What Is Hypnosis?

You are getting very sleepy.... While hypnosis is often associated with sideshow performances, it's not a magical act. Rather, it’s a technique for putting someone into a state of heightened concentration where they are more suggestible. Therapists use hypnosis (also referred to as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion) to help patients break bad habits, such as smoking, or achieve some other positive change, like losing weight. They accomplish this with the help of mental imagery and soothing verbal repetition that eases the patient into a trance-like state; once relaxed, patients’ minds are more open to transformative messages. Hypnosis can also help people cope with negative emotional states, like stress and anxiety, as well as pain, fatigue, insomnia, mood disorders, and more. 

The Power of Hypnotic Suggestion

Contrary to popular belief, humans stay completely awake during hypnosis. In fact, the average person enters a hypnotic state twice a day without even realizing it. Hypnosis can be used to ease pain, treat autoimmune disease, block memories, and break bad habits. But not everyone is capable of being hypnotized. Is it ethical and useful to hypnotize children? And what are the downsides and dangers of hypnosis? A growing body of research on hypnosis seeks to answer these questions.


Integrative Medicine

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