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If you've ever been to a state fair or magic show, you might have seen a hypnotist in action. The theatrical performer invites a volunteer to the stage and places them in a stupor. The things that hypnotized people do seem outlandish and unbelievable, but hypnosis is more than a stage trick. Psychoanalysts, physicians, and neurologists have long used this practice to delve into the human mind, and today, experts are exploring its healing potential in the world of medicine.

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1. What Is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis refers both to a trance-like state of altered consciousness and the method used to achieve that state. A person who undergoes hypnosis and enters a trance is "hypnotized," which reduces their ability to control their mental and physical faculties and makes them more prone to suggestion.

What is Hypnosis Define KatarzynaBialasiewicz / Getty Images
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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.