rapid eye movement behind the eyelids
(REM – Rapid Eye Movement).
These movements are observed in dream phases.
They are very common when the client goes into a deeper trance.

Swallowing (swallowing saliva)
It usually occurs during the phases of “acceptance” or “integration”.
The person “accepts” to go into trance, the person “accepts” a change that has taken place or the end of an “experience” from which they want to “retain” what they have learned.

In this way it is possible to check, often before the subject is brought out of hypnosis,
that the integration of useful experiences from the session has gone well.

Unconscious movements
They go hand in hand with the “neutralization” of consciousness, which is laid to rest like a spectator,
but another part of itself is released.

These movements are often very visible on the fingers of the hand, which can also be used for signaling (see “Signaling”)

Unconscious movements can be very different from one client to another, sometimes very discreet (slight involuntary movement, trembling) or very spectacular.

Dilation of the pupils – defocused gaze.
Visible when the client is in a hypnotic state “with eyes open”.
It is a very special experience for the hypnotist to hypnotize a person with their eyes open.
The subject’s gaze is then “unfocused”, wide open, and the pupils are very dilated, as in children.

These tears have nothing to do with the emotional content and can sometimes only appear in one eye. They can be observed at the beginning of the induction, but also at the end of the session.

Other possible signals
Change in heart rate.
Change in skin color.
Stiffness of certain body parts or postures that differ from the usual (e.g. the head may go backwards in some, or the neck and head may be very aligned with the spine in others.
Swelling of the lower lip
Total immobility

This list is not exhaustive and specific (idiosyncratic) manifestations may occur.
may occur for certain individuals.

The ability to recognize these indicators is useful

They allow you to deepen the trance and improve its quality.

Calibrate your voice to the person’s breathing, for example, or confirm a certain phenomenon, such as a movement or a body sound. This allows you to use this as appropriate evidence of the “reality of the hypnotic phenomenon” for the subject.
The resulting “convincer” reinforces the trance with an auto-reinforcing phenomenon.

Signs of negative trance

  • Strongly tensed muscles
  • Face wrinkled, contracted
  • Anxious look
  • Absence of smile
  • Increased perception of negative messages


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