Does Hypnotism Work?

Matt Brady
Matt Brady
Hypnotherapy has been known to treat smoking addiction.
Hypnotherapy has been known to treat smoking addiction.

Hypnotism is generally considered to be an effective form of therapy for a variety of issues, such as addictions, behavioral disorders, and emotional trauma. Much of how well hypnotism works depends on the suggestibility of the individual. That is to say, how naturally one is inclined to respond to hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy doesn't, as is often thought, place a person under the complete control of a hypnotist; rather, it opens up individuals to a hyper-attentive state that allows them to focus more intently on an issue that needs working out. It's thought that every person has a level of susceptibility to hypnosis, some being extremely susceptible and others not at all.

Hypnotism is used to treat many different conditions, including stress.
Hypnotism is used to treat many different conditions, including stress.

Most people think of hypnosis as a state of being wherein individuals lose all control of their faculties to a hypnotist. That isn't exactly the truth. Although it's true that a state of hypnosis makes one more open to suggestion, hypnotized individuals still have control over their actions, and they still retain a moral compass. It's best to think of hypnosis as a state during which individuals are able to relax and focus their undivided attention on a particular issue or subject. By being in a state in which they can focus more intently, people are often able to sift through their thoughts and emotions on a deeper level; some therapists and patients would say that they're able to explore the subconscious.

Hypnosis may be used for entertainment purposes.
Hypnosis may be used for entertainment purposes.

Hypnotism is considered by many to be an effective form of therapy. Patients being treated by a hypnotherapist are often able to relax and focus more freely on their therapy. Hypnotherapy has been known to help treat a wide range of conditions and addictions, such as smoking, labor pains, mental conditions, and stress.

Hypnotism is most famously effective as a stage trick. Although volunteers at a hypnotist's show may appear to lose all control of their faculties, the reality is that they still have control over what they do and don't do. The hypnotic state merely relaxes the volunteers and helps them to feel less inhibited. Thus, volunteers who end up quacking like ducks on stage aren't so much puppets under someone else's control; they're more like individuals in an extremely relaxed, less self-conscious state.

Hypnotism works in different individuals to varying degrees. Some people are very susceptible to hypnotherapy, while others' responses are slight to nonexistent. People who are more skeptical about hypnotism are less likely to respond to hypnotic therapy. Conversely, people who are more willing to give hypnotism a try will likely have more fruitful results. Science still has a lot to discover about exactly how and why hypnotism works in some people and not in others.

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    • Hypnotherapy has been known to treat smoking addiction.
      By: ra2 studio
      Hypnotherapy has been known to treat smoking addiction.
    • Hypnotism is used to treat many different conditions, including stress.
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      Hypnotism is used to treat many different conditions, including stress.
    • Hypnosis may be used for entertainment purposes.
      By: Sinisa Botas
      Hypnosis may be used for entertainment purposes.