This is probably the most common question I hear when I am asked what do I do for living. And even before I can give an answer, I get another one: why would anybody do hypnosis for anyway?
Maybe if you live in the States or in the UK you would probably disregard these questions, but in a country where hypnosis is mostly known though TV shows and people are asked to bite onions and other unusual things, these questions make a lot of sense!
My first answer is always that hypnosis is a natural state of the human mind.
It is a subconscious state, and for some people it is very real and for others, it is not.
The experience of hypnosis can differ dramatically from one person to another. Actually, there is no standard definition for it. Some individuals will report feeling a sense of detachment or extreme relaxation during the hypnotic state, while others even feel that their actions seem to occur outside of their conscious will. Other individuals may remain completely aware, but still realize that something has changed after the treatment.
Hypnosis is not a mysterious an extraordinary mental state. It is probably the confluence of much more: a relaxed-sleep-like trance state, characterized by focused attention, heightened suggestibility in combination with psychological processes rather than a single extraordinary and magical phenomenon many people think of.