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Hypnosis Defined


What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a natural physiological state of heightened concentration, occurring whenever your attention is narrowly focused on a specific mental or physical task. In a hypnotized state, you are conscious, alert and so absorbed in what you are thinking or doing that you choose to ignore everything else. Read more about spontaneous experiences of hypnosis in everyday life and guided hypnosis >

What is a hypnotic trance?

“Hypnotic trance” is a term that describes hypnosis maintained for a period of time. The hypnotic trance terminates automatically when you lose your focus and shift your attention back to your surroundings (or to a different activity).

Is hypnotic trance similar to sleep?

No, hypnosis is a conscious state and is physiologically different from sleep. If you engage in hypnosis with the goal of physical relaxation and relax so deeply that you’ll drift into sleep, the moment you fall asleep you’ll come out of hypnosis.

Is hypnosis the same as meditation?

No, hypnosis and meditation are two different states of consciousness. Meditation is a state in which the mind is clear of all thoughts, while hypnosis is a state in which thoughts are not only present, but encouraged, and directed toward a single mental or physical task. Our hypnosis clients who have tried meditation and did not succeed (because of difficulty shutting off their thoughts) do very well with hypnosis.

Physical relaxation is part of a meditative state. Hypnosis may lead to physical relaxation, but only if specific relaxation suggestions are used during the induction and maintenance of the hypnotic trance.

Meditation does not have specific, functional goals – the goal of meditation is the process itself. Hypnotherapy, on the other hand, is always performed with specific, functional, and measurable goals in mind and involves use of individualized suggestions geared towards accomplishment of these goals.

There are no suggestions used in meditation, but suggestions are the core of a hypnotic experience. Hypnotic suggestions are what creates changes in attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, body reactions, behaviors, etc. in hypnosis clients.

Achievement of a thoughtless and emotionless state through meditation takes a lot of practice. All our hypnosis clients are able to successfully enter a hypnotic trance during their first hypnosis session.

What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is a term that describes the use of hypnosis in a therapeutic setting. Clients involved in hypnotherapy participate in guided hypnosis sessions in order to accomplish their personal and/or clinical goals. Hypnotherapy is often called clinical hypnosis or medical hypnosis and is provided by either a healthcare professional certified in hypnosis or by a certified hypnotherapist.

How can a person enter hypnotic state?

Hypnosis can be self-induced (self-hypnosis). Self-hypnosis can be either spontaneous or it can be generated deliberately with use of self-administered suggestions. You can also enter a hypnotic trance by intentionally following specific verbal instructions given by a hypnotist. Read more about examples of spontaneous hypnosis experiences in everyday life, or guided hypnosis experience in a clinical setting >

Is it possible not to come out of hypnosis?

No, it’s impossible. The only way you can enter and maintain a hypnotic trance is by conscious and deliberate creation of specific thoughts and images. This is why Dr. David Spiegel refers to hypnosis as “controlled imagination”. Since you are the person who creates these images and thoughts (nobody else can go to your brain and do it for you), you decide when you want to stop them. That is true even when you are working with a hypnotist. If at any point you stop listening to the hypnotist’s suggestions, or if the hypnotist stops talking, you’ll automatically come out of hypnosis.

“Hypnosis helped my daughter tremendously in the area of athletic performance, but what impressed me even more was that it empowered her in a way that also showed in other areas of her life. My daughter is now more assertive and more self- confident. She says that she is able to concentrate better during tests at school, which has resulted in improved grades.” Read more about what our former patients say >



Read patient testimonials:

Watch video testimonials and read what our former patients say about hypnosis at New Body ~ New Mind.

Would you like to schedule an appointment?

To schedule an appointment, simply fill out our appointment request form online or give us a call at 617-969-8995. Prior to scheduling of your first appointment, we will conduct a telephone interview to determine if hypnotherapy is an appropriate option for you. If you are a good candidate for hypnotherapy, we’ll schedule your appointment and e-mail (or mail) you a questionnaire. We will ask you to return the questionnaire at least one week prior to your first hypnosis session. Your answers will help us further clarify the issues discussed during the telephone interview, enabling us to better prepare your hypnotherapy sessions.

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