What is hypnosis ? Hypnosis is a state of human consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness and an enhanced capacity to respond to suggestion.
Hypnosis does not steal your will-power; it does not give other people control over you; it is not truth serum (people can and do lie while in trance) and it most certainly cannot make you do what you don't want to do. For example, if your spouse makes you see a hypnotherapist to quit smoking but you aren't ready to quit, you will not.
How does it work : Altered state theories see hypnosis as an altered state of mind or trance, marked by a level of awareness different from the ordinary conscious state. Hypnosis is a state of mind that every person can access which enables you to rearrange meaningful ideas, concepts, memories, events and meanings.
During hypnosis, a person is said to have heightened focus and concentration. The person can concentrate intensely on a specific thought or memory, while blocking out sources of distraction. Hypnotised subjects are said to show an increased response to suggestions. Hypnosis is usually induced by a procedure known as a hypnotic induction involving a series of preliminary instructions and suggestion. The use of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes is referred to as "hypnotherapy".
Every person can access trance and, in fact we all do on a daily basis. The only exception may be those who are severely brain damaged.
Is hypnosis harmful? No, hypnosis is not harmful and has been documented as effective in clinical settings (Council on Mental Health of the American Medical Association, 1958). It is essential that you always see a qualified and registered Clinical Hypnotherapist.