There are a lot of theories about what hypnosis is and how it works.
What we know is that it is an internally experienced state distinct from relaxation, sleep or meditation, which are pursued for their own sake.
Hypnosis is a completely normal, natural state of deep concentration and focus. The conscious mind remains alert but otherwise engaged while attention is directed toward an internal experience that involves the subconscious.
Hypnosis is a TOOL, a SKILL and TALENT that most of us have the capacity to use and to develop for the purpose of addressing specific goals.
Most everyone has experienced hypnotic states at some point in their lives. "Highway hypnosis" is a common experience. While driving, you arrive at your destination (or pass your exit) without having actually paid attention to your driving and do not remember how you got there!
Your normal, everyday, conscious awareness relaxes and part of your subconscious mind takes over the wheel, while still another part of your subconscious is engrossed in thoughts other than your driving. You were in a hypnotic trance!
Another common brush with hypnosis is when you become very deeply involved in a movie, television , a book, a game, a daydream or a conversation. Your attention becomes very focused on that activity; your normal, everyday, conscious awareness relaxes and you stop hearing other things that might be going on around you, like the people munching popcorn beside you or someone calling your name.
You were in hypnotic trance!
So, most of us are experiencing hypnotic states in our daily lives without even trying! The difference between these spontaneous hypnotic states and formal hypnosis is a matter of intention. The goal of formal hypnosis, and hypnotherapy, is to deliberately create a hypnotic state with the intention of tapping into the immense powerhouse of your subconscious, helping to effect the changes you desire in your feelings, thoughts, emotions and behavior.
The normal, waking conscious part of your mind, the source of our so called "will power" can do incredible things, but only if the subconscious mind is willing.
Just ask a smoker, who can list a thousand reasons to quit but keeps puffing away. The subconscious has its own powerful reasons for continuing this behavior, and as any smoker will tell you, changing the subconscious is not always easy.
Hypnosis as a Tool
Hypnosis can be an invaluable tool in these goals as it provides opportunities to directly access, and influence, the subconscious mind.
To learn more about how hypnosis communicates with the subconscious, visit "Your Hypnosis Session - What To Expect".