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Demystifying Hypnosis: What Is It and What Are the Benefits and Risks?

Imagine a world where you could manage pain, overcome bad habits, and improve your overall well-being without resorting to medication or invasive procedures. The world of hypnosis offers this possibility, yet it is often shrouded in mystery and misconceptions. In this blog post, we will demystify hypnosis, explore its benefits, debunk common myths, and unveil the science behind it.

Short Summary

  • Hypnosis is a safe and reliable technique used to induce changes in perception, sensation, emotion, memory or behavior.

  • Clinical hypnosis has been shown to be effective for pain management, IBS treatment and quitting smoking.

  • Checking credentials and obtaining recommendations from reliable sources is important when selecting a qualified hypnotherapist.

Understanding Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation and heightened focus, often used to facilitate positive behavior changes. There are two main types of hypnosis: clinical hypnosis and hypnotherapy.

Both forms involve a trained and certified hypnotist or hypnotherapist guiding a person into a state of hypnosis.

Clinical Hypnosis

Clinical hypnosis is a form of hypnotherapy that utilizes a state of trance to address medical or therapeutic issues, such as smoking cessation, weight loss, pain management, and self-improvement. It has been found to be effective in treating anxiety, sleep disturbances, bed-wetting, and side effects from chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

However, it is essential to ensure that the hypnotherapist is licensed, certified, and experienced in order to minimize potential risks, such as false memories and manipulation.


Hypnotherapy, on the other hand, is a therapeutic technique involving inducing deep relaxation and focus through hypnosis. In this state, carefully chosen language and imagery are used to induce changes in perception, sensation, emotion, memory, thought, or behavior.

Hypnotherapy treatment duration varies depending on the individual's needs and goals. When conducted by a qualified therapist, it is considered a safe and effective treatment option.

Debunking Common Myths

Despite its proven benefits, hypnosis is often misunderstood due to widespread misconceptions. For instance, some people believe that hypnosis is a form of mind control, that people can be compelled to do things against their will, or that it is similar to sleep.

Hypnosis is a natural state of concentrated attention and relaxation, not involving mind control or a lack of control. Research has demonstrated that hypnotic treatments can be effective in managing pain, IBS, and PTSD symptoms.

Another popular belief is that the hypnotist has full control over the subject and that hypnosis is hazardous. In truth, the subject remains in control during the process, and when performed by a qualified practitioner, hypnosis is a safe and reliable technique for aiding people in making beneficial changes in their lives.

The Science Behind Hypnosis

The science behind hypnosis elucidates its ability to induce a relaxed state of concentration. Hypnosis is achieved by inducing a state of concentration and relaxation, thereby making the subject more receptive to suggestions. While most medical associations and organizations note that additional research is needed to make meaningful determinations regarding the efficacy of hypnotherapy, studies have shown that it can be effective in managing pain, IBS, and PTSD symptoms.

This relaxed focus allows the hypnotherapist to guide the individual through carefully chosen suggestions and imagery, ultimately helping them make positive changes in their lives. Numerous research studies have supported the scientific basis of hypnosis, further establishing its credibility as a therapeutic tool.

Hypnosis Applications

Hypnosis has a wide range of applications in both medical and psychological arenas. It has been known to be effective in treating pain, irritable bowel syndrome, smoking cessation, and other medical conditions with psychological factors. By gaining control over behaviors and thought patterns, individuals can make significant improvements in their overall well-being.

In the following subsections, we will explore in detail how hypnosis can help manage pain, treat irritable bowel syndrome, and assist in quitting smoking, demonstrating the versatility and effectiveness of this therapeutic approach.

Pain-Related Treatments

Hypnosis has been demonstrated to be an effective approach for managing both acute and chronic pain associated with a variety of conditions, such as cancer, burns, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and jaw problems. By breaking the stress and pain cycle, easing muscle tension, and reducing pain sensation and associated negative emotions, hypnosis can significantly improve overall quality of life.

Additionally, hypnosis has been shown to potentially reduce the intensity of pain and the time taken to recover from an injury or illness, as well as diminish the amount of stress and anxiety associated with the experience of pain. This makes it a valuable treatment option for those suffering from pain-related issues.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

In several clinical studies, hypnosis has been demonstrated to be a successful treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The treatment involves progressive relaxation and then suggestions of calming imagery and sensations centered on the individual's symptoms.

Numerous well-controlled studies have indicated that gut-directed hypnotherapy improves gastrointestinal symptoms in people with IBS by 70-80%, and these improvements are sustained in the long term.

