What is Hypnosis?

Definitions of Hypnosis:
Hypnosis is perhaps the oldest and most natural mode of healing in our human history and yet (because of stage hypnosis which is done purely for entertainment) is quite misunderstood by the majority of the population who then miss out on it is incredible benefits.

Hypnosis is considered a potent and safe adjunct to Medicine, an effective procedure in Psychotherapy, Dentistry, relaxation, stress management and behavioral changes.

Hypnosis is a natural state of mind that occurs spontaneously in nearly every person. You may consider hypnotic states or hypnosis as altered states of consciousness. This is similar to those that you experience upon awakening prior to falling asleep, when functioning on automatic like driving down a highway, or when engrossed in activities such as watching an interesting movie or reading a good book.

Hypnosis is not something one person “does” to another. It is an inborn talent. Its use, deliberate or unwitting, varies from person to person. Your development of the skill of using hypnosis for yourself can be enhanced with the guidance of an experienced hypnotist. Then the talent can subsequently be even more useful and enjoyable when employed by you on your own.

What is Hypnosis?

There are many definitions of hypnosis, almost as many as there are practitioners of hypnosis. One of the most frequently used definitions of hypnosis for therapeutic purposes is the following: ‘Hypnosis is an artificially induced state, usually (but not always) resembling sleep, but physiologically distinct from it, which is characterized by heightened suggestibility, as a result of which certain sensory, motor and memory abnormalities may be induced more readily than in the normal state, (Warren’s Dictionary of Psychology).’

Actually, it makes more sense to realize that hypnosis is a “natural” state you go in and out of all day.

Generally, many professionals borrow Dr. Milton Erickson’s definition and describe hypnosis as, ‘A state of intensified attention and receptiveness, and an increased responsiveness to an idea or to a set of ideas.’

The following are additional definitions of hypnosis: Hypnosis is an altered state of selective awareness and heightened suggestibility produced through a combination of relaxation, focused attention and effective suggestions. (Richard Aanrich)

I believe hypnosis to be a process which produces relaxation, distraction of the conscious mind, heightened suggestibility and increased awareness, allowing access to the subconscious mind through the imagination. It also produces the ability to experience thoughts and images as real. (Krasner)

Actually, the hypnotic state, like the conscious state and the sleeping state, is extremely complex and involves so many physiological, psychological, and interpersonal factors that no one theory has yet been able to account for all the intricate operations that take place within its range. This does not at all hinder our practical employment of this interesting method. In medicine, we utilize many remedies and procedures because they work, even though we may not know exactly why and how they work. Every year, research adds more data to our fund a/knowledge, providing an empirical foundation for your pragmatic superstructure. (Lewis. R. Wolberg)

Hypnosis has also been defined as a form of conditioning. A person learns, through direct experience or the media, how to be hypnotized. Another way to see hypnosis as something learned, is to assert that a person becomes conditioned to a word stimulus such as “relax.” Once having allowed one’s self to relax, the client is thereafter conditioned to repeat the experience of relaxing upon hearing the stimulus-word.

Hypnosis is not a sleep. Whatever sleep is, hypnosis is not, in fact for most people it is a heightened awareness which allows the individual more personal control than they would otherwise have. Hypnosis is a response to a signal from the hypnotherapist or to an inner signal, which activates a capacity for a shift of awareness in the person, which permits a more directed concentration toward a desired goal.

In other words all hypnosis is self-hypnosis because it is the client who uses his or her abilities, including concentration and imagination, to produce what we recognize as “hypnotic” effects.

Among practitioners the most common view of hypnosis is that it is an altered state of consciousness; your awareness differs somehow to your everyday sense of reality. This is often referred to as being in a trance. However, for many, perhaps most, people being in hypnosis does not seem much different to how they feel at other times.

Applied Hypnosis

Hypnosis is as natural to you as the sun is to the forest. Applied Hypnosis is using one of the oldest technologies for producing positive and sometimes rapid results. Hypnosis accesses the “other-than-conscious” (unconscious) mind to discover both the roots of a problem and what changes can make a difference. Below you will find some studies listed, but there are hundreds showing the benefits of hypnosis for mind and body.

