Clinical Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy is the use of an altered state of consciousness, or trance, for therapeutic endpoint. This means that people are not treated with hypnosis but are treated in hypnosis.
All hypnotic states are characterised by a tremendously pleasant state of relaxation, which individuals allow themselves to enter so that desired, beneficial suggestions may be given directly to the part of the mind known as the subconscious. Under hypnosis, the conscious, rational part of the brain is temporarily bypassed, making the subconscious part, which influences mental and physical functions, receptive to therapy. During the trance state there is heightened concentration for the specific purpose of maximizing potential, changing limiting beliefs and behaviours and gaining insight and wisdom.
Although hypnosis may be light, medium or deep, a medium trance is usually used during which metabolism, breathing and heartbeat slow and the brain produces alpha waves. Normal states of consciousness (i.e., sleeping, dreaming, being awake) can be detected in wave patterns produced by the brain. The state of hypnosis differs from all three. The brain waves associated with quiet, receptive states are called alpha waves. In alpha states, the body gradually relaxes.
Hypnosis, meditation, day dreaming, being absorbed in a book or music or television, driving and arriving at your destination without recalling all the usual landmarks, etc. are good examples of alpha states. The trance state is therefore a natural phenomenon. Clinical Hypnosis practised by a trustworthy and professionally qualified therapist is completely safe.