The specialists encounter difficulties in reaching a consensus regarding the definition of hypnosis. Hypnosis is not fully understood because consciousness, with its levels of awareness, is not understood. Hypnosis is a function of consciousness. The entry into the hypnotic state is a natural, innate property of consciousness.
The British Medical Association has defined hypnosis as a “transient state of altered attention.” Some define it as an altered state of consciousness (Chertok, 1979), while others consider it a constructed psychological state. Psychology professor essaynow.net Ernest Hilgard (1904-2001), one of the founders of hypnosis department at Stanford University, described hypnosis in terms of dissociation, in which a part of the mind operates independently from the rest of the consciousness. Most specialists agree that hypnosis involves avoiding the critical factor of the conscious mind, focus of attention and the acceptance of suggestions.
A more modern perception of hypnosis suggests that hypnosis is a natural state in which people enter even automatically throughout the day, a safe state with great potential for healing. It is a state of deep relaxation and focused attention (though relaxation is not necessary to induce hypnosis). It is a soothing and pleasant experience that has the potential to induce very deep relaxation of the body and mind. The deep state of hypnosis is referred to as “trance.”
Hypnosis can be characterized by mnesic and sensory distortions, increasing susceptibility to suggestion, catalepsy and anesthesia.
Hypnosis is an excellent method by which people can access their inner potential and achieve positive transformation in their lives. Each of us utilizes various depths of hypnosis daily, when we daydream, meditate or relax, before we fall asleep or when we wake up, prior to becoming fully alert. We do it easily, automatically, without thinking about the process or realizing we are experiencing hypnosis.
In hypnosis, the subconscious mind is receptive to suggestions, the conscious mind is in a quiet state, and the physical body is relaxed. It is not mandatory for the physical body to be relaxed to enter hypnosis. Hypnosis bypasses the conscious mind, allowing direct interaction with the subconscious. It is not necessary for a person to believe in hypnosis to be hypnotized. Even though hypnosis is a natural state that we all experience every day, people who use it for personal development, in and after a hypnotic state appear to have ability to achieve remarkable things.
Although hypnosis has been used for thousands of years, the term “hypnosis” was coined in 1841 by the Scottish physician Dr. James Braid using the Greek word “hupnos” which means “sleep.” This term is not quite an accurate description of hypnosis because in hypnosis the subject is not asleep. On the other hand, many hypnosis clients have proven that even if they fall asleep during the hypnosis/ hypnotherapy session their subconscious mind is fully present, receives and acts upon suggestions.
The state of hypnosis can be achieved either by oneself –self-hypnosis– or with the help of a person trained in the art of hypnosis (a hypnotherapist or a hypnotist).
Research has shown electrical changes in the brain during hypnosis. The brain waves become slower than the ones in the waking state. During hypnosis the brain reaches the Alpha, Theta, Delta and REM states.
There are varying degrees of hypnosis depth. Some people go very deep in hypnosis while others go lightly. Most people experience a state somewhere in the middle.  During hypnosis, one maintains control and awareness.



Hypnotherapy is a safe and drug free therapeutic approach that addresses the subconscious mind, and, indirectly the conscious level of thinking. It is the use of positive suggestions and other techniques in hypnosis for implementing positive changes in the way a person thinks, feels, behaves or to help in the healing process of various health conditions.
Hypnotherapy is the use in hypnosis of alternative techniques such as:
-Visualization techniques
-Guided Imagery and Interactive Guided Imagery
-Progressive Relaxation Technique
-Positive Suggestions Therapy
-Neuro-Linguistic Programming Techniques (NLP)
-Age Regression
-Age Progression
-Parts Therapy
-Time Line Therapy
-Emotional Freedom Technique
In addition, in Spiritual Hypnotherapy the following therapies and techniques are used:
-Past Life Regression Therapy and Analysis
-Life Between Lives/ Interlife Exploration Hypnosis/ Beyond Life Exploration Hypnosis
-Channeling the superconscious level of thinking and/or the universal mind
-Future Life Progression
Medical Hypnotherapy (in addition to the above techniques):
-Guided Imagery and Interactive Guided Imagery for Healing
-Suggestion Therapy for Healing
-Superconscious Healing: -cleansing and rebuilding the energy field of the body technique
-achieving unity in consciousness technique
-emotional healing technique
Hypnotherapy is very efficient because it’s the approach that has access to the subconscious mind with its suppressed memories and unsolved negatively-oriented beliefs that lead to negative emotions.



