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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.

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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).

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: May 03, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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