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  • Writer's pictureLinda Campbell

Understanding Trance

Inmy training, we spedn time looking at trance; how trance shows up in different cultures and practices, the types of trances, depths of trance, and signs of trance. Once you are aware of how frequently trance occurs, and how it occurs, you will see trance states everywhere! describes trance as “an altered form of consciousness in which a person is neither fully awake nor fully asleep. In essence, the trance state involves walking between the world of the conscious and subconscious mind.” I like this definition because this really is where we are taking the client; into the twilight zone between being awake and being asleep. And then we are holding them there long enough to do something meaningful with the trance state.

Trance states typically include:

  • Internally oriented thinking

  • Changes in emotional expression

  • Feelings of rejuvenation

  • Increased suggestibility


Some other features of trance may include getting insight, doing deep internal work, and experiencing or seeing oneself differently.

Although in the training, we will be focusing specifically on induced hypnotic trance, trance has been used in different forms by various cultures around the world for healing, celebration, rituals, and personal development. And trance is used today in different ways for accessing deeper levels of consciousness, overcoming pain and even for play!

Aside from hypnotic states, some other examples of trance are:

  • A medium who accesses a trance state to channel or conduct a séance

  • Meditation

  • Yogis, shamans, firewalkers, whirling dervishes

  • The state accessed intentionally during certain body modification practices such as piercing or suspension

  • The state of shock a person goes into during or after a traumatic event

  • The state called “sub drop” accessed during BDSM practices

  • Using plant medicine or psychedelics to get insight or do therapeutic work

  • Being in “the zone” – working, hobbies, during a creative endeavor


Trance states can be induced by:

·         Excessive physical movement such as dancing or spinning

·         Chanting or singing

·         Drumming

·         Sleep deprivation

·         Fasting

·         Consuming psychoactive drugs

·         Extreme pain, shock or overwhelm

·         Focus

Obviously, in our work with clients, we are sticking to ways of inducing trance that are comfortable, safe, legal, and consensual.

The Benefits of Trance states

We do pass through alpha and theta brain wave states, or trance states, as we fall sleep as well as during other times of the day such as when we relax or slow down for a moment or two. However, in these states we aren’t doing anything useful with the deeper brain wave state.

When we use trance therapeutically, we are accessing those states and using them for some beneficial purpose. That might be to change a belief, habit, or behavior, get insight into an issue or trace back a symptom to see where it began. In Alpha and Theta states we tend to be free of worries, fear, and frustrations. We experience a deeper level of relaxation and are more open to learning. We are also able to tap into our intuition, creativity, and inspiration. 

Other benefits of trance states:

Relieve stress 

Trance states are great for relieving stress because they require us to focus inward. Letting go of external focus gives us an opportunity to be free from our stressors while in trance. And the stress relief that trance offers us can be carried forward out of trance to make it easier to handle those stressors in the “real world”

Relieve anxiety

Because we tend to be focused on the present moment in a trance state, we are free from anxiety. Anxiety occurs when we focus on the future, anticipating worst case scenarios and playing them out in our imaginations. Therefore, trance states relieve us of anxiety. Trance also trains us to be more present. And this ability to be mindful enables us to deal with anxiety provoking thoughts more easily


Deeper brainwave levels, as well as the stress relief they provide, enhance healing, and strengthen the immune system

 Accelerated learning

Typically, when we learn something new, we are leaning it in a conscious state. So, it can require a lot of repetition before we know it on an unconscious level. When we use trance states, we have access to the long-term memory and therefore, are able to deposit information directly into the SC. Learning is accelerated when trance states are used.

Increased self-awareness

Trance states allow us to step away from how we usually perceive and view things differently. Normally when we are grappling with something, we are using the logical mind to try and figure things out.  In trance, we are able to put logic to the side and look at a situation from different angles. We can bypass what the rational mind thinks and observe how our body responds to a situation, how we respond emotionally or energetically or what our intuition has to say 

Heightened creativity

In a trance state we have access to the SC mind which is where our creativity stems from. Therefore, we can tap into that creativity and get answers, solutions, perspectives, and ideas that otherwise would have been out of reach.

Access to memories

The SC is the long-term memory. By using trance we can access the long term memory to understand how events have impacted on us, where symptom, belief or behavior has come from and even to retrieve and process lost or repressed memories.

Connect to all aspects of ourselves 

Trance allows us to have a fuller experience of ourselves. Many people are only aware of or familiar with their logical mind and its operations. Trance allows us to get in touch with other aspects of ourselves including our creativity, emotions, intuition as well as spiritual or higher self. Trance is often seen as a gateway to the superconscious; an opportunity to tap into the “all that is”

Connect with Source

The SC is the gateway to the Matrix, the Source or the All That Is. Everything that has ever existed, or ever will exist, exists right now in the Source and we can access that information or experience while in a trance state. By using trance, we can get information abut any person, place or event—past, present and future and use it to our benefit.

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