The question of whether or not hypnosis is real stems out of misconceptions about what hypnosis is and isn't
"What is real? If you're talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then 'real' is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain." Morpheus, The Matrix
For many people, hypnosis is at best a quasi-mystical, pseudo-science or an offshoot of the New Age movement.
The truth is, hypnosis has been around for a long, long time. The use of basic induction techniques such as progressive body relaxation and creative visualization goes back thousands of years.
It's generally accepted that hypnosis in its modern form began with the work of Franz Mesmer in the 18th century. Since then, it has gone through various stages of popularity, acceptance, and prestige.
These days, hypnosis and hypnotherapy are becoming more and more accepted by mainstream medicine and popular culture. In fact, you probably know someone who has tried hypnosis for quitting smoking or losing weight.
Of course, hypnosis is not some magic cure-all. It's not for everyone.
However, many people do respond very well to the hypnotic process. By following the positive suggestions of the hypnotherapist they find they are able to easily relax both physically and mentally. By giving their conscious, analytical mind a rest they are able to open up to their subconscious minds, allowing room to accept suggestions for new and better ways of doing things.
By the end of the process, people generally report not only feeling good but significant changes in attitudes and behaviors that were problematic.
At the end of the day, you have to decide if hypnosis is right for you. If you're brand new to the idea, then check out some hypnosis Mp3 recordings that you can listen to in the comfort of your own home. When you're ready, you can then start looking for a live hypnotherapist in your area.