From The British Society of Clinical Hypnosis BSCH.ORG.UK
It may be surprising to many to learn that we experience trance states often during the course of our lives. Even passing into ordinary sleep involves a kind of trance state. The experience of hypnosis is similar: neither asleep nor awake and a little like daydreaming, with a pleasant feeling of deep relaxation behind it all. Hypnosis is a different state of consciousness which you can naturally enter so that, for therapeutic purposes (hypnotherapy), beneficial corrections may be given directly to your unconscious mind.
In this way, hypnosis is an effective way of making contact with our inner (unconscious) self, which is both a reservoir of unrecognised potential and knowledge as well as being the unwitting source of many of our problems.
Realistically no-one can be hypnotised against their will and even when hypnotised, a person can still reject any suggestion. Thus hypnotherapy is a state of purposeful co-operation.
What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is using the state of hypnosis to treat a variety of medical and psychological problems. It is estimated that 85% of people will respond at some level to clinical hypnotherapy. It may even succeed where other more conventional methods of treatment have not produced the desired result. When carried out by a trained and qualified hypnotherapist the benefits can be long lasting and often permanent. It is natural and safe, with no harmful side effects.
Hypnotherapy makes use of the bicameral nature of the functioning brain and the conscious / unconscious processes therein. At its simplest level the unconscious mind becomes (through our life experience) the repository of our conditioned experience, while the conscious mind is the waking mind dealing with appraisal and decision making. In hypnotherapy the critical faculties of the conscious mind are sidestepped (through the hypnotic condition) and new ideas and 'suggestions' placed directly into the uncritical unconscious to effect beneficial changes when back in the waking state.
Clinical applications of Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is medically accepted to benefit the following and more: unwanted habits - smoking, nail biting, bed wetting, weight control / healthy eating, improve work / study / sporting performance, boost self-confidence and achieving potential, phobias, compulsions, emotional problems, sleep problems, inhibitions, worries, reduce stress, tension and blood pressure, stomach problems, IBS, gynaecological problems - PMT, psychogenic infertility, obstetrics (painless childbirth), skin problems, pain control, minor surgery, dentistry, arthritic pains, aches and pains, some sexual problems...
Put simply, where your problem is due to habitual conditioning (habit formation), accumulated stress or unresolved events in your past then hypnotherapy can be used to access and reprogramme these complexes which are being sustained and remain active at the unconscious level.