Have you ever heard of a flying phobia? It affects a large portion of the population, and although there are many therapies few are as effective as hypnosis. When combining Hypnosis with Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), the positive results are amazing! NLP is also referred to as cognitive behavioral therapy and is very effective in resolving phobias. The US National Library of Medicine, and National Institutes of Health show studies reflecting the success of using hypnosis to overcome such phobias: A Case Report.

How about hypnosis for Cancer care? For nearly 200 years, individuals diagnosed with cancer have successfully used hypnosis to provide psychological and physical comfort:  Hypnosis for Cancer Care

Menopause and HOT flashes are significantly reduced with hypnosis. A studies in March, 2013 discussed the use of hypnosis methods and the results. Cat Wilson can show you a more comfortable experience as you, a wise woman, enjoys the change of life: Clinical Hypnosis and postmenopausal

Through the use of positive suggestions, we replace old, embedded programming with a more resourceful outcome. Hypnosis makes possible a specific good, to produce a more positive outcome or to remove or change something that is less than positive. The client is always in control and always alert to everything going on. This is a profound state of relaxation and heightened suggestibility where clients can substitute positive thoughts and beliefs in place of the old negative program that was there.

What about Hypnosis in the News?

World Hypnosis Day was in January. More people are discovering health benefits from hypnosis in releasing weight, enjoying successful childbirth, learning better, overcoming compulsions, and even dealing with election trauma. Wonderfully the list is too long for us to print all the news, but here is a sampling of what the press is reporting. Below are links to articles on Hypnosis..

Dental Hypnosis: of local anesthesia, pain perception, control of haemorrhage and anxiety during extraction of third molars: A case-control study (Kerman University of Medical Sciences) 12/14/12

Tourettes Syndrome and Hypnosis: (Department of Neurology, Florida) 7/2012

“Under the Knife, Under Hypnosis” (New Scientist). 8/06/05

“Hypnosis reduces distress and duration of an invasive medical procedure for children” (pubmed.gov), 1/2005

“World Hypnosis Day” (emediawire.com), 1/04/05

“Medical hypnosis for herpes” (pubmed.gov), 12/21/04

“Hair Pulling: A Secret Compulsion” (The Seattle Times), 12/16/04

“General practitioners believe that hypnotherapy could be a useful treatment for irritable bowel syndrome in primary care” (pubmed.gov), 10/13/04

“Hypnosis for Pain Relief in Labour and Childbirth” (pubmed.gov), 10/2004

“Can hypnosis reduce hot flashes in breast cancer survivors?” (pubmed.gov), 7/2004

“There’s Entrancing News About Hypnosis” (businessweekonline.com), 02/02/04


Can Hypnosis be used for Health?

Many people have found hypnotherapy to be a wonderful tool for relieving pain and health issues. Irritable Bowel Disorder (IBS) is a painful condition, which has received great results from Hypnosis. In a survey noted below, read more about what doctors report on usage of hypnotherapy.

“General practitioners believe that hypnotherapy could be a useful treatment for irritable bowel syndrome in primary care” by Authors: Stephen Cox , Simon de Lusignan and Tom C

Want to learn and experience more about Hypnosis?

Apositiva Institute offers training courses for those wishing to become a practitioner. Our classes are recognized and accepted by National Guild of Hypnotist (NGH), Oregon Health Administration (OHA ) for certification in hypnosis, as well as many states and national organizations. The Mastery Class takes you through the requirements to be a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist or Hypnotist (C.Ht.)

Now, you will be the enlightened one the next time someone asks you, “What is hypnosis?” Come and meet us for a session and you will have experience. Wed love to meet you!


