Definition by Mayo Clinic
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.
Myths About Hypnosis
- A common myth is that a person under hypnosis is out of control. The exact opposite is true. You don’t lose control while under hypnosis, but rather take control. It has been discovered that all hypnosis is basically self-hypnosis. The hypnotist is just a guide leading you into a state that you are capable of achieving.
- Too often people associate hypnosis with a polygraph or truth serum. A person could lie under hypnosis. With hypnosis you are aware of everything around you. You have the choice to answer or not to answer a question. You also have the ability to lie or to tell the truth. You are always in control.
- Myth number three is that only certain people can be hypnotized. In reality, any person with normal intelligence can easily be hypnotized. It has been proven that a strong willed person actually goes into a hypnotic state quicker than a weak minded person.
- In movies we see people who are hypnotized becoming stuck in hypnosis. It is an impossibility to ever be stuck in a hypnotic state. It has never happened, and it will never take place in the future.