Hypnosis is a state of focused concentration during which a person
becomes less aware of his or her surroundings. Hypnotherapy is the use of
hypnosis to treat physical or psychological conditions.
It is thought that during a hypnotic state, or trance, people have a
heightened ability to accept suggestions that can help change their behavior.
Hypnosis can be led by a hypnotherapist, or a hypnotherapist can teach people
to hypnotize themselves (self-hypnosis). Self-hypnosis can also be learned from
Self-hypnosis usually consists of writing or adapting a script to
induce hypnosis (including suggestions to help with specific problems),
recording the script, and playing the tape to induce a hypnotic state. Some
people are more comfortable with self-hypnosis because they are alone
throughout the exercise and are in control of all suggestions made during the
Self-hypnosis is considered safe, even when done by inexperienced
people. There are no reported cases of harm resulting from self-hypnosis.
But do not perform self-hypnosis while driving a vehicle or in any
situation where you need to be fully alert or able to respond quickly (for
example, while operating machinery or while supervising children).
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