About Hypnosis and How It Works?

By Dr. Robert G. Dean, Ph.D./C.Hth.

Many people associate hypnotism with second-rate magicians. The fact is hypnosis therapy (hypnotherapy) is supported by a large number of clinicians and neuroscientists who see it as a powerful tool to access the minds of patients suffering from a large variety of psychological and psychosomatic disorders. Yet, in order to get the best results out of this effective, safe therapy, it’s important to know exactly how it affects the brain. A team of researchers from Stanford University conducted a new study looking at which brain regions are most altered by hypnosis. What they discovered was published in the journal “Cerebral Cortex”.

About hypnosis and how it works.

Keep reading. You’ll find this fascinating …

To conduct their research, the team screened 545 people in order to determine their susceptibility to being hypnotized, using the Harvard Group Scale for Hypnotic Susceptibility. This enabled them to identify 36 people with high hypnotizable scores. All 36 were selected to take part in the study along with 21 other folks, referred to as controls, who returned extremely low hypnotizable scores. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the researchers scanned the brain of each participant while at rest, while, at the same time, recalling a memory and being hypnotized by listening to a voice recording specially designed to place listeners into a hypnotic trance state. 

Explaining the need for this type of research, study co-author David Spiegel claimed in a statement that “hypnosis is the oldest Western form of psychotherapy”, but it’s been tarred with stage hypnotists dangling swinging watches and wearing purple capes…  The fact is, it’s a very powerful means of changing the way we use our minds to control perception and our bodies.” Therefore, it’s the choice of methods or therapies to change behavior for self-improvement such as tobacco smoking cessation, eating healthy to promote weight loss and better health, plus relieves acute stress and low self-esteem, etc.

Because the default mode network (DMN) is largely responsible for a sense of self-awareness and episodic memory, the executive control networks in the brain would appear to explain how hypnosis enables people to remain conscious and able to act yet with no ability to reflect on their involvement in these actions. The second major finding was an increase in connectivity between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and a brain region called the insula which is associated with somatic function, pain processing, emotion, empathy, and a sense of time. This, the researchers say, could explain how hypnosis enables people to overcome or manage pain (see pictures below of pain relief caused by the use of hypnosis known as hypno-anesthesia).

Women are being hypnotized to birth their babies free from any pain. Burn victims who cannot be given pain relief drugs are hypnotized by a Doctor of Clinical Hypnotherapy to feel no pain during burn wound cleaning, applying the sterile dressing, and during recovery from their burns. See the photo below of a severely burned woman in hypnosis being debrided (burnt flesh cut off her body) by a surgeon and she is feeling no pain!

Finally, the research team noted a decrease in activity in a brain region called the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (DACC), which forms part of the salience network and is involved in “context evaluation”, helping us decide what to focus on and what to ignore. This finding is highly consistent with the strange behavior of people in hypnotic trances who often appear totally unaware of certain elements of their environment.

Summing up, the study authors claim that no brain areas are shut down during hypnosis. Instead, the patient’s connectivity is safely altered while the patient is in a state of hypnosis with some connectivity becoming separated and some becoming integrated. As such, they claim that their research “reinforces the idea of hypnosis as a different state of consciousness, rather than a reduced level of arousal.” This is why hypnosis, when used as a therapy, hence “hypnotherapy”, works and is safe when the patient is induced into a proper level of hypnosis by an experienced, Board Certified Doctor of Clinical Hypnotherapy.

A woman under hypnosis

People are naturally susceptible to hypnosis. That’s because people go into a hypnotic state several times daily and are not aware of it. For instance, when you tie your shoes, you don’t think about it; you just tie them. That’s because you learned to tie your shoes when you were young and your subconscious mind took that knowledge and stored it for future use. Thereafter, you had no need to figure out how to tie your shoes. You just do, while at the same time you can be thinking about something else using your conscious mind.  It’s a fact the vast majority of things you do daily are carried out automatically by your subconscious mind. For instance, you are breathing right now but not thinking about how to breathe. How to breathe is in your subconscious mind which operates your brain which operates the autonomic nervous system that makes you breathe. If you were driving down a freeway in deep thought and missed your turnoff, you were in a state of hypnosis. You were so deep into a trance-like thought and you became oblivious to your turnoff and zoomed right past it. When you type on your laptop or smartphone, you don’t think about it, you just do. Ditto, if you play the piano or anything that seems to be automatic and no conscious thought on your part is required, your subconscious mind is handling that for you so you don’t have to “think” about it.

