Hypnosis is a trance-like state of mind, usually induced by a hypnotherapist. Proponents of hypnosis say that it creates a state of deep relaxation, heightened concentration, focused attention and makes people more open to suggestions.
Because people are more open than usual to suggestions under hypnosis, it's often used to change behaviors, habits and reactions that could be affecting health. It has been used for smoking, bed-wetting, overeating, fears and anxiety, pain and conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure and headaches.
A hypnosis session usually begins with the hypnotherapist talking in a gentle tone and describing images that promote relaxation. While under hypnosis, the hypnotherapist suggests ways to achieve specific goals or may suggest specific images for people to visualize in order to reach the goals. People can also be taught self-hypnosis.
A common myth about hypnosis is that after the session, the person has no recollection of anything that has happened. Although a small percentage of people enter deep hypnosis and cannot remember what happened, most recall everything that happened during the hypnosis session.