A well formulated definition of hypnosis is:

"A state of concurrent relaxation and concentration with an increased consciousness evoked from suggestions". Hypnosis is completely normal, non-magical and with predictable consequences

The use of hypnotism for therapeutic purposes is referred to as "hypnotherapy". Hypnosis can used to treat depression, anxiety, eating disorders, sleep disorders, compulsive gaming, posttraumatic stress, smoking and weight management. A number of studies show that hypnosis can reduce the pain experienced during burn-wound debridement, bone marrow aspirations, and childbirth. Treating skin diseases with hypnosis (hypnodermatology) has performed well in treating warts, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis. Hypnosis may be useful as an adjunct therapy for weight loss. The hypnotic state may also facilitate change in the body: it has been successfully used as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, as an alternative to chemical anesthesia, and it has been studied as a way to soothe skin ailments.

The technique of self-hypnosis is often used to increase motivation for a diet, quit smoking, or reduce stress. Self-hypnosis is claimed to help with stage fright, relaxation, and physical well-being.