In theory, every normal person could be hypnotized under proper conditions by an experienced hypnotherapist. In actual practice, however, a small percentage of people cannot be induced into a hypnotic trance.  While there are some people who enter a very deep trance very quickly on the first induction, others—even those willing to be hypnotized—may only reach a light trance on repeated attempts at hypnosis. Their ego or perhaps a touch of paranoia gets in the way of achieving a deep state of hypnosis.

Although susceptibility to hypnosis seems to be a natural characteristic of people it may be neutralized in many ways. If a physician suggests hypnotherapy to his patient suffering from chronic stress, the patient will usually show a great desire to be hypnotized; he wishes to end his stress and the doctor has legitimized hypnosis to accomplish that. Yet despite being highly motivated, the subject may not be susceptible to hypnosis.

On the other hand, a hypnotizable person who is forced into therapy by a member of his family or a friend but is not willing to relinquish his habit (for instance, smoking), may not be hypnotized. The former (who is consciously willing to be hypnotized but is not hypnotizable) is described as consciously willing but is an unconsciously unwilling client. The latter (who is unwilling to be hypnotized but if found to be hypnotizable) is described as a consciously unwilling but unconsciously willing client.

Therefore, it can be said that the most significant factor in susceptibility to hypnosis is the motivation to be hypnotized. Over-cooperativeness and over-anxiousness to be hypnotized, however, are counterproductive and make a hypnotic trance difficult to reach. An unconscious motivation to be hypnotized may be stronger than the conscious will to resist hypnosis. For this reason, if a person consciously resists hypnosis, he will finally find it difficult to stay awake and will drift into the hypnotic trance (The Law of Reversed Effect).

But passive subjects are clearly the most easily hypnotized. Clinical studies of susceptibility to hypnosis have been contradictory and are therefore unreliable. From the results of thousands of reported cases we can, however, make a rough estimate that about 20 percent of people reach the deepest hypnotic depth (Somnambulism, stage III) and that about  10 percent are not at all susceptible to hypnosis. The remaining 80 percent are said to be capable of entering a light to the medium state of hypnosis which is more than adequate to achieve meaningful self-improvements such a weight loss, quitting smoking, ending sleep deprivation, etc.

For a more detailed and concrete analysis of proneness to hypnosis, the above figures may be examined along with other demographic factors, such as age, sex, intelligence, occupation, and personality, as follows:


In general, children under six or seven years old are difficult subjects because of their poor understanding of both language and verbal induction procedures. Conversely, seniors over age 75 are difficult to hypnotize, however, I have hypnotized people over 80 with complete success.


Sparing you, dear reader of all the doctor Latin talk, simply put, women are not more susceptible to hypnosis than men. It is true that women seem to be a bit more trusting than men (mostly curious) and due to their gender experiences tend to be more relaxed, cooperative, and submissive to suggestions and, therefore, many people believe women are more susceptible to hypnosis. The hypnotherapists and doctors of clinical hypnotherapy on my staff, since 1993 have hypnotized, collectively, over three and one half million people in private, and group hypnotherapy sessions and via audio download and CD recordings. It is our combined experience and consensus that men are equal to women when it comes to susceptibility to hypnosis.


I have found, generally speaking, the more intelligent a person is, the more susceptible they are to achieving a deep state of hypnosis rapidly. Bright people do very well with hypnosis. People who have an extremely low I.Q., generally speaking, cannot achieve a state of hypnosis. The reason for this is simple, they can’t stay focused on what I’m saying or simply do not understand me. Also, people who are mentally challenged, feeble-minded, imbeciles, morons, paranoids, and senile persons cannot be successfully hypnotized.  In summary, people with a real intellectual deficiency make poor hypnotic subjects.  If you know you are intelligent but cannot achieve a state of hypnosis, there is likely to be an underlying psychological reason such as subconscious resistance which must be discussed between you and your hypnotherapist to remedy.


