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what is hypnosis?

For many people, hypnosis is a fascinating topic and a phenomenon that promotes lively discussion. It is frequently seen as being powerful, magical and mysterious. Despite this, there is a degree of confusion as to exactly what it is. Indeed, there is no single agreed upon definition for hypnosis.

It has, however, been described as an altered state of awareness in which the unconscious part of the mind is able to communicate with the conscious part. This altered state is frequently (but not always) enhanced by mental and physical relaxation.

The word hypnosis derives from the Greek word ‘hypnos’, which means ‘sleep’. Although it is sometimes associated with sleep, it is in reality a state of heightened concentration, which allows a subject to focus intently on a specific thought or memory, often to the exclusion of almost everything else.

It is perhaps more helpful to define hypnosis by what it can do than to define it by what it is. In recent years, hypnosis has increasingly become the subject of serious scientific enquiry. Evidence of its merits has been well documented and numerous articles have been published in top scientific journals. This work has established hypnotherapy as a safe evidence-based profession.


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c h r i s

You use hypnosis not as a cure, but as a means of establishing a favorable climate in which to learn.

Milton Erickson

American psychiatrist (1901 – 1980)