What is hypnosis and how does it work?

Hypnosis is a state of consciousness in which an individual's attention and concentration are focused and heightened, and their suggestibility is increased. During hypnosis, individuals are typically in a relaxed state, and their subconscious mind is more open to suggestion. This state is induced through various techniques, such as guided imagery, progressive relaxation, and suggestion. Hypnosis has been found to be helpful in treating a variety of conditions, including anxiety, addiction, and chronic pain.

The exact mechanism of hypnosis is not fully understood, but it is thought to involve changes in brain activity and the modulation of certain neural pathways. Some studies have suggested that hypnosis can alter the activity of the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in decision-making and attention, as well as the insula, which is associated with bodily sensations and emotions. Additionally, hypnosis may affect the functioning of the default mode network, a set of brain regions that are active when the mind is at rest and not focused on the outside world.