People who have an occupation that requires a routine function are more susceptible to hypnosis. People who are accustomed to issuing orders such as military officers seem more difficult to hypnotize. This does not mean one cannot be hypnotized if in a leadership, managerial, or commanding occupation. It’s a documented fact that I personally stood on a stage at the San Francisco Police Department in an auditorium filled with over 300 police officers and successfully hypnotized all of them as a group at the same time for weight reduction and tobacco smoking cessation.


Folks who are introverts are slightly more susceptible to hypnosis than extroverts. Extroverts tend to analyze the therapist during the hypnotherapy induction. It is absolutely impossible to achieve a state of hypnosis while at the same time one is in a state of analysis. So, extroverts sometimes, while being hypnotized, analyze the therapist, then try to determine if they can be hypnotized or if they are in hypnosis. Since hypnosis, in and by itself, can’t be felt, all that is achieved is a failure in hypnotherapy for the analytical subject.

However, due to some occupations such as engineers, computer programmers, scientists, etc., sometimes they have difficulty being hypnotized because they, by their nature, tend to analyze what is going on before they will follow the therapist’s suggestions and directions. People who are cooperative, mentally balanced and well-adjusted make excellent subjects for hypnotherapy and do extremely well with hypnosis.

Can you be hypnotized?

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The Science Behind Hypnosis

Hypnosis is backed by decades of scientific research and practice. It's a method proven to influence positive change in behavior, thought patterns, and emotional well-being. By tapping into the power of your subconscious mind, you can initiate changes that resonate deeply within you, leading to lasting improvements in your life.


What others tested to be hypnosis by locking their eyes shut had to say after that experience:

Just a few comments out of the 3,963 Comments on YouTube who were hypnotized online by Dr. Dean to lock up their eyes. Over 1.7 million people experienced this test. 84% success rate! Below are just a few of the typical reactions and comments made about being hypnotized to lock up their eyes.

A to Rhombus

A to Rhombus

This is the first hypnosis session that actually worked for me, and I loved it. Thanks for the video!

Liva Oflazoğlu

Daytruin ziaos

Dr. Robert thank you for this direct introduction to hypnosis. I was using hypnosis for years over client and myself, but I have a serious issue when it comes to self hypnosis, or someone else doing Hypnosis for me, it is though my critical factor doesn’t shut off when hypnotized, all my responses to your questions were all positive, and I couldn’t open my eyes neither, but when it comes to suggestions things start to be different, for instance if it is said “you are no longer feeling the need to eat chocolate”, immediately an inner sound will pop up saying “yes you are, not only because you heard this suggestion it means it will be real”, a sort of hard resistance to any changes. should I address this /resistance to change/ in hypnosis, or there is a better approach. thank you very much.

Daytruin ziaos

Zoey Storme

For those having trouble being hypnotized, do it when you are very tired. I have insomnia and so I was tired at the time of doing it and was ready to sleep. I think this helped. It work. I did it two times, the second time I was a little more determined to open my eyes. It was a bit stronger that time. There is something to this, but not sure how to describe it.

Zoey Storme

Alex Cartwright

I couldn’t open my eyes and started freaking out, so I used my fingers to try and open them and it worked. I was smiling and laughing the whole time!

Alex Cartwright

Erynn Walsh

I feel I understand how this works now and why I’ve always heard you have to be willing to be hypnotized. Really, I wasn’t able to open my eyes at first. But then I stopped listening to his guidance to keep imagining. I just got excited in disbelief that it was actually very difficult to open them. But at that moment of not listening I was able to open them. This leads me to believe you have to be very aware of the guidance in order to make this work. Fascinating!

a girl is no one

Liva Oflazoğlu





Prepare For Success

Hypnotherapy, properly done at your computer or mobile device, is a cooperative effort between you and Dr. Dean. You and Doctor Dean are assigned parts of the hypnotic induction for you to achieve a hypnotic state and acquire the subconscious programming necessary to cause desirable results. Dr. Dean will honestly do his part and does all the work. Your part is easy. Here is what Dr. Dean asks you to do before your hypnotherapy session begins.

