Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy is a term used to represent a technique that utilizes hypnosis as a tool to achieve state of focused awareness and concentration with the help of clinical hypnotherapist. To throw some more clarity on this aspect, we can refer to the statement of an expert hypnotherapist Diane Zimberoff, who says “we can compare our unconscious mind to a computer’s file system.

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Our unconscious is like our hard drive, where we store every experience, emotion and thought we have had. In a relaxed-hyper focused state of hypnosis, under the guidance of hypnotherapist, we can run a google search on our unconscious, pulling up repressed memories and buried emotions at the root of our mental health challenges”.


Hypnosis can be explained as a trance like state in which a person’s attention is detached from his immediate environment and is absorbed by inner experiences such as feelings, cognition, and imagery. A hypnotic reality is created by the therapist and the client by use and acceptance of suggestion. A study conducted by American Psychiatry Association 2005, showed that every living being experienced the state of hypnosis in one way or the other. Day dreaming is considered a way of experiencing light trance. There are two more levels of experiencing trance, medium and deep level trance. In medium level trance the person feels as if he has fallen asleep, but he is still awake.


Some of the characteristics of medium level trance are:

  • Body sinking into the chair.

  • Relaxed jaws

  • Flattened facial features.

  • Eye catalepsy

  • Heaviness in limbs


Deep trance or somnambulistic state can be characterized by:

  • Amnesia

  • Out of body feeling (depersonalization)

  • Hallucination

  • Full anaesthesia to the extent that the person can get surgery performed without any pain.


Medium trance is the most effective state for hypnotherapy.

Every client who undergoes hypnosis need not necessarily feel the same way or experience the trance phenomenon in similar manner. Some people may feel dramatic results while the others may just feel relaxed. Some of the effects that people may feel are:

  • Awareness


Some clients can recall everything and can even have conversation under hypnosis. They are fully aware during the entire experience. While some of the clients experience deep state of relaxation to the extent that they feel detached from what is happening.

  • Focus


Under hypnosis the client may hear surrounding noises, but it does not interfere with the focus on the problem or the challenge the client wants to deal with.

  • Relaxation


The client conscious mind is not active which in turn leads to the activation of unconscious mind. This makes him calmer and therefore more receptive to facing their problems or fears. (Jensen et al 2005, 2015)


The hypnotic trance is a tool to solve various mental and physical problems. Research suggests that some possible applications include (Hauser et al, 2016)

  • Accessing the mind body link to relive chronic pain and acute pain, including during childbirth and surgery.

  • Effective for irritable bowel syndrome and dermatological conditions

  • Helping people quit smoking and deal with eating disorders by suggesting healthier suggestions.

  • Diving deep into unconscious to treat issues like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction.


In 2009 an article in health psychology (vol.28 No.3), Montgomery and colleagues reported a study which found that a combination of hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy could reduce fatigue for breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Montgomery further says, “hypnosis helps patient to reduce their distress and have positive expectations about the outcome of surgery”.The acceptance of hypnosis as a mode of treatment in field of mental health and medicine is increasing because of methodical and empirical work of many research pioneers.

How can Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy be helpful?

Moving away from the pop-mumbo jumbo about hypnosis or hypnotherapy, the clinical applications for hypnosis is useful for smoking cessation, pain management, stress and anxiety management, addiction? To know more about how hypnotherapy can be helpful, reach out to us for a free 15 minute consultation!