Is hypnosis real, and can it be used to help people fight addictions or lose weight?
—Suzanne Napier, Claremore, Okla.
Psychologists Grant Benham of the University of Texas–Pan American and Michael R. Nash of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, reply:
Hypnosis is real, but many popular ideas about it are not. When used responsibly by medical professionals as one element in a broader treatment plan, hypnosis can help patients afflicted with various emotional and medical problems.
This article was originally published with the title Ask the Brains.