  • Be alone for your session unless another is sharing it with you at the same time.
  • Make your environment quiet. Turn off anything that makes noise such as your TV, radio, hi-fi, and anything else that makes a “distracting noise”. Ask those in adjutant rooms to remain quiet for 30 minutes and not to disturb you unless it is very important.
  • Do not smoke. Snuff out anything you may now be smoking. Make your environment safe.
  • GO TO THE BATHROOM NOW! You’ll want to be comfortable during the entire session.
  • Close the blinds, shade, drapes, etc., to darken your room and provide privacy.
  • If children are about, have a competent adult watch over them during the session and keep them quiet. No one under the age of 18 may legally listen to any hypnotic session downloaded from this website. It’s for adults only.
  • Put any pets you have out of the room you are hypnotized in and that will remain quiet in for 30 minutes.
  • Loosen your clothing for comfort. Remove your earrings. Remove your hat if wearing one. Remove your glasses after reading these instructions (contact lenses are okay).
  • Sit at your computer on a sturdy chair with a solid back and arms. It should be fairly comfortable. A sofa, recliner, or bed is also ideal. Put your cell phone or computer on a table near you or on your bed next to you where you can CLEARLY hear it.
  • If you have earphones or earbuds, use them for superior sound quality. Plug them into your cell phone or computer’s headphone outlet before the session begins.
  • When all the above is done, put on your earphones or earbuds if using them.
  • Put both feet flat on the floor about a foot apart unless you are sitting in a recliner, reclining, or laying on a bed.
  • Press the play button to start listening to the session.
  • Quickly adjust the sound volume. Make it loud enough to be clearly heard.
  • Put both palms of your hands flat down on top of your thighs.
  • Take a deep breath, let it out then completely relax.
  • Gently close your eyes and keep them closed until the session is finished.
  • Listen to and focus on Dr. Dean’s voice and what he is saying to you. When he gives you a direction or a suggestion it’s IMPORTANT that you act it out with your mind (using your imagination) and/or body your way. If Dr. Dean asks you to let your hands go limp, then do so. Don’t question or analyze Dr. Dean or the hypnotherapy being administered to you. Doing so will make it impossible for you to achieve a state of hypnosis. Stay focused on what Dr. Dean is saying to you. If you drift off thinking of something else other than what the doctor is saying to you, quickly refocus back to the doctor’s voice

If You Are Using a Mobile Device to Listen me to Be Hypnotized. Here Are You Safety Instructions:

People can be hypnotized over a cell phone or other mobile device on which one can clearly hear the Doctor provided they pay close attention to him while he is speaking.


It is suggested that you plug your cell phone into its battery charger and your battery charger into a wall outlet. If listening to Dr. Dean on a laptop computer or another digital device it should be plugged into an electrical wall outlet. This will ensure Dr. Dean will not drop off during the hypnosis session due to a low or dead battery.

If you are going to listen to Dr. Dean’s hypnotic session on a mobile device, you may listen to him by activating your speakerphone feature or plug into it earbuds or earphones which work with your device. You may not listen to be hypnotized by Dr. Dean on your mobile device by holding it to your ear. If you do, you may drop it because you become extremely relaxed while in hypnosis. That’s why turning on the speaker of your mobile device or listening to it over earbuds or earphones works best.

Proper Positioning of Your Device

Put your device in front or beside you on a table or bed with its speaker pointing up toward the ceiling. If using earbuds or earphones, put them on. When you are ready (after you have prepared properly to be hypnotized as directed) click playWhen you hear the Doc’s voice, quickly adjust the volume to hear him clearly. Finally, assume the proper sitting, reclining or laying down position you preferer to be in to be hypnotized. Relax and listen carefully. Be certain to act out in your mind and body every suggestion or direction Dr. Dean gives to you during the session to achieve hypnosis. You will find the session extremely relaxing and luxurious. After the session, the self-improvement, mood or feeling you selected will be evident and last as long as is appropriate. Enjoy!

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