Hypnosis promotes mental and physical relaxation, both of which help to prepare us for events that may otherwise cause anxiety. For events that require focused involvement, such as professional exams or presentations, mental relaxation allows us to focus and make those thought processes work easily. In addition to promoting relaxation, we use suggestions for focused thinking and confidence that lead to better performance. It's good to note that hypnosis does not replace studying or actually preparing for exams and presentations.

For surgery or medical procedures, in addition to aiding relaxation, hypnosis can help to accelerate healing. Hypnosis activates the parasympathetic nervous system that promotes blood flow to the appropriate areas of the body needed for healing. Imagery also works effectively to help the body heal (see "Managing Chronic Pain").

Sara Knudsen