House-hunt hypnosis

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Once upon a time, most people thought hypnosis involved a scene in which a German-accented guy in a black turtleneck purred, "You are getting very sleeeeeeeeepyyyy," while lulling you into dozing off with a pocket-watch pendulum in front of your face. In fact, hypnosis is actually a very awake, very focused state of heightened suggestibility.

A hypnotist I know works hard to dispel the notion that this suggestibility can cause you to do something against your will. Rather, she clarifies, a hypnotic state simply allows you to accept suggestions that are already aligned with your innermost wishes and dreams — like the desire to stop smoking or overeating — without the normal, critical and often limiting thought patterns that stop you from manifesting these desires in your normal state of consciousness.