Hypnosis*, also referred to as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion, is a trance-like state in which you have heightened focus and concentration. Hypnosis is usually done with the help of a therapist using verbal repetition and mental images. When you're under hypnosis, you usually feel calm and relaxed, and are more open to suggestions.
Hypnosis can be used to help you gain control over undesired behaviors or to help you cope better with anxiety or pain. It's important to know that although you're more open to suggestion during hypnosis, you don't lose control over your behavior.
To give an example of how powerful a suggestion can be, In 1955 Henry K Beecher published a paper entitled The Powerful Placebo. Since that time, The Placebo Effect, has been considered a scientific fact.
A beneficial effect, produced by a placebo drug or treatment, that cannot be attributed to the properties of the placebo itself, and must therefore be due to the patient's belief in that treatment.
* The description of Hypnosis given by the Mayo Clinic:
The power of the placebo effect (from Harvard Medical)
Treating yourself with your mind is possible, but there is more to it than positive thinking.
Published: May, 2017
Your mind can be a powerful healing tool when given the chance. The idea that your brain can convince your body a fake treatment is the real thing — the so-called placebo effect — and thus stimulate healing has been around for millennia. Now science has found that under the right circumstances, a placebo can be just as effective as traditional treatments.
"The placebo effect is more than positive thinking — believing a treatment or procedure will work. It's about creating a stronger connection between the brain and body and how they work together," says Professor Ted Kaptchuk of Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, whose research focuses on the placebo effect.
Placebos won't lower your cholesterol or shrink a tumor. Instead, they work on symptoms modulated by the brain, like the perception of pain. "Placebos may make you feel better, but they will not cure you," says Kaptchuk. "They have been shown to be most effective for conditions like pain management, stress-related insomnia, and cancer treatment side effects like fatigue and nausea."
The bottom line? Research shows that hypnosis works as part of a treatment program for a number of psychological and medical conditions, with pain relief being one of the most researched areas, as shown in a 2000 study by psychologists Steven Lynn, PhD, Irving Kirsch, PhD, Arreed Barabasz, PhD, Etzel Cardeña, PhD, and David Patterson, PhD. Among the benefits associated with hypnosis is the ability to alter the psychological components of the experience of pain that may then have an effect on even severe pain.
~ American Psychological Association
What Hypnosis DOESN’T DO:
Make you DO things you wouldn’t normally do (get naked, rob a bank)
Make you SAY things you don’t want to say (bank passwords, social security numbers)
Keep you in a trance-like state FOREVER