Hypnotherapy combines hypnosis and clinical therapy to address mental or physical concerns such as anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, and smoking cessation.

Hypnosis refers to being guided into a relaxed state of attention. The process is similar to meditation, but you are in a deeper state of focused relaxation. There are important changes to the brain that happen during hypnosis and we’ll explore these later.

The ‘therapy’ part of hypnotherapy refers to therapeutic suggestions that are made during a session. These suggestions are targeted to the listener’s particular concern such as ‘not feeling pain,’ or ‘not smoking again’. While the brain is in a deeply relaxed hypnotic state, it is more likely to absorb, amplify, and act on these therapeutic messages.

What is hypnotherapy used for?

Hypnotherapy has slowly but surely made its way into mainstream medicine, being used by trained health professionals to address a variety of health conditions and concerns. Hypnotherapy can even be used to assist in surgical procedures as a way to sedate patients instead of using traditional anesthetics.

There are many reasons why someone may wish to try hypnotherapy. Research shows that the following can be receptive to the practice:

If you are experiencing any of the conditions or behaviors listed, please speak with your healthcare provider to see whether hypnotherapy may be the right fit for you.

How does hypnotherapy work?

Hypnotherapy works by guiding you into a relaxed state of focused attention where you are more receptive to positive ideas and beneficial suggestions. Your conscious mind is quietened, giving your subconscious mind more of an opportunity to be reached and targeted.

Hypnotherapy reduces the action in certain areas of the brain and increases activity in others. There are several observable changes that occur during hypnosis including:

Relaxation and focus: There is decreased activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate, which is the part of the brain involved in cognition and movement.

A brain showing relaxation activity under hypnosis

Being more open to suggestions: There are decreased connections between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the default mode network, meaning your brain is more receptive to the suggestions you receive. Studies have shown a dynamic change in brain activity during hypnotic suggestions.

A brain in hypnosis showing activity that makes it open to suggestions

Improved mind-body connection: There is increased activity between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the insula, the area responsible for the brain-body connection.

A brain n hypnosis showing it has improved mind body connection

Typically, there are 3 stages to a hypnotherapy session:

  1. Hypnotic induction = being guided through relaxation exercises to be gently induced into a relaxed and focused state.
  2. Visualizations = using exercises to help you visualize what’s going on in your body.
  3. Suggestions = offering simple suggestions to the subconscious mind that addresses the specific behavior or condition that you’re working towards changing.
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How does hypnotherapy feel?

During a hypnotherapy session, you won’t be clucking like a chicken or embarrassing yourself at a ‘hypnosis’ stage show. You don’t lose control of yourself, you gain a sense of control by working with your subconscious mind to rewire your brain and make new neural pathways.

The experience of hypnotherapy is unique for all, but it is most commonly described as a feeling similar to that of daydreaming. There are everyday ‘trance’ states that are a part of human existence. It’s important to remember that hypnotherapy is not mind control and at no point will you do anything against your will.

During your session, you may notice your awareness dropping in and out. This feeling can be compared to the following scenarios:

  • being absorbed by a good book
  • being engrossed by your favorite movie
  • driving down a familiar route
  • washing the dishes
  • losing track of time

It happens naturally, automatically, and without you needing to think about it!

As the experience is unique to all, there’s no way to offer the perfect example of how you will feel during hypnosis. If you aren’t reaching what feels like a deep state of relaxation during a session, don’t worry. It can still be effective. While not everyone can be hypnotized, research shows that the majority of people sit somewhere in the middle of hypnotisability, and a smaller proportion possess a higher ability.

How much does hypnotherapy cost?

The price of hypnotherapy depends on your location, the specialist you see, and what condition or behavior you are addressing. At a high level, an in-person session with a qualified hypnotherapist can be expensive, usually upwards of $100 US per session (keep in mind that you usually need more than one to see positive change). Your health insurance may be able to cover your sessions but double-check this directly with your fund.

If you’re looking for a way to reduce the cost of your hypnotherapy experience, you can try using app-based hypnotherapy programs, such as Nerva for irritable bowel syndrome, Finito for smoking cessation, and Evia for menopausal hot flash management. Studies have shown that app-based therapeutics can work just as well as in-person appointments! Digital therapeutics can not only be less expensive, but they also don’t require long wait lists or travel time. You can complete your hypnotherapy sessions in the comfort of your own home.

