I know when I first started studying Hypnosis that I thought inducing altered states was something that required great skill. In fact I remember having an incredible about of anxiety over whether or not I would be able to actually pull of the task or not. Pacing someone’s breathing is something that is commonly taught as a means of teaching rapport. In my experiences I have never been able pull off using pacing of breathing patterns with my rate of speed in dialogue during normal conversation in order to build rapport. However in the context of inducing a ‘trance state’ I’ve been able to accomplish this task many times before.
It all seems to come down to context. Some things are permissible in one place are not in others. The ease with which a person can induce an altered state seems to rely as much on what a person is doing to elicit it as it does where and when they are attempting to accomplish this task. Something that is extremely effective in one area can be utterly useless in another.