Mayo Clinic

Ever been absorbed while reading or watching TV? Did you zone Out? Didn’t notice what was going on around you? You have then experienced a type of trance-like state or focused attention that’s similar to what happens during hypnosis.

Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness. This is usually achieved with the help of a hypnotherapist and is different from your everyday awareness, It’s not clear how hypnosis works. However, it appears to affect how your brain communicates with your body through nerve impulses, hormones, and body chemicals. Hypnotherapists say it creates a state of relaxation and quiets the mind; you can concentrate intensely on a specific thought, memory, feeling, or sensation while blocking Out distractions. You’re more open than usual to suggestions, and this can be used to change your behavior and, thereby, improve your health and well-being.

Hypnotherapy has the potential to help relieve the symptoms of a wide variety of diseases and conditions, whether independently or with other treatments. It’s one of several relaxation methods approved by an independent panel convened by the National institutes of Health.

in preliminary studies, hypnotherapy has been seen


Change negative behaviors (smoking, bed-wetting, overeating)

Reduce fear, stress, anxiety

Eliminate or decrease intensity of phobias

Treat pain during childbirth & reduce labor time

Control pain during dental/surgical procedures

Lower blood pressure

Control nausea & vomiting from chemotherapy

Reduce intensity or frequency of headaches or migraines

Treat symptoms of asthma

Although hypnosis has the potential to help with a wide variety of conditions, it’s typically used as one part of a broader, more comprehensive treatment plan rather than a stand-alone therapy. Like any other therapy, hypnosis can be very helpful to some and fail with others.

One method leads you into hypnosis by talking in a gentle, soothing tone and describing images that create a sense of relaxation, security, and well-being. While under hypnosis, suggestions are made for you to achieve specific goals, such as reducing stress or eliminating cravings.

In another technique, your imagination is stimulated by suggesting specific mental images for you to visualize, This is called mental imagery, and it’s a

powerful way to help bring about what you want to achieve. For instance, athletes visualize what they want to accomplish before they perform it physically, such as shooting baskets or hitting a golf ball.

In a third technique, you can be taught how to induce self-hypnosis. You then use this skill on your own to help yourself.

If you’ve ever seen hypnotism for entertainment, you’ve probably witnessed several of the myths about hypnosis in action. Legitimate clinical hypnotherapy is not the same process as that performed on stage.

Myth: Under hypnosis, you surrender free will.

Reality: Hypnosis is a heightened State of concentration. Under hypnosis, you don’t lose your personality, free will, or personal strength.

Myth: Under hypnosis, the hypnothrapist controls you.

Reality: Hypnosis is voluntarily. A hypnotherapist only serves as a guide.

Myth: Under hypnosis, you lose Consciousness and have amnesia,

Reality: A small number of people who go into a very deep hypnotic state experience spontaneous amnesia, However, most people remember everything that occurred under hypnosis.

Myth: You can be put under hypnosis without your consent.

Reality: Successful hypnosis depends on your willingness to experience it. Even with voluntary participation, not everyone can be hypnotized.

Hypnosis as a practice is not regulated in most states, so be very careful when selecting a therapist. Certified lay hypnotherapists are individuals who have completed 200 or more hours of training in hypnosis but don’t have additional professional health care training. Licensed health care professionals who practice hypnotherapy are trained in hypnosis along with their university training.

Hypnosis conducted under the care of a trained therapist is considered safe as a complementary and alternative treatment. Adverse reactions, such as headache, dizziness and nausea, are uncommon and may be the result of poor technique. False memories may be implanted if your hypnotherapist uses leading questions or suggestions — avoid this type of hypnosis. Apply the same care in choosing a hypnotherapist as you would a doctor. Ask around for recommendations.

Source: The Mayo Clinic