Hypnosis is defined as an artificially induced altered state of consciousness, characterized by heightened suggestibility and receptivity to direction. A hypnotist typically brings about hypnosis, but it is possible to hypnotize yourself. A hypnotist would entrance his patients by giving certain tasks to them such as eye fixation, muscle relaxation, arm levitation, and the hypnotist would speak monotonously and repeat the commands over and over.
Most people can be hypnotized, but what a person sees while entranced is what varies. Some may be deeply hypnotized while others may not. The depth of the trance is based on the emotional condition of the patient and the skill of the hypnotist. In a trance, one's attention is focused on something like a spot on the ceiling or the voice of the hypnotist. Hypnosis can put a person in contact with fears and other traumatic experiences that have been repressed for a long time. However, those fears could also be mixed with fantasies that never happened, therefore, many state court systems have placed more restrictions on the use of evidence obtained from the witnesses hypnotically. .
Hypnosis is becoming a more popular medical treatment. It has been used to treat many behavioral, psychological, and health problems. Hypnosis has been used to alleviate pain from burns and cancer patients. All pain is mediated through the brain, so an altered state would help to make the pain more bearable. Studies show that hypnosis has better effects on patients than that of placebos because it changes the person's focus. Also, persons who cannot tolerate anesthesia can be hypnotized before a surgery, but only 10% of the people can be placed into a deep enough trance for surgery. Many people also go to hypnotists to stop smoking, drinking, and overeating. It helps to reprogram your subconscious, which controls habits and cravings. Though there have been cases of people who have stopped smoking, drinking, and overeating through hypnosis, most psychiatrists feel that it is better to be treated when in a normal state of consciousness.