home > Hypnosis: A Complete Guide
Hypnosis: A Complete Guide
July 21, 2024 9:39 PM
written by Joshua Syna M.A., L.C.D.C., C.Ht.

Hypnosis is a term you see all over the internet and TV, yet very few people know what it actually is and more importantly how it can benefit your health, and help you in many other ways too.

In this article, we are going to give you the complete guide to Hypnosis.

Inside you will learn how hypnosis works and how hypnosis can help you:

  • Stop smoking
  • Lose weight
  • Eliminate stress
  • And overcome many other problems

We will explain the history of hypnosis and how it came to be so popular and you will learn what to expect on your visit to a hypnotherapist.

This guide has all the answers you need when deciding to use hypnosis to help you overcome a problem.

So if you are ready and sitting comfortably let’s dive in:

Why People Need Hypnosis

Depressed business woman

The modern world brings all sorts of stress and anxiety into your busy life.

From not getting a good night’s sleep, or the commute to work, to dealing with human emotions in family and personal relationships. They can all cause stress in your life

It’s difficult to minimize the stress that comes up in our lives, and often people experience long-standing stress and anxiety for many years.

Every emotion and thought you have affects the way you perceive and experience the world around you. So it’s not surprising that stress and negative experiences can cause you difficulties in the future.

Your psychological health has a direct effect on your physical well-being, with many physical conditions manifesting themselves as a result of psychological stress.

This may be due to current circumstances or things that happened in the past. Unwanted habits can also develop to simply cope with the stress in your life.

Your mind is an incredible machine, like a computer;

It records everything you see, hear and experience, and these memories and learnings subconsciously affect how you act and how you feel.

When you experience problems or habits which you have not been able to get rid of it can be frustrating, and sometimes you need help to change your subconscious mind.

So you’re probably wondering:

What’s the solution?

The answer is Hypnosis!

Hypnotherapy, which uses a state of hypnosis and suggestion as therapeutic tools, enables people to use their subconscious mind to overcome problems, and resolve the causes of their unwanted behaviors or thinking in an easy natural way.

A licensed counselor, properly trained in using hypnosis, can use various methods to help eliminate the problem quickly in a very pleasant way, without spending countless hours using psychotherapy.


The History of Hypnosis


No one knows for sure where hypnosis was used for the very first time.

Evidence suggests that ancient cultures in Egypt and Greece used a form of it in healing ceremonies and even built special ‘sleep temples‘ to practice the art inside.

Since the rise of mankind many cultures have habitually used drumming, dancing and chanting to induce a state of altered consciousness, a trance state, that brings some benefit to the participants or enables them to access ‘other worlds’ and wisdom from higher beings.

In fact, many people throughout history have used hypnosis without realizing they are doing so and here is some of the key parts of the history of Hypnosis.

In 1794, before the invention of anesthetics, a boy had a tumor removed. During the operation, his mother read a story to him. The boy was so ‘entranced’ with the story he felt no pain during the procedure.

Hypnosis, as we understand it today, was first developed and researched by a Viennese physician, Friederich Anton Mesmer, in the late 1700s. He lived in Paris and became very famous for the practice of what he called ‘mesmerism’. Some days up to three thousand people came to him for treatment.

Mesmer was eventually discredited but research into the phenomenon continued in the medical and scientific community.

The first man in modern times to put ‘mesmerism’ to good extensive use was a British Army surgeon named James Esdaile. In 1845, he went to India where he had great success copying Mesmer’s techniques. Using his methods, he was reportedly able to reduce the mortality rate during surgery from around 50% to 8%.

His patients also showed a remarkable rate of recovery from surgery compared to conventionally treated patients.

In the mid-nineteenth century, a Scottish doctor called James Braid published a book titled ‘Neurypnology or The Study of Nervous Sleep’. He had invented the word ‘neuryphology’ which later became ‘hypnosis’ (hypnos is the Greek word for sleep) He used his techniques with success as a form of pain reduction during surgery.

Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung both experimented with hypnosis as part of their investigations into psychoanalytic techniques.

In more recent times, Dr Milton Erickson (1901 – 1980) became the recognized leading authority on the therapeutic use of hypnosis. Dr Erickson was considered a ‘master of hypnosis’, who utilized indirect forms of suggestion and helped people overcome many types of problems by using highly effective patterns of communicating with the subconscious mind.

