What is hypnosis? How does it work? Why use it?

hypnosisWhat is hypnosis? Hypnosis is defined by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis as “a state of inner absorption, concentration and focused attention. It is like using a magnifying glass to focus the rays of the sun and make them more powerful. Similarly, when our minds are concentrated and focused, we are able to use our minds more powerfully.”

Countless scientific studies have verified hypnosis as an effective tool for accelerated human change. The American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association have accepted hypnosis as a valid therapeutic technique for more than two decades.

“…hypnosis is not mind control. It’s a naturally occurring state of concentration. It’s actually a means of enhancing your control over both your mind and your body.” — Dr. David Spiegel, associate chair of psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine, on the Jane Pauley Show, September 2004

How does it work? “While there is general agreement that certain effects of hypnosis exist, there are differences of opinion within the research and clinical communities about how hypnosis works,” notes the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.

However, many scientific studies have documented the mind-body connection, revealing that we are what we think ~ especially at the level of the subconscious.

Through hypnosis, we are able to access the subsconscious and change the thoughts there that are creating our challenges ~ overeating, smoking, addiction to legal and illegal drugs, irrational fears, low self-esteem, and so forth.

Why use it? As The Mayo Clinic reported in 2003, “The purpose of hypnosis as a therapeutic technique is to help you understand and gain more control over your behavior, emotions or physical well-being.”

Hypnosis is used to help people:

  • stop smoking
  • lose weight
  • overcome fears
  • manage pain
  • gain self-confidence
  • and more.

For more information, visit the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis or Hypnosis: What the Experts Say on this website.

David E. Swindall, LMFT, M.Div., is trained in clinical hypnosis. Contact us to learn more or to request an appointment.

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