Hypnosis is now accepted as mainstream medical therapy, and is being increasingly used for treatment of a range of conditions from cancer and AIDS to smoking addiction and phobias such as fear of flying.

"Being hypnotized is something like looking through a telephoto lens," explains Dr. David Spiegel, associate chair of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, "What you see you see with great detail, but you're less aware of the surroundings, of the context in which you're experiencing it. So it's like getting so caught up in a good movie that you forget you're watching the movie, you enter the imagined world. That's what a hypnotic state is like. You wake up and pay attention in a highly focused way. So the parts of the brain that are involved in attention, the frontal cortex, for example, are turned on when you're hypnotized."

The brain is in a highly focused state of attention, and amenable to suggestions made to it; as also being more determined to carry out decisions already arrived at. As a result, hypnosis has become an effective therapy that can help with a wide range of stress and habit related problems- hypnosis can provide the key to the subconscious mind and facilitate new ways of dealing with difficulties.

Although hypnosis had been used in the past by Eastern medical systems, it became sporadically used in the western world as late as the eighteenth century. World War II, however, brought it to center-stage, when it was very successfully used to anaesthetize pain during surgical procedures carried out on the battle-field in the absence on anesthetics. Since then, it's become accepted, for instance, that the brain can virtually shut down pain signals when preoccupied.

In 1995, a team of researchers from the University of Connecticut reviewed six weight-loss studies that compared the effect of cognitive therapy — identifying eating triggers and defusing them — with and without hypnosis. About 70% of the overweight people who got hypnosis lost more weight and kept it off longer than those who got only talk therapy. Weight loss through hypnosis

In a 2002 look at 20 studies on hypnosis and surgical pain, Mount Sinai researchers found that adding hypnosis to standard post-surgical care sped recovery almost 90% of the time, in terms of levels of pain, anxiety and the need for painkillers.

But there's more research going on. While many psychologists agree that it is particularly effective in the treatment of phobias, patients have been known to recover from AIDS and Cancer through use of hypnosis therapy. However, all agree that a pre-requisite for success is that the patient must believe in the power of the mind-body connection. Hypnosis is also used extensively in pain management, being very effective in situations where quick relief is needed, like injuries to athletes and sport people.
Pain management

If nothing else, those who respond to hypnosis are the ones who have learned to escape into their minds for a time, using the power of imagination and visualization.

In fact, both Visualization and Guided imagery are two of the most powerful therapeutic tools we have to create change within ourselves. Thoughts that begin in our minds create reactions in our bodies.With visualization and guided imagery, we can actually effect physical and chemical changes in our bodies --for example, lowering blood pressure or fighting cancer. We can find solutions to problems, overcome obstacles, reduce stress and reach peak performance levels of achievement. We are able to do this by planting positive images of achievement, success and health in our minds and mentally rehearsing these images repeatedly, we can create a desired outcome.

Try it out. With your eyes closed, allow yourself to enter into a very relaxed or altered state -- our capacity for learning, healing and change is greatly enhanced when we're in an altered state -- and focus on your objective. Visualize the process of reaching your goal from beginning to end, using all of your senses and "feeling" it in your body as much as possible, until you have mentally achieved the results you desire. You have nothing to lose but your skepticism!"

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One of the treatment areas that hypnosis has proved itself is to kick the smoking habit. Smoking is medically accepted as the single largest cause of lung cancer and lung disorders. Hypnosis can change the habitual smoker's mind set. Any person with a high degree of commitment can stop smoking with the help of a proven hypnosis program from the Hypnosis Network.

More info on quitting smoking

Hypnosis for Mind Control

Weight loss through Hypnosis

Hypnosis in Pain Management

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