Just because music says it’s suitable for hypnotherapy or hypnosis sessions doesn’t mean it actually is. It’s not enough to have some gentle new-age music going in the background and hope that your client is going to relax and go into a nice, healing trance. That melody that was so good to listen to while you were doing other work or just sitting and relaxing can be quite distracting when you’re trying to achieve deep alpha or theta states.
As a hypnotherapist, you need music that follows some very specific principles:
1. The melodies should be subtle and not too distracting
The aim is to create music that produces relaxation, expansiveness and healing — but to do so in a way that does not draw attention to itself and cause the person under hypnosis to lose focus and start paying conscious attention to the music. Bearing this in mind, any solo instruments should be muted so that they do not draw too much attention to themselves and thus distract the listener. Also, the focus for hypnosis music should be on the texture and ambience of the piece as a whole, rather than on specific instruments and melodies.
2. The music should be positive and gently uplifting
People are able to access more of their inner resources when they feel uplifted and positive, so good hypnosis music will encourage relaxation and a positive mindframe. The key word, as with any type of hypnosis, is ‘suggestion’. The music doesn’t cause relaxation… it subtly suggests it. The cues for deep relaxation are processed by the heart rather than the conscious mind, so the client relaxes naturally and without effort.
3. The music must be suitable for playing at low volume
Background music for hypnotherapy, reiki or any other healing modality is usually played at low volume, so the music shouldn’t have any significant drops in intensity that might result in stretches of silence when the track is played. On the other hand, you also don’t want any sudden increases in volume that might startle the client or draw their attention to the music. Good music for hypnosis will maintain interest using harmonic progressions rather than pronounced changes in volume or intensity.
4. Tracks should be of relatively long duration
One of the main considerations of hypnotherapy music is to avoid anything that will draw the client’s attention away from their process. Tracks that play for only a minute or two result in excessive periods of silence between them, which can cause the person in hypnosis to lose concentration. Ideally, hypnosis music tracks should be at least six or seven minutes long.
When we put these principles for ambient background music for hypnotherapy and hypnosis together, what we get is music that creates a sense of privacy and safety for the client, encouraging them to relax into deep states of transformation and healing. It can help the therapist as well, because they can let go a little and allow the music to carry the client to more heart-centred levels of being.
Russel Brownlee is a certified hypnotherapist and creator of the Ambient Therapy range of music for hypnotherapy, reiki and mind-body healing. Get your ambient therapy MP3 downloads and free hypnosis music track now at http://hypnosismusic.bandcamp.com.