In 1975 Bandler and Grinder introduced Neuro Linguistic Programming based on the work of Milton Erickson M.D. and others. Many of Erickson’s  theories and methods are practised today by modern hypnotherapists.

In 1958 the American Medical Association published a landmark study documenting the efficacy and effectiveness of using hypnosis in clinical settings.

(Check out our infographic on the history of hypnosis and feel free to share or embed it into your site or by clicking here)


What is Hypnosis and What is Hypnotherapy?

Hypnosis placard with bokeh background

Hypnosis is a deep state of relaxation in which your subconscious mind is much more receptive to suggestion.

Being in a  hypnotic state, you become more responsive to suggestion and you can change your behavior by ‘reprogramming’ your subconscious mind to eliminate unwanted habits and get rid of unwanted emotional responses, and perceive situations in a new way.

Many people can naturally enter a state similar to a hypnotic state without thinking about it.

For example, have you ever been driving or walking and you suddenly become aware that you have reached your destination without having a detailed memory of the journey?

You’ve functioned automatically without being aware of your actions, going into ‘auto-pilot’ for a time.

This is an altered stated which is very common and which people enter every day.

Some people go into a trance state when they are watching the television or listening to the radio. They may concentrate so well on what they are doing that they become unaware of other people talking or unaware of the passage of time.

There are an infinite number of levels of the hypnotic state  because each person responds differently.

Hypnosis can be very light, you simply feel more relaxed, able to focus without much difficulty.  You can also achieve a very deep hypnotic state of relaxation, seemingly unaware of things around you but you are not asleep, yet you are aware for example, of everything the hypnotist says at all times.

All levels and depths of trance are thought to be beneficial to therapy with some of the most powerful work completed in the lightest trance states. Different individuals are able to achieve varying depths of hypnosis , and this may vary on different occasions.

Is Hypnosis Real?

Hypnotherapy concept.

The hypnotic state is perfectly natural and is used as a therapeutic tool by hypnotherapists.

Hypnotherapy can be defined as:

“using suggestion and other techniques of therapy when you are in a state of hypnosis to facilitate therapeutic outcomes”

This particularly applies to therapy which involves some sort of suggestion designed to help your subconscious, cause changes to improve current behavior, or eliminate unwanted patterns of thinking and behaving.

Hypnotherapists are skilled at inducing an hypnotic state, to help you relax and achieve it easily.

Does Hypnosis Work?

Hypnotherapy can help you deal with unwanted behaviors and habits and even overcome destructive or negative ways of thinking.

Sometimes you can be fully aware of the reason behind an unwanted behavior and need hypnotherapy, but you can also overcome problems and eliminate unwanted habits through hypnosis without needing to know the root cause.

Scientists have found that we all have many times more mental and physical ability than we normally use. Hypnotherapy provides a tool to unlock and utilize these abilities releasing you from the negative cycle of behavior, and allowing your full potential to emerge.

Stress can manifest in many physical forms. Nail biting, hair pulling, digestive problems, headaches, chest pains and panic symptoms, and  many other conditions can all develop as a result of stress.

Hypnotherapy enables you to learn to be more relaxed, it actually trains your mind to be more peaceful and respond to situations differently.  In most cases, this helps to alleviate the physical symptoms.

Hypnotherapy is used to treat all conditions that have a psychosomatic cause (a mental or emotional state which produces a physical symptom.)

Although this is not exhaustive, to give you an idea of its range, here’s a list of some of the issues hypnotherapy has been used successfully to deal with:

AngerPain Control
AsthmaPanic Attacks
Breast Feeding IssuesPsoriasis
Child BirthSexual Problems
Confidence IssuesSports Performance
Nail BitingStress
Drug AddictionSmoking Cessation
Eating DisordersWeight Loss
EczemaIrritable Bowel Syndrome
MigrainePublic Speaking

The Benefits of Hypnotherapy


Hypnotherapy is a non-invasive therapy which has no known unwanted side effects when properly used by a licensed counselor who has been extensively trained as a hypnotherapist.

One of the best ways to think of hypnosis is as a tool:

It enables you to utilize unrealized abilities that you already possess in your mind including your mind’s ability to control your physiological and emotional responses, and your mind’s ability to get rid of unwanted habits.

When you are in the hypnotic state your mind receives helpful suggestions that allow you to get rid of the smoking habit, lose weight, eliminate fears and phobia, reduce stress and anxiety, and overcome many other types of physical and emotional problems.

