Hypnosis has been around and used for centuries. The benefits and effectiveness of hypnosis have been well-documented and it is a recognized form of treatment with both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Psychological Association (APA.)
There are many misconceptions about hypnosis. You are probably quite familiar with entertainment hypnosis where the hypnotist appears to make people "quack like ducks" or act silly in other ways. This is all entertainment of course. In reality, you can only "quack like a duck" if you want to "quack like a duck." A hypnotist can not take over your mind and make you do anything against your will. There is nothing "magical" about hypnosis.
In fact, all of us go in and out of hypnotic states throughout the day, every day. Have you ever been at a restaurant talking with friends and you realize you have completely blocked out your surroundings to the point where you don't hear or even notice other people around you? Or have you ever been in your car and arrived at your destination only to realize that you have no recollection of actually driving the route? These are both examples of times where you have been in a hypnotic trance. In addition, every night when you enter REM sleep, you are in the deepest state of hypnosis. During a hypnosis session, you are simply tapping into that same state while you are completely awake and in full control.
Hypnosis helps people overcome limiting beliefs and behaviors so that they can think, feel, and behave in ways that will have a positive impact on their life. The process involves deep relaxation and concentration. Some people call hypnosis a "massage of the mind." Many studies show that 95% of our brain activity occurs at a subconscious level which means that only 5% of our brain activity is occurring on a conscious level. Your conscious mind is like the captain of the ship and the crew in the engine room carrying out the orders is your subconscious mind.
During hypnosis, the body and conscious mind are deeply relaxed while the subconscious mind stays active and alert. We want to distract the conscious part of the mind because it serves as a filter to the subconscious mind. When one has difficulty changing behaviors it is very often because the conscious mind is creating a barrier.With hypnosis, once the conscious mind is distracted, a trained hypnotist or hypnotherapist can have direct access to the subconscious mind (which is sometimes likened to the "control panel" of the brain) and can provide the subconscious mind with direct and positive suggestions in the language that the subconscious mind best understands. The subconscious mind is very much like a 5 year old. It responds best to positive symbols, images, emotions, as well as simple but direct instructions. Hypnotic suggestions can be used to enhance or diminish certain patters of thinking, feeling, and behaving.
Overall, hypnosis aligns the conscious and subconscious mind so that both parts work together in harmony. When both parts of the brain are working together, positive transformations can take place! Many people find that they feel better within 1 to 5 hypnosis sessions. Many people find they only need one session in order to feel better and accomplish their goal(s).