What is hypnosis and is it right for me?

I am often asked will hypnosis work for me. Simply without knowing more about you and your specific issues I cannot say, no one can. But can you be hypnotised? The answer is probably ‘yes’.

What is Hypnosis?

The sole agreed definition and explanation has been elusive for nearly 4,000 years. Khilstrom recently (2008) suggested

The phenomenon of hypnosis reflects alterations in conscious that take place in the context of social interaction.”

The American Psychological Association definition is:

the procedure, or the state induced by that procedure, in which suggestion is used to evoke changes in sensation, perception, cognition, emotion, or control over motor behaviour (Division 30).

The depth of psychological flexibility brought about by hypnosis however appears to be an inherent capability in everyone (Barabasz, 2005; Dell, 2021).

It’s importance is recognised by health professionals:

In my practice it is important to understand clinical research and practice. For example, the proceedings of the International Conference on Psychological studies reported in 2021 on the effectiveness of a brief hypnotic induction in adults on blood pressure control and heart rate. As the unconscious mind interacts with both the conscious mind and the physical body seamlessly it is important to understand the psychoneuroimmunology implications are broad. Psychoneuroimmunology (more easily called PNI) is a discipline that has evolved in the last 40 years to study the relationship between immunity, the endocrine system, and the central and peripheral nervous systems. This is the relationship between nerves and the cells of the immune system, showing that they actually contact each other directly, through the HPA Axis, which are the glands that secrete hormones in your blood. Ultimately, they are all determined by one’s stress levels (Adler, 1981).

This leads to other studies for example and areas of investigation for cancer incidence and progression (Kiecolt-Glaser et al, 1999). A biobehavioural model of cancer stress and disease course (Anderson et al, 1994). Classical conditioning of immune suppression during chemotherapy (Bovbjerg et al, 1990).

Pain and emotional distress: Did you know that pain is psychologically in part a learned behaviour? (Cordier & Diers, 2018), and it is a subjective experience, as no two people measure or feel pain in the same way (Akparian, 2008). Pain has three aspects, biological, psychological, and physical. Biological as in inflammation; psychological in it has sensory, behavioural and emotional aspects; and physical as in broken bones and torn ligaments. Hypnosis has a good record of clinical studies for managing pain.- see for more information the example CNHC website information on hypnotherapy and the Hypno-Oncology practitioner group web site.