Although the word “sleep” is often used in correlation with hypnosis and hypnotherapy, hypnosis is not a state of deep sleep. It does, however, induce a trance-like condition that actually increases the subject’s state of awareness in their own subconscious. Because the subconscious is under the mental surface and we are mostly unaware of it in our normal conscious state, the hypnotic state is necessary to gain access to it. A hypnotherapist, after the subject is in their hypnotic state, is able to suggest ideas to them as a form of therapy. These ideas are implanted deep into the psyche and can help with any number of issues. For example, while under hypnosis, a therapist may be able to suggest to you that cigarettes taste and smell awful, they make you sick and you want nothing to do with them. This is only a suggestion and may not work 100% the first time. Instead, the next time the subject picks up a cigarette, they may smoke it but will gain less enjoyment from it, hopefully leading them to eventually quit. Hypnosis is the act of hypnotizing a subject. The practice of healing or positive growth through hypnosis is known as hypnotherapy. This is the method most subjects seek out to help them stop smoking, lost weight, reduce anxiety, and so on. Hypnotherapy focuses on ‘reprogramming’ certain behavior patterns within the mind. This can enable you to conquer your fears, bad habits and negative thoughts toward yourself. Hypnotherapy can treat physical symptoms as well as mental ones. As the subject is placed under hypnosis, they are much more relaxed. This is more than a mental state, as the blood pressure and breathing will slow, releasing pressure on the heart and other organs. This is effective for pain management and often to promote physical healing after an injury or major surgery. Hypnotherapy is practiced on the principle that the mind and the body are one connected thing and that one can control the other. Hypnosis is effective as a treatment process chiefly because it allows the subject to shut down the “thinking” part of the brain. In other words, under hypnosis you do not think about the stresses of your everyday life or the logistics. The non-analytical side of the brain (our right hemisphere) is empowered and allowed to be affected and cause changes in the person. This may seem a little far-fetched for some, but millions of people around the world swear by these methods. Hypnotherapy can treat any number of disorders from bad habits such as smoking and overeating, to suppressed memories that inhibit you from carrying on successful relationships. It has been endorsed by medical professionals as an effective pain management technique and is often chosen over epidural’s during childbirth. However, none of these conditions can be treated effectively if the subject does not believe that they will. Because hypnosis is a science of the mind, it cannot be entered into involuntarily and must have your full cooperation in order to be effective.