When you are undergoing hypnosis, you will find your confidence increasing and you will be able to carry on with life  more effectively and find other problems are resolved which may have been troubling you.

What Can You Expect During A Hypnotherapy Session


If you have never been hypnotized before, It’s a new experience and you may not know what to expect. The person who is hypnotized is aware of everything the hypnotist says at all times while they are hypnotized.

The belief that the hypnotized person is asleep, or in a state of unconsciousness, or is unaware of what’s “going on” is a total misconception.

Here are the facts:

  • You will hear everything being said to you while you are hypnotized.
  • You will be aware of everything  you do.
  • You cannot be made to do anything that you would be morally or ethically opposed to doing.
  • You cannot be hypnotized against your will or without your own cooperation.

A professional hypnotherapist will understand how you are feeling and will put your mind at ease by explaining what hypnosis is, and answer any questions you have.

Everyone is capable of being hypnotized, and it’s a natural ability we all have, and most people report it is one of the most relaxing experiences they have ever had in their life.

You are likely to have an initial phone consultation with your hypnotherapist during which you can confidentially discuss the reason you feel you need some help.

Together you will be able to decide if hypnotherapy is a suitable therapy for you and what sort of results you can expect. You will also be able to discuss what form your therapy will take and its expected duration.

What Happens During A Hypnotherapy Session


When your hypnotherapy is about to begin, you will be seated in a comfortable chair or recliner.

The hypnotherapist will guide you into a peaceful hypnotic state of relaxation verbally; there are no pocket watches, pendulums, swirling disks, or flashing lights like you may have seen on TV.

The hypnotic state enables you to achieve a deep state of relaxation and release muscular tension. You should start to feel calm, perhaps a little drowsy, but aware of your therapist’s voice.

The therapist will use what is known as an induction to guide you into a relaxed and focused state.  Some inductions involve visualization and there are many that don’t and a properly trained hypnotherapist will adjust their approach to your specific type of suggestibility and use those techniques which you will respond to most effectively.

For example:

You may be asked to feel you are are laying on a tropical beach with the waves gently rolling onto the sand or walking through a beautiful, cool forest.

You may be asked to imagine how things around you look, sound, smell and feel. This is all designed to promote your relaxation and get your imagination working.

A deepening technique may also be used to increase your level of relaxation. Common deepening techniques include asking you to count backward in your mind or imagine walking down some stairs.

You will feel comfortable and content. Sometimes you can feel  like you are floating away on a soft cloud or have other sensations, such as tingling, in different parts of your body. This is all perfectly normal.

If you feel the need to cough, yawn or move in some way to get into a more comfortable position, it’s perfectly fine to do so and it will not interfere.

Your hypnosis session will include suggestions, which help you to eliminate your unwanted behavior or negative ways of thinking.

Your mind may wander or you may have other thoughts come into your mind but it will not interfere at all with the hypnosis process. You may become so relaxed that you lose track of time. This is normal.

At the end of your hypnosis session, your therapist will guide you back to full, conscious awareness. During this ‘awakening’ the therapist will usually  count up from 1-5.  You will feel comfortable, and wonderfully refreshed when you open your eyes.

Most people who are hypnotized to quit smoking will stop smoking with one session of hypnosis. The majority of people who want lose weight will usually notice changes developing after the first session, and usually, a brief series of sessions are required to overcome the problem completely.

Afterward, your therapist will discuss with you whether you need further sessions and also what you can expect over the next few days.



Modern living can cause stress. Hypnotherapy is a non-invasive, effective tool  to help you eliminate unwanted habits, and get rid of  the unwanted physical and emotional  problems which can occur as we going about our normal, and sometimes stressful, everyday lives.

Having been extensively researched and practiced for many years by some of the top science and medical minds of our time, hypnotherapy has been shown to be a successful treatment for many types of problems and  conditions.

Being hypnotized is always  a comfortable, beneficial experience during which you will use the power of your own mind to help you unlock resources you already possess to  change the way you act or think. The therapy is carried out while you are in a hypnotic state, which will make you feel relaxed and at ease.

At no time will you feel out of your own control.

So many of us have habits, thoughts or feelings that we don’t want. This can hold us back from reaching our true potential.

Hypnotherapy is a tool we can use to get rid of these negative influences once and for all, and move into a positive and more fulfilling future.

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Comments are closed.

Search Our Site