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Hypnosis And Its History
Hypnotism puts you into a state of "focused concentration," during which you're vaguely aware of your surroundings -- you just don't care about them. There are different stages of hypnosis, some deeper than others. But when you're in any of them, your imagination is open to suggestion.
Today, though, hypnosis is about as mainstream as an alternative therapy can get. It has been recognized as a valid medical therapy since 1955 in Great Britain and since 1958 in the United States. Many mainstream doctors (particularly anesthesiologists and surgeons) are trained in hypnotherapy, as are a good number of dentists, psychotherapists, and nurses.
There are many misconceptions
Good candidates for hypnosis
If you're trying to lose weight, stop smoking, control substance abuse, or overcome a phobia, hypnosis may be worth a try; it has worked for many people (but not all). And if you're unhappy with your current treatment for warts or other skin conditions, asthma, nausea, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, migraines, or other forms of pain, discuss the possibility of hypnotherapy with your MD and request a referral.
Hypnosis can work for almost anyone, though some people have an easier time than others. If you're lucky, you'll be one of the few people (about 5 to 10 percent of the population) who is highly susceptible to hypnotic suggestion. Some of these folks reputedly can be hypnotized (with no other anesthesia) before surgery and feel no pain. But even if you're not in this group, chances are high that hypnosis can help you: About 60 to 79 percent of people are moderately susceptible, and the remaining 25 to 30 percent are minimally susceptible. Children and young adults are often good candidates for hypnosis, perhaps because they're so open to suggestion and have active imaginations.
Last modified: 10/12/09