The potential benefits of hypnosis in treating IBS include alleviating symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, and bloating, as well as associated symptoms like nausea, fatigue, backache, and urinary issues. This makes hypnosis a powerful tool in managing IBS and improving the quality of life for those affected by this condition.

Quitting Smoking

Hypnosis has been shown to be beneficial for certain individuals in quitting smoking. It works by helping break negative behaviors and thought patterns associated with smoking, such as smoking to relieve stress, and targeting unconscious motivations for smoking. Hypnosis can be utilized in two ways to facilitate smoking cessation: finding a healthy replacement action and guiding the subconscious towards that habit or training the mind to associate smoking with undesirable feelings.

While hypnosis may not be effective for everyone, studies have demonstrated its potential efficacy in helping many individuals quit smoking. This makes it a valuable tool for those seeking to improve their overall health by kicking the habit.

Self-Hypnosis and Deep Sleep

In addition to clinical hypnosis and hypnotherapy, self-hypnosis is another form of hypnosis that can be practiced independently of healthcare provider guidance. Self-hypnosis can be achieved through various techniques, including deep breathing, imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness. It is often used to manage recurring health issues and side effects of chemotherapy.

Sleep hypnosis is another form of self-hypnosis that can be used to address sleep issues, such as insomnia and sleep anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia is often recommended alongside sleep hypnotherapy to maximize its effectiveness.

Hypnosis Sessions: What to Expect

During a hypnosis session, the hypnotist will outline the process, facilitate relaxation, offer suggestions to meet objectives and guide the individual through self-hypnosis. The induction stage involves the patient commencing relaxation, concentrating their attention, and disregarding distractions. No special preparation is necessary for hypnosis; however, it is advised to wear comfortable clothing during the session.

It is important to remember that the individual remains in control during the process and that most people are able to enter a state of hypnosis. The depth of hypnosis varies from person to person, but overall, it is a safe and effective way to achieve personal goals and make positive changes in one's life.

Selecting a Qualified Hypnotherapist

Selecting a qualified hypnotherapist is a crucial step in ensuring the success of your hypnosis journey. It is essential to check the credentials and training of a hypnotherapist. They must have a thorough grounding in how to induce the trance state. Additionally, they should possess additional training in hypnosis and hypnotherapy techniques to deal with the specific presenting issue.

If you are looking for a hypnotherapist in your area, contact the NLP MasterCLASS for information on qualified, highly trained hypnotherapists in your region.

Potential Risks and Limitations

While hypnosis is generally a safe and effective treatment option, there are potential risks and limitations to be aware of. Hypnotherapy may not be suitable for individuals with severe mental illness and may trigger strong emotional reactions. Individuals with severe mental illness are advised to proceed with caution when considering hypnosis and only work with practitioners who have been highly trained.

Hypnotherapy is unsuitable for people suffering from severe mental health problems, such as psychosis, hallucinations, and delusions. It should only be used after consulting with a doctor or mental health specialist. Additionally, caution should be taken when considering its use in individuals who use drugs or alcohol and for memory retrieval purposes.

Despite these limitations, hypnosis is a safe, complementary, and alternative form of medical treatment when performed by a qualified professional.


In conclusion, hypnosis offers a world of possibilities for individuals seeking to make positive changes in their lives. By understanding its different forms, debunking common myths, and exploring the science behind it, we have uncovered the true potential of hypnosis as a powerful tool for personal growth and well-being. Whether you are looking to manage pain, overcome IBS, quit smoking, or simply improve your overall well-being, hypnosis offers a safe and effective approach for achieving your goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What hypnosis can not do?

  • Hypnosis is a powerful tool to help people achieve their goals, reduce stress, and manage difficult emotions.

  • Hypnosis cannot guarantee success in every endeavor, as its effects depend on the person’s internal readiness to take on suggested behaviors and the efficacy of the professional; however if you approach with an open mind, seemingly miraculous changes often do happen.

What is the success rate of hypnosis?

  • Research indicates that hypnosis is an effective treatment for a variety of issues, with an average success rate of about 93%, showing superior results to those of traditional psychotherapy treatments.

  • Furthermore, the effects of hypnotherapy are long-lasting and can often be achieved in a relatively short amount of time.

What is the best type of hypnosis?

  • The best type of hypnosis integrates nlp, the combination uses hypnosis to create a state of focused attention and increased suggestibility to help treat medical or psychological concerns and nlp techniques to accelerate the change process.

  • This type of hypnosis helps quickly bring about positive changes in thought patterns and behaviors.

To learn more about becoming a qualified hypnotherapist, go to

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