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Self-Hypnosis for Stress


Topic Overview

Hypnosis is a state of focused concentration during which a person becomes less aware of his or her surroundings. Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis to treat physical or psychological conditions.

It is thought that during a hypnotic state, or trance, people have a heightened ability to accept suggestions that can help change their behavior. Hypnosis can be led by a hypnotherapist, or a hypnotherapist can teach people to hypnotize themselves (self-hypnosis). Self-hypnosis can also be learned from books.

Self-hypnosis usually consists of writing or adapting a script to induce hypnosis (including suggestions to help with specific problems), recording the script, and playing the tape to induce a hypnotic state. Some people are more comfortable with self-hypnosis because they are alone throughout the exercise and are in control of all suggestions made during the hypnotic trance.

Self-hypnosis is considered safe, even when done by inexperienced people. There are no reported cases of harm resulting from self-hypnosis. But do not perform self-hypnosis while driving a vehicle or in any situation where you need to be fully alert or able to respond quickly (for example, while operating machinery or while supervising children).

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerLisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
Last RevisedApril 20, 2011

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