Brain Waves & the Hypnotic State

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Please see What is Hypnotherapy.


Hypnosis is the suggestible state of the mind. We often get into this state of mind everyday without realizing.
We experience this state when we are about to fall asleep, but are not fully asleep, and also on waking up when we are half-awake, yet not fully awake. Since the conscious mind at those times is fully at rest, the sub-conscious mind becomes highly suggestible.
We also experience the states of hypnosis whilst watching T.V., painting, or while even reading an engaging book. At these times the conscious mind is highly engaged, leaving the gateway to our sub-conscious mind wide open. This is when the sub-conscious mind is at its most suggestible state.


The human brain is made up of billions of brain cells called neurons. Neurons communicate with each other by sending signals or electrical impulses.
When millions of neurons emit signals at once, it produces an enormous amount of electrical activity, which can be sensed by sensors in medical equipment (such as EEG) by placing them on the scalp. The electrical activity that is captured and displayed by the equipment is in the form of brainwaves.

An individual’s brain waves change according to his emotions, feelings, and the activities he is involved in.
The four broadly classified human brain wave states are:

• beta
• alpha
• theta
• delta


When an individual is engaged in activities, which requires full focus such as dancing, skating, conversing, engaging in a game or sport, and is highly stimulated by the environment, his brain is generating beta waves. It is an aroused state. Beta waves are low amplitude, fast waves that range from 13-60 Hz (or cycles per second). His conscious mind in this state is fully alert and performing critical reasoning and logical thinking activities.


The brain of an individual generates alpha waves when he is watching T.V. intently, is sleeping lightly, or is absorbed in a light form of meditation, or is painting, relaxing, or watching a sunset etc. It is similar to the state when an individual reads a gripping book and loses track of time and track of what is happening around. His conscious mind is fully caught up in the activity at hand, but is not analyzing or reasoning. This leaves the way to the sub-conscious mind open. It is a state of mind when a person does not process information actively, yet he is fully awake. His brain is fully relaxed so is his body.This is the phase where the mind is already under hypnosis. In this state the sub-conscious mind becomes highly suggestible. Infact, this is the very reason that marketing gurus try to fully exploit this state of mind of the T.V. audience. They insert their product advertisements in between the most rated TV shows for the gullible, and highly suggestible minds of the hypnotized audience.
A very interesting read on hypnosis in the marketing field is available here.
This state is also considered highly desirable for effective studying. Infact, hypnotherapy is considered to be a very productive tool to help the brain learn new information and recall it all when needed. Considering this, it is a highly effective tool for students.
The brain waves in the alpha state are higher than the beta waves, but with a slower frequency – between 7 and 13 Hz.
The alpha state is when the mind can be imprinted with new ideas, and beliefs. This is the state when breakthroughs take place in self-healing.


Theta waves are generated when an individual undertakes highly repetitive and monotonous tasks such as driving in a very comfortable zone, shaving, brushing teeth, daydreaming, etc. The theta brain waves are strong when the activities are performed in autopilot, where the mind is completely disengaged from the job at hand, and is focused on other ideas. The sub-conscious mind is wide open to suggestions in this state. There are no filters or interferences in this state from the conscious mind. The brain’s activity in this state ranges between 3-8 cycles per second. This is a state of deep hypnosis.
In this state guided visualizations under hypnosis are very effective as the symbols and imagery go directly to the unconscious mind.
Most of the creative ideas take birth in this mental state.


The Delta state occurs when the brainwaves are extremely slow, i.e., in between 0.1 to 4 Hz. This is the state when an individual is in deep dreamless sleep, or in a very deep meditation, or is unconscious. The body performs most of the repair functions in this state.


Human brain waves keep altering most of the time. It is never in exclusively one state for very long. However, most of the adults function in the beta state during the waking hours. This can also lead to a lot of mental stress and strain. It is also very easy for adults to switch to different brain waves swiftly.


Children’s brains on the other hand till the age of 6-8 years function on the theta frequency. Most of the children during this period of their lives observe and take in a lot from their environment, but are not able to mentally process it all. Nor, are they able apply it all in their lives. They go about in a trance-like state daydreaming. Therefore, children for the first 6-8 years of their life spend their time in a hypnotic trance!

Their conscious mind is not fully developed to perform tasks of logical reasoning and analysis.

During this phase whatever information the child gathers from the elders, and the environment around him, goes directly into his sub-conscious mind and unconscious mind without any filtering!
This is precisely the information, which shapes the mind and finally the character of the child. The information garnered at this phase influences him for the most part of his adult life. Not all the information a child receives during the first 6-8 years, or even after that, for that matter, is pleasant and positive. This is what hypnotherapy helps to clean up from the sub-conscious and the unconscious mind.

For the frequently asked questions on hypnotherapy please click here.

Please see the following related topics:

What is Hypnotherapy
Hypnosis & Clinical Hypnotherapy
Process of Hypnotherapy
Usages of Hypnotherapy
Concept of the Human Mind
Past Life Regression Therapy
External Energy Releasement Therapy

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