What is hypnosis?

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Hypnosis explained

Hypnosis has been grossly misrepresented for decades and continues to be misunderstood even today, including by people of reasonably high level of education. Movies, storybooks, and other forms of media often make joke of hypnosis or portray it as some sort of mind-control “woo-woo” that make people do things against their will. Even news articles misconstrue occurrences involving hypnotists, reminding us of the meaning of the term, ‘witch-hunt’. If something bad occurs, and a hypnotist happens to be in the story, we might as well blame the hypnotist, right?

Hypnosis is a natural process

The truth is, hypnosis occurs all the time in daily life. It occurs when the mind is in a state of deep relaxation, or when it is highly focused on something, and relatively undisturbed by external distractions. It is during such mental states that the inner voice is heard most clearly, undisturbed by the chatter from the outside. Very often, people get into a state of autopilot, drifting along and doing what they think the world expects of them, rather than choosing to do what supports their highest potential and well-being. Being in hypnosis is like taking a mind-rejuvenating session after being overwhelmed and stressed. It’s like an oil change on a car after being run for a certain mileage. It’s like taking a bath after being grungy all day.

Applications of Hypnosis

During hypnotic states, the subject is able to focus on the situation in their life that they wish to improve on, such as,

  1. Weight management and wellness
  2. Academic performance
  3. Athletic performance
  4. Smoking cessation
  5. Stress management
  6. Sleeping aid
  7. Self-assertion and self-confidence
  8. Interpersonal conflicts
  9. Love and relationships


“Accidental” hypnosis

Many people must have hypnotized themselves without knowing that they have done so, including myself, as described in my story “How hypnosis saved my life”. It is easy to find daily unintended hypnosis episodes, such as when one is chilling on a beach in solitude, listening to peaceful music, being engrossed in a novel, or just sitting around, doing nothing. These relaxing situations can bring on hypnotic states at varying levels of depth. A person under hypnosis tends to be highly suggestible (does not mean gullible!), making it much easier to fulfill his/her goals that are otherwise held back by self-limiting beliefs during normal consciousness.

Is hypnosis safe?

Hypnosis is a very safe process, especially when practiced by trained individuals. You cannot be ‘locked’ into a hypnotic state. You cannot be made to do anything against your will. Because members of reputable organizations like the National Guild of Hypnotists Inc. are bound by the Code of Ethics and Standards, it adds yet another layer of safety and protection to the client.

Test your knowledge of Hypnosis

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Quiz on "What is Hypnosis?"

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Disclaimer:- Hypnotism is not meant to replace medical treatment or therapy. The author is not a healthcare provider. The ideas and opinions here are the author’s and do not represent that of any organization that the author was or has been affiliated with.

© 2016-7 Chui Sien Chan