Some hypnotists or therapists like to differentiate between “hypnosis” and “trance”. For the casual reader, there is no need to be concerned about what may at time seem like academic issues. But of course, you are interested, or you wouldn’t be reading this right now.
It is often said that you go into “hypnosis” several or even many times a day. An example given is “highway hypnosis”, where while concentrating on nothing but driving, you suddenly come to the realization that you have perhaps half an hour of time and are “suddenly” many miles from where you were when you last recollected.
Now you were certainly in a trance. But hypnosis is a highly suggestible state of heightened awareness, and it certainly can’t be said that you were being fed suggestions by anyone during that time period, nor that you were especially aware of very much.
Even during a daydream you go into a trance-like state. I’m sure we all recall times in school when we zoned out in class while in an intense daydream, afterwards remembering none of what was being taught, whether we got away with not paying attention or were caught. That doesn’t sound like very effective suggestiblity to me, nor of heightened awareness.
Many hypnotists make a point of putting people into a trance, which is accompanied by a hypnotic state. Others feel it is not necessary to put people into a trance in order to bring them into a hypnotically suggestible state. Master hypnotist Jeffrey Stephens, who does rapid inductions for hypnosis, feels it is counterproductive, and that a relaxed state would just make it take longer to wake the client up and send them on their way afterwards.
Many people enjoy the trance state and find it pleasurable in itself. Hypnosis is not just therapy, but also serves as entertainment, both on stage and in private sessions. Check out my hypnovacations sometime to see.