These apps and downloads can provide a great introduction to hypnosis and do have some anecdotal evidence suggesting a level of success. However they have been cited by hypnotherapists as being less compared successful to in person sessions. They widely state that the prerecorded hypnosis downloads cannot be tailored to your specific needs and cannot adapt to your reactions to the therapy while the session is in progress.
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Hypnosis is first and foremost a self-accepted journey away from the reality of the moment. Although the trance state is often referred to as if the patient is asleep, nothing could be further from the truth. The patient is fully awake at all times. The hypnotic subject is simply in a heightened, more receptive state of mind. This fact is proven with inductions called open-eye techniques, where the patient keeps his/her eyes open during the hypnotherapy. Full and deep trance is still achievable.
It is used for a wide variety of applications, and studies into its efficacy are often of poor quality which makes it difficult to determine efficacy. Several recent meta-analyses and systematic reviews of the literature on various conditions have concluded that the efficacy of hypnotherapy is "not verified", that there is no evidence or insufficient evidence for efficacy.