Hypnosis, a form of mind-body medicine, is a state of heightened consciousness, or trance-like state, that can be directed by the practitioner and client to foster health and curative outcomes.
Unlike participants in popular hypnosis performances, a client in a state of hypnosis remains in control, and a trusted practitioner merely guides the client through a series of verbal suggestions and/or mental images. In this trance-like state, the client can more easily overcome psychological obstacles, increase motivation, and help the body begin the healing process.
During a visit with a trained hypnotherapist, the practitioner begins by asking the client about his/her expectations and goals. Then, the practitioner teaches the client an “induction technique” — for example, intensely concentrating on an external object or mental image. While the client is in the state of hypnosis, the practitioner guides the client towards his/her health goals through visualization. Most often, more than one session, lasting around one hour, will be necessary for the client to achieve his/her goals. Many practitioners will advise clients to continue self-hypnosis at home following the treatment sessions.
Hypnosis has been used to overcome addictions, dermatological and gastrointestinal conditions, obesity, sleep disorders, anxiety, chronic pain, and many other conditions.