Hypnosis has existed since early civilization when the Egyptians practiced induced trance for healing purposes. During the first part of the century Freud experimented with hypnosis recognizing that a patient in a hypnotic state was open to receiving and acting upon suggestions leading to beneficial outcomes. Today hypnosis is no longer regarded as an ancient or experimental treatment technique and is practiced widely by doctors, dentists, nurses, psychiatrists and psychotherapists. In 1958 the American Medical Association approved hypnosis as a safe practice with no harmful side effects. This sparked extensive empirical research into hypnotherapy as an applied treatment to a myriad of physical and mental health concerns, from allergies to chronic pain, from exam anxiety to phobias and from stress related illnesses to trauma and abuse. In the latter part of the century, numerous studies found that hypnotherapy, or the use of hypnosis as a treatment modality, is effective, cost efficient and longer lasting when compared to other treatment approaches.
Hypnosis is a deeply relaxed state that is often referred to as an altered state of consciousness where an individual is more open to suggestion, increased motivation and self-exploration. This is a natural state of disassociating from the environment and a deep focus or concentration on inner thoughts and images of the mind. Hypnotherapy is a treatment technique used by mental health professionals or doctors practicing hypnosis to treat a client’s problem or concern. In this state there is more access to the subconscious mind where memory, habits, and emotions are stored allowing the hypnotherapist to help a client achieve positive and long lasting changes in their lives.