According to MayoClinic.org,
Hypnosis, also referred to as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion, is a trance-like state in which you have heightened focus and concentration. Hypnosis is usually done with the help of a therapist using verbal repetition and mental images. When you're under hypnosis, you usually feel calm and relaxed, and are more open to suggestions.
Hypnosis can be used to help you gain control over undesired behaviors or to help you cope better with anxiety or pain. It's important to know that although you're more open to suggestion during hypnosis, you don't lose control over your behavior.
What is the best use of hypnosis?
According to the Mayo Clinic, hypnosis can be effective in helping people cope with pain, stress and anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy is considered the first line treatment for these conditions. Hypnosis may also be used as part of a comprehensive program for quitting smoking or losing weight.
According to MayoClinic.org, Hypnotherapy can be an effective method for coping with stress and anxiety. In particular, hypnosis can reduce stress and anxiety before a medical procedure, such as a breast biopsy.
Hypnosis has been studied for other conditions, including:
Pain control. Hypnosis may help with pain due to burns, cancer, childbirth, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, temporomandibular joint problems, dental procedures and headaches.
Hot flashes. Hypnosis may relieve symptoms of hot flashes associated with menopause.
Behavior change. Hypnosis has been used with some success in the treatment of insomnia, bed-wetting, smoking, and overeating.
Cancer treatment side effects. Hypnosis has been used to ease side effects related to chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
Mental health conditions. Hypnosis may help treat symptoms of anxiety, phobias and post-traumatic stress.
What can you expect during a session?
According to MayoClinic.org, the therapist explains the process of hypnosis and reviews your treatment goals. Then the therapist typically will start talking in a gentle, soothing tone and may describe images that create a sense of relaxation, security and well-being.
When you're in a receptive state, the therapist will suggest ways for you to achieve your goals, such as reducing pain or eliminating cravings to smoke. The therapist may also help you visualize vivid, meaningful mental images of yourself accomplishing your goals.
When the session is over, either you are able to bring yourself out of hypnosis or your therapist helps you end your state of relaxation.
Contrary to how hypnosis is sometimes portrayed in movies or on television, you don't lose control over your behavior while under hypnosis. Also, you generally remain aware of and remember what happens during hypnosis.