What is hypnotherapy and does it really work?
Hypnosis in itself is not a form of therapy. Hypnosis is, usually, something one can do on their own to meditate on a deep question and find the answer within their own mind. Only with the help of a Hypnotherapist can hypnosis be turned into a form of therapy. Hypnosis is a natural state of mind, state of relaxation, concentration and heightened awareness which opens a person up to the power of suggestion. Hypnotherapy is a treatment that many belive bypasses the conscious mind and makes it possible to trigger the bodies mental and physical self-healing processes, that are normally dormant. When hypnotized you are able to fully visualize yourself becoming the person that you want to be. Whether it be a healthier person, happier person or even a non-smoking person. When hypnotized a person is still conscious and fully aware, they cannot be made to do something against there will. The people you see on TV, who are eating raw onions or singing show tunes, are all doing it because they are agreeing to.
So now we know what hypnosis/hypnotherapy is but why does it work? Have you ever wondered why your heart beats without your mind telling it too? Or why you breathe without thinking about it? This is all due to your autonomic system and your autonomic system lies in your subconscious. Your heart beating and your body taking a breath, are all habits. Habits are part of your subconscious mind. Most habits are, usually, broken by replacing them with another, although some are harder to eliminate then others. A habit that is firmly held in the subconscious might not be easy to break and may need more help then just hypnosis. Your autonomic system knows when you need to do something and when it is a bad idea to. Therefore if a Hypnotherapist told you to do something that would be inappropriate your autonomic system would reject that. A Hypnotherapist cannot "tell" you what to do, they simply help put the suggestion in your mind.
Pretty much what it comes down to is when in hypnosis you are in a state of mind where you are motivated to go in the direction of what you are imagining. So if you wanted to quit smoking, a Hypnotherapist would simply put the suggestion into your mind and your body would motivate itself in that direction.
Hypnotherapy can be used clinically for depression, anxiety, nausea, childbirth, phobias, habits and many other things. You should always consult with a qualified health care provider before making the decision to use hypnosis. There are no side effects of hypnosis, and it is very safe. However it is not for everyone. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. It depends on you and how well you belive in your own bodies capability of healing.
When should hypnotherapy be considered? That completely depends on you. If you are a more spiritual person who does not belive in medicine then that may be your first resort. For others it may be a very last resort. It is a completely personal choice, one that is more effective if you belive that it will work, rather then going in with a closed mind.