Hypnosis has been officially recognized by the British Medical Association (BMA) since 1955 and the American Medical Association since 1958 as a legitimate and safe approach to medical and psychological problems. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) and the American National Institute of Health have also recognized hypnosis as a viable therapeutic approach to medical and psychological conditions.
The use of hypnosis is recognized, as complementary, within the medical field as a useful therapeutic tool in the treatment of medical conditions and psychological problems. According to William Ray, a professor of psychology and Penn State hypnosis-researcher, more than 12,000 articles on the benefits of hypnosis have been published in medical and psychological journals since the 1950s.



A survey of psychotherapy literature by psychologist Alfred A. Barrios, Ph.D. revealed the following recovery rates:
Psychoanalysis: 38% recovery after 600 sessions.
Behavior Therapy: 72% recovery after 22 sessions.
Hypnotherapy: 93% recovery after 6 sessions.
Source: American Health Magazine
At Harvard University, a study was conducted on eight hypnotized subjects  by a research team that has included Stephen Kosslyn, a professor of psychology at Harvard University and doctor David Spiegel from the faculty of medicine from Stanford University. Using PET scanners, this experiment has produced evidence that, when a subject was hypnotized, the right hemisphere showed changes in its activity. They also observed changes in the activity of the left hemisphere. In contrast, when the experiment subjects were not hypnotized, changes in activity occurred only in the left hemisphere of their brain.
Scientific studies have shown that almost 80% of physical and psychological problems are stress related. “Hypnosis is the most powerful relaxing non-pharmacological agent known to science.” Dr. G.V. Sunnen, M.D.



  • Hypno-psychotherapy and hypno-psychoanalysis (psychotherapy and psychoanalysis conducted in the state of hypnosis) are practiced by clinical psychologists.
  • Medical Hypnotherapy is the prerogative of health professionals.
  • Hypnotherapy is the prerogative of hypnotherapists who use it either for personal growth, spiritual growth or for holistic healing. Thus, in the world, this kind of hypnotherapy can be practiced by any person without medical or psychology training, who is a graduate of certification courses in hypnotherapy. Also, there are many doctors and psychologists who choose to obtain certifications in various areas of hypnotherapy because scientific studies show its effectiveness.



 Hypnotherapy can be used for:
  • weight management (obesity, anorexia, bulimia)
  • smoking cessation
  • stress management (reduce or eliminate stress)
  • pain management
  • anger management
  • increasing immune system’s ability to fight disease
  • normalize blood pressure
  • overcoming allergies
  • ease or overcome the symptoms of asthma
  • overcoming certain cases of infertility
  • cancer treatment support
  • overcoming insomnia, nightmares, sleep paralysis and improving the quality of sleep
  • overcoming fatigue
  • overcoming negative thinking including associated with depression and suicidal thoughts
  • overcoming anxiety and panic attacks
  • reduce the intensity or overcoming headaches and migraines
  • overcoming Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • preparation for surgery
  • postsurgical recovery for accelerating healing
  • manage symptoms associated with HIV
  • relieve symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • overcoming addictions (alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc)
  • fasten the healing of skin diseases (including warts, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (according to Mayo Clinic)
  • overcoming bed wetting
  • overcoming nail biting
  • overcoming thumb sucking
  • for birthing with hypnosis (reduce or eliminate pain during childbirth and reduce labor time)
  • hypnosis as anesthesia for surgical procedures
  • control pain during dental procedures
Hypnotherapy can also be used for self-improvement or personal and spiritual development:
  • overcoming negative, compulsive thinking
  • improving confidence, self-esteem, self-image, self-love
  • overcoming fears and phobias (fear of flying, heights, water, spiders, public speaking, insects, crowds, examination, etc)
  • overcoming stage fright
  • overcoming self-sabotage
  • overcoming clutter
  • overcoming procrastination
  • improving concentration, memory
  • improving creativity
  • improving study habits
  • improving work habits
  • improving job performance
  • improving relationships ( personal and professional)
  • to attract and create a wonderful romantic relationship with a great match
  • time management
  • attaining goals
  • improving sports performance
  • improving artistic performance
  • improving sales performance
  • for spiritual growth
            -for Self discovery/ discovery of the multidimensional facets of the higher self
            -for aligning with the higher levels of consciousness
            -for reconnecting with The Source for emotional healing
According to the Mayo Clinic:
 “Hypnotherapy has the potential to help relieve the symptoms of a wide variety of diseases and conditions. It can be used independently or along with other treatments. For example, it’s one of several relaxation methods for treating chronic pain that has been approved by an independent panel convened by the National Institutes of Health.”



