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When it comes to hypnosis, most people picture a therapist swinging a pocket watch in front of a patient’s eyes in an attempt to reach their subconscious and exert mind control. This image—most likely planted by childhood cartoons—is kooky, but not totally inaccurate. Hypnotherapy is the practice of helping a patient reach a deep relaxation and an altered state of consciousness, aka trance, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. In this relaxed state, patients may see a decrease in blood pressure and heart rate as well as changes in brain wave activity. Research shows that hypnosis may improve immune function, decrease stress, and ease pain and feelings of anxiety. This is why hypnotherapy is offered at Mount Sinai’s Dubin Breast Center in New York City. In this video interview with Sonima.com founder, Sonia Jones, Guy Montgomery, the Dubin Breast Center’s director of Psychological Services, shares a guided session of this calming exercise (sans pocket watch).
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