Hypnosis is a communication tool which opens the unconscious mind to communication, usually with a hypnotist, or with the conscious mind in the case of Self Hypnosis. Hypnosis does not, by itself create change. In order to create change, the hypnotic trance (state of being in hypnosis) becomes the pathway by which issues that are not in the person's best interests are amenable to change. The hypnotic state does not make the person an automaton, the person retains control at all times, so "suggestions" will only work if they are in the recipient's best interest. In other words, a hypnotist doesn't have any control of the recipient's mind, regardless of what the stage hypnotist would tell you.
Hypnotherapy is a unique experience in which previously unconscious resources are utilized to create meaningfull change. Examples are smoking cessation, stopping ineffective habits, weight control, changing emotional states such as depression and anxiety, improving performance in all areas of daily living (athletic, sports, educational blocks, creativity in the arts, and many more).
Hypnosis has been known to mankind since early civilization, it is only in the last century that it became an approved medical treatment. The late Milton H. Erickson MD is responsible for making hypnosis respectable within the therapeutic community.
Dr. Brian Pound is a medical hypnotist with over forty years of experience in hypnotherapy. I have experience in medical issues such as obesity, depression, habits, acute and chronic pain. I am a consultant to various law enforcement agencies in British Columbia, and am a charter member of the International Society for Forensic and Investigative Hypnosis. I have served as the pain therapist to the Burn Unit at the Royal Jubilee Hospital, Victoria, BC, and therapist in the treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum (excessive vomiting of pregnancy). My success rate in smoking cessation is 80%.