People in hypnosis may experience the following:
  • a state of deep relaxation, tranquility and peacefulness, sensation of well-being and inner peace. (The entry into the state of hypnosis does not necessarily imply relaxation. The hypnosis patient/client can enter hypnosis even when involved in an activity, such as exercising on the exercise bike.)
  • Fluttering of eyes/rapid eye movement under the eyelids (eye movement indicates that the patient/client is in the REM state)
  • the client’s face becomes very relaxed
  • Focused state of concentration and heightened sensitivity
  • Stillness of the body
  • Sometimes discreet twitching of limbs
  • Lightness or heaviness of limbs or of the entire body
  • Elongation or expansion sensation
  • Sensations of levitation, sinking, falling, floating or flying
  • Usually sensations of warmth, sometimes of coolness
  • Tingling sensation or sensation of pleasant energy flowing through the body
  • Sensation of extension from the body, reduce or loss of body awareness
  • Tears usually of joy, of rediscovery of the Self
  • Sensation of being in two places at the same time
  • Visions of light of different colors
  • Seeing/perceiving the way one sees in lucid dreams
  • Some clients during hypnosis cannot move their body, unless the hypnotherapist gives them the suggestion to move it.
  • Levitation of arms without the client being conscious of it.



As long as a person is able to fall asleep at night, it is able to enter the state of hypnosis or to be guided in hypnosis. It is safe to say that everyone could be hypnotized. We all experience the state of hypnosis multiple times during the day and at night. We could say that since newborns and babies don’t have a fully formed conscious mind, are most of the time in a state of hypnosis.
Resisting hypnosis is not the same as not being able to be hypnotized. Anyone can resist hypnosis. People achieve different levels of hypnosis either by themselves or guided by others. The most common form of hypnosis and hypnosis programming (in general, unfortunately, not a very positive programming) is achieved through watching television.
            Everyone knows how to get in hypnosis, we do it automatically, without realizing that we go into or through hypnosis. However, in a hypnosis session, the person has to be willing to be hypnotized. The consent for a hypnosis session is mandatory. Also, the client’s cooperation during hypnosis sessions is required. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis, according to Dave Elman, one of the prominent figures in the field of hypnosis.
Not everyone enters hypnosis at the same speed. In fact, there are some that will enter hypnosis in a few seconds, while others may require much longer. Some people go very deeply in hypnosis, while others go lightly, but all of them experience beneficial effects. Usually, even if people feel that they were not hypnotized, they experience the desired outcome. Basically, everyone can experience the benefits of hypnosis.
Hypnotherapists help clients activate their inner potential, their inner mechanisms of healing, helping them become self-motivated to achieve their goals. Hypnotherapists who are not licensed as physicians, clinical psychologists or psychotherapists should not work on patients with psychiatric diagnoses, such as schizophrenia, dissociative identity personality, etc.

Information provided for A.E.H.M by Dr. Elena Gabor, hypnosis instructor



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