What are the side effects of hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy is an exceptionally safe and effective practice for a variety of mental and physical health conditions when conducted by a trained professional. Be sure to do thorough research and only see a hypnotherapist with a license to practice. Speak to a doctor to assist you in finding the right therapist for you.

Like any treatment, side effects can be experienced. Hypnotherapy side effects are rare, but they can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea

It is also recommended that those with a history of psychosis do not use hypnotherapy and seek alternative treatment forms unless advised otherwise by a healthcare provider.

The Wrap Up

Hypnotherapy has come a long way over the years and is slowly but surely becoming a popular way to address a list of health conditions and concerns. The combination of hypnosis and talk therapy guides you into a focused state of attention, opening the subconscious mind to personalized suggestions designed to better your health and well-being. Hypnotherapy has proved to be an effective way to manage conditions and behaviors such as anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, smoking cessation, and menopausal hot flashes. If you’re interested in exploring hypnotherapy, be sure to speak with a doctor to help you find the right therapist for you.

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Quiz: Could hypnosis help you quit smoking?
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Manage your hot flashes in just 5 weeks.

✅ Science-backed & effective
✅ Natural & safe option
✅ Created by Dr Elkins
❌ No appointments or waitlists
❌ No medications

Learn more

Hypnotherapy

Unlock the power of your mind and embrace better health.

Find out how

Refer, monitor and grow

A free and easy way to refer patients to digital hypnotherapy programs.

Let's Connect
Think it could be IBS?

Take the Quiz.
Experiencing bloating? Gut pain? Diarrhea? Constipation? Take the quiz to see if your symptoms are consistent with IBS.
Take the quiz
Download your free guide to managing IBS with hypnotherapy
Calm IBS related pain
Break the stress-IBS cycle
Manage IBS symptoms without diets or drugs
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Think it could be IBS?

Take the Quiz.
Experiencing bloating? Gut pain? Diarrhea? Constipation? Take the quiz to see if your symptoms are consistent with IBS.
Take the quiz
Want to manage your IBS in 15 minutes a day?
Take our free quiz to discover if hypnotherapy can work for you.
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
Start quiz
Want to manage your IBS in 15 minutes a day?
Take our free quiz to discover if hypnotherapy can work for you.
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
Start quiz
Want to manage your IBS in 15 minutes a day?
Take our free quiz to discover if hypnotherapy can work for you.
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
Start quiz
Fix the miscommunication between your gut and brain
Manage IBS with gut-directed hypnotherapy
50,000+ people helped
A calmer gut and mind
Start 7 day trial
Manage hot flashes in just five weeks
Hormone free
Low risk
Evidence based
Start Now
Manage hot flashes without hormones
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Low risk
Evidence based
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Low risk
Evidence based
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Interested in hypnotherapy?
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Contents

Calm IBS in 6 weeks

Take our free assessment to discover if Nerva can work for you.

✅ 89% success rate
✅ 50,000+ people helped
✅ Created by Dr Peters

Start

Hot Flash Relief

Manage your hot flashes in just 5 weeks.

✅  Scientifically proven
✅  Natural & safe option
✅  Created by Dr Elkins

Learn more

Hypnotherapy

Unlock the power of your mind and embrace better health.

Find out more

Refer, monitor and grow

A free and easy way to refer patients to digital hypnotherapy programs.

Let's Connect
Could it be IBS?
Take the quiz to find out.
Free guide to managing IBS with hypnotherapy
Calm IBS in 6 weeks
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
What if you could calm IBS in just 6 weeks?
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters from Monash Univeristy
Could it be IBS?
Take the quiz to find out.
Calm IBS in 6 weeks
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
Calm IBS in 6 weeks
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
Calm IBS in 6 weeks
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
Calm IBS in 6 weeks
Diet and drug free program
50,000+ people helped
Created by Dr Simone Peters
Manage IBS with gut-directed hypnotherapy
Start free trial
Sleep better, without hormones
App based
Low risk
Evidence based
Manage hot flashes in just five weeks
Start Now
Manage hot flashes without hormones
App based
Low risk
Evidence based
Refer, monitor and grow
A free and easy way to refer patients to digital hypnotherapy programs.
Get your pack now
Interested in hypnotherapy?
Learn how hypnotherapy works on the brain and how it is changing healthcare.
Find out how