What is therapeutic hypnosis or hypnotherapy and how does it work?

Hypnosis is communication by one individual to another, or communication with the self (self-hypnosis). A natural trance-like state occurs in which one’s attention is narrowly focused and relatively free of distractions. The attention can be focused internally on emotions, thoughts, images, a task, for examples. Examples of trance states are daydreaming and some forms of meditation. Trance is not sleep, although some people get so relaxed that they may fall asleep. This is no problem because some part of the mind continues to listen to the voice of the hypnotists. In trance, sleeping subjects can still follow instructions such as moving a finger, taking a deep breath, or awakening when they are told to do so.

There is no right way to experience trance. One person may experience it as a deep restful feeling, while another may experience it as a light floating sensation. Every person’s experience of hypnosis is unique.

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