The effects of hypnosis can be seen on brain scans, say English researchers.
They found that hypnotized volunteers had decreased activity in the parts of the brain associated with daydreaming or allowing the mind to wander. But the same effect wasn't seen in people who weren't susceptible to being hypnotized, BBC News reported.
"This shows that the changes were due to hypnosis and not just simple relaxation. Our study shows hypnosis is real," said study leader Dr William McGeown, a lecturer in the department of psychology at Hull University.
The study appears in the journal Consciousness and Cognition.
The findings show that hypnosis can work by "priming" a person to respond more effectively to suggestions but does not prove that people being hypnotized are in an actual "trance," Dr. Michael Heap, a clinical forensic psychologist in Sheffield, told BBC News.