The Physical symptoms of trance and the occurrence of physiological changes.

There are eight physical factors of trance that are used to help clinicians ascertain when their clients are in hypnosis. There is, however, no measured way of knowing at what exact moment a client progresses from their usual state of awareness to the more focussed state of hypnosis. It is through experience that the clinician becomes aware of the physical characteristics associated with trance, using the eight physical factors listed below as general indicators of its presence.

Muscular relaxation
All of the muscles in the body start to relax. Relaxation is quite obvious in the face and its features as it looks as though skin sags and droops.

Muscular twitching
As the muscles start to relax, they can often twitch, jump or move as relaxation floods or fills the area. This is very evident when using a script that talks through parts of the body, the body part being discussed will often twitch in response to its relaxing, however, each client experiences trance differently. Obvious signs include involuntary body movements, large jerks or minute twitches; sometimes a finger can even lift in agreement.

Lachrymation
Lachrymation is the secretion of tears or the watering of the eyes.

Eye closure with fluttering eyelids
Once the eyes close, there can be quite a bit of movement from both the eye moving around from side to side under the closed eyelid and also from the eyelid itself fluttering open and closed. Fluttering doesn’t seem to occur often, however, take note to see if the eyes move under the eyelid as you give a suggestion, as this is often a key sign that the client is accepting and taking on board the new suggestion that you have spoken, allowing the client to transmute the suggestion to a belief.

Change of breathing rate
The rate of breathing slows quite obviously, breaths become less often and much deeper, although in some people the breathing appears shallow and peaceful. Sometimes it can sound like the client is snoring as their breathing deepens.

Change in pulse rate
Pulse rate slows down so much that it can often be difficult to even locate the pulse of a client in trance. The heart rate slows, and blood pressure decreases and often the pulse in the neck can become more visible. As blood circulation slows down the face can adopt a translucent appearance.

Jaw relaxes
Skin seems to fall away from the face, making the face look bony and hollow with the tongue relaxing/resting gently on the bottom of the mouth as the jaw relaxes, often shown by the lips parting with the mouth open. It almost seems as though facial musculature flattens.

Catalepsy
A condition characterized by lack of response to external stimuli and by muscular rigidity, so that the limbs remain in whatever position they are placed. It is known to occur in a variety of physical and psychological disorders, such as epilepsy and schizophrenia, and can be induced by hypnosis.

Excessive swallowing
As the body relaxes deeper and deeper it can be a very natural reflex to swallow.

Body temperature drops
Body temperature decreases as soon as the body starts to relax; this is why we suggest that you cover your client with a blanket.

An addition to these eight physical factors is the knowledge that we now have regarding the way that the brain works.