Richard (Rich) Aanrich, BA, M.NLP, C.HI has been teaching hypnosis and NLP for over 20 years. He learned from many of the great Masters of Hypnosis and NLP, and through his many years of experience has become a Master himself. In addition, he graduated with a degree in Human Behavioral Studies. Rich is a combination of many great arts, from Dale Carnegie, NLP and many great Masters. You will notice that he is charged with a positive energy! Ask him where he gets it.

Catherine (Cat) Wilson, BA, M.NLP, C.HI. In 1970, Cat first learned hypnosis from her father, and later went for certification and became a clinical hypnotherapist. She was the President of the National Guild of Hypnotherapists in the Portland, Oregon area from 2007 to 2012. She learned NLP in 1992 and has trained hypnotherapy students with Rich since 2001. From 1970’s to 1980’s, Cat studied business, art, and law, and then went back to school again, graduating with a degree in Communications, Training and Development. Cat is a master of communication, and you will sense how deeply she listens with her heart and soul. Be ready when she asks you this question: “What is the very best scenario for you now?”

Hypnotherapy /NLP Classes

Creative Visualization – 2-day class on opening awareness through Hypnosis
Essentials – 6-day class on Hypnosis and NLP
Mastery – 160+ hours (with Essentials) to meet requirements for Certification

Click here to see our calendar for upcoming classes.

Apositiva Center / Apositiva Institute
Mention that you saw it on the web for a $10.00 discount!

Stop Smoking Programs

“Annually there are 500,000 preventable deaths in the United States caused by smoking,” according to the US National Library of Medicine (Ref. NCBI.) Make your life one to live with good health. You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for a program to stop smoking. However, you cannot include in medical expenses amounts you pay for drugs that do not require a prescription, such as nicotine gum or patches that are designed to help stop smoking.

Weight Loss Programs

You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay to lose weight if it is a treatment for a specific disease diagnosed by a physician (for example: obesity, hypertension, diabetes or heart disease). This includes fees you pay for membership in a weight reduction group and attendance at periodic meetings. You cannot include membership dues in a gym, health club, or spa as medical expenses, but you can include separate fees charged there for weight loss activities.

IRS Tax Credit for Hypnosis

You Can Get 100{8b3a2f999ba59642dfe826ddd554f6c9ff0174d7b182d4f1913e29042ced5c7c} Reimbursement for your Weight Loss and/or Smoking Cessation Hypnotherapy Programs with an I.R.S. Tax Credit.

Tax laws passed for 2003 onwards mean you can get a tax credit that reimburses you 100{8b3a2f999ba59642dfe826ddd554f6c9ff0174d7b182d4f1913e29042ced5c7c} for money paid for smoking programs.

You can also be reimbursed 100{8b3a2f999ba59642dfe826ddd554f6c9ff0174d7b182d4f1913e29042ced5c7c} for weight loss programs if you were advised by a physician to lose weight.

This is a tax credit – not a tax deduction, so that means 100{8b3a2f999ba59642dfe826ddd554f6c9ff0174d7b182d4f1913e29042ced5c7c} credit on your taxes!

How to Report

To claim the credit, complete Form 8885, Health Coverage Tax Credit, and attach it to your Form 1040 or Form 1040NR. Report the credit on Form 1040, line 67, or Form 1040NR, line 62, and check box c. You cannot claim the credit on Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ.

You must attach invoices and proof of payment for any amounts you include on line 2 of Form 8885 for which you did not receive an advance payment. If you file your return electronically, attach the invoices and proof of payment to your Form 8453. Proof of payment may include a pay stub if insurance is through a spouse’s employment, a bank check, or bank statement for premiums that are automatically deducted from your account.

Hypnosis Practitioners typically do not diagnose, request from your doctor to write a note that you need to lose weight or quit smoking.

If you claim this credit, you cannot take the same expenses that you use to figure your health coverage tax credit into account in determining your:

  • Medical and dental expenses on Schedule A (Form 1040) 9/3/2005
  • Self Employed health insurance distributions
  • Archer Medical Savings Account (MSA) distributions

Note: No liability is accepted for this information. You should seek advice from your tax accountant or other professional adviser.

Apositiva Center / Apositiva Institute