Various Definitions of Hypnosis

  • The induction of a state of consciousness in which a person apparently loses the power of voluntary action and is highly responsive to suggestion or direction. Its use in therapy, typically to recover suppressed memories or to allow modification of behavior by suggestion, has been revived but is still controversial.  Webster’s Dictionary 
  • Hypnosis is a human condition involving focused attention, reduced peripheral awareness, and an enhanced capacity to respond to suggestion. Wikipedia 
  • Hypnosis, also referred to as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion, is a trance-like state in which you have heightened focus and concentration. Mayo Clinic
  • Hypnosis is a therapeutic technique in which clinicians make suggestions to individuals who have undergone a procedure designed to relax them and focus their minds. Although hypnosis has been controversial, most clinicians now agree it can be a powerful, effective therapeutic technique for a wide range of conditions, including pain, anxiety and mood disorders. American Psychological Association

These are just a few of the definitions I found in a search of less than five minutes. I’m sure there are many more out there and some are more accurate than others. Similarly, there are different professional opinions about what hypnosis is and how therapeutic it can be. Some probably see it as entertainment, the “quack like a duck” trick. This is not what hypnosis is today. It is a sound medical treatment for various mental health issues and can be very successful in controlling pain.

I am no expert, but I have been hypnotized more than once and I have found it very helpful in changing habits. The first time I was hypnotized was many years ago to stop smoking. It didn’t make smoking cessation easy. Hypnosis did not do it for me, but it helped me to do it for myself. I did stop smoking permanently.

More recently I have been hypnotized to reduce anxiety. I won’t go into details, but it has helped me to control anxious thoughts about a particular issue that was troubling me. It has included what some refer to as “self-hypnosis” which involves listening to a taped session by a trained hypnotist tailored to an individual’s needs. I listen to that twenty-four minute recording at least once per day. It involves deep relaxation and peaceful imagery and is a very positive experience.

Anyone can claim to be a hypnotist so if you trust your issues to someone, be sure they are certified. If you have experience with hypnosis, please share with us.



“There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.” Ronald Reagan


Graphic by Pixabay

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