In addition to all the clinical uses of hypnosis (and mindfulness and guided imagery), there is a more general benefit people receive from it: a sense of calm, peacefulness, and relaxation. Counselors, therapists, and psychologists have been using guided imagery, mindfulness and hypnosis for decades to help their patients learn how to relax and become calmer.
Many people who seek out a hypnotist are looking for relief from the angst and stress caused by their jobs or just everyday life. Thanks to functional MRI’s, scientists have been able to document the calming effect hypnosis and guided imagery have on the body by studying brain scans of people who are hypnotized. It is believed that the calming, peaceful feeling experienced in hypnosis slows down (or shuts off completely) the release of stress hormones produced by the brain; and instead, the “feel good hormones” are released that bring about feelings of calmness and peacefulness, and even pain relief.