Jan. 13, 2010 -- Question: What is medical hypnosis, or hypnotherapy, most commonly used for, what are its benefits and how strong is the scientific evidence for it as a treatment?
Answer: Hypnosis is a state of focused, attentive, receptive awareness. It utilizes imagination, imagery and relaxation techniques. Hypnotherapy is a process whereby a qualified mental health professional utilizes hypnotic techniques as tools to achieve targeted results in the therapeutic process. The hypnotic techniques are best utilized for achieving decreased stress levels, pain management, control of anxiety symptoms, smoking cessation and even weight control. Not everybody responds the same to hypnosis and some benefit more than others.