Hypnosis is a state of human consciousness involving heightened, focused attention, reduced peripheral awareness and an enhanced capacity to respond to suggestion.\n\n\n\nThe human mind is composed of the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. The conscious mind contains the executive functioning parts of the mind, including but not limited to:\n\n \tLogic\n \tOrganization\n \tSequencing\n \tVerbal and analytical functions\n\nThe subconscious mind contains the expansive components of the mind, including but not limited to:\n\n \tImagination\n \tDreaming\n \tSleeping\n \tHealing\n \tFeeling\n \tProblem-solving\n\nThese parts of the mind are divided by a filter known as the \u201ccritical factor,\u201d which regulates what information or suggestions pass through to the subconscious mind. Through the process of hypnosis, the critical factor is bypassed and suggestions are received directly by the subconscious mind where they are immediately acted upon.\nMyths and Truths About Hypnosis\nThere is a great deal of misunderstanding about what hypnosis is and how it works. Understandably, this confusion creates fear and reluctance to engage in this form of therapy for some people.\n\nMany only know about hypnosis from what they\u2019ve seen in shows where it\u2019s used for entertainment purposes. But its most impactful use is as a therapeutic tool to help bring about lasting change for the subject. As we learn about hypnosis, it makes sense to separate fact from fiction:\n\n \tHypnosis is a very pleasurable state of focused, relaxed trance.\n \tAlmost anyone can be hypnotized.\n \tNo one can be hypnotized against their will.\n \tA subject cannot be programmed to do something while hypnotized that they would not otherwise do.\n \tPeople can\u2019t get stuck in a hypnotic trance.\n\nWe\u2019ve All Experienced Forms of Hypnosis\nEveryone has experienced waking forms of hypnosis. For example, if you\u2019ve ever driven several miles down the highway and realized you don\u2019t remember much of anything at all about that part of your journey, it\u2019s because you were in a waking trance.\n\nAnother example is when you\u2019re reading a book or watching television and look up to see someone in the room. You don\u2019t remember the person (or pet) entering the room, yet you know you would have had to see or hear them. Again, this is due to being in a wakeful state of trance.\n\nDuring these trance states, your subconscious mind has moved to the forefront and your conscious mind \u2014 driving the car and observing your surroundings \u2014 has moved to the back.\nConditions Helped by Hypnosis\nThe process of hypnosis is simple, effective and in most cases results are immediate. Research in the field of hypnosis is relatively new, but some studies have shown it to help with a number of conditions such as chronic pain, anxiety and stress. It has multiple applications, including:\n\n \tWeight loss\n \tSmoking cessation\n \tAnesthesia\n \tPain management\n \tHabit change\n \tTrauma\n \tEmotional regulation\n \tControlling cravings\n\nIn my work with clients, I\u2019ve primarily used hypnosis to help reduce anxiety, improve sleep, control cravings, change habits and manage their pain. Hypnosis in and of itself is not a \u201ccure,\u201d but is a powerful therapeutic tool that helps clients address issues that impact their recovery and sense of well-being.