Well, since I'm a hypnotist and a very truthful, ethical person, I can honestly say hypnosis is for real. Hypnosis refers to a state of mind where the subconscious is highly open to suggestion. We drift in and out of hypnosis naturally many times throughout the day. Basically our conscious mind takes a mini-vacation and "zones out" for a few moments. If you've ever been driving your car and arrived safely at your destination with no recollection of the trip there, you've experienced "highway hypnosis". Maybe you daydream at work or school. Maybe you meditate. Maybe you've experienced this sensation during prayer.
When we're in these states of awareness, we're highly open to suggestion. When we are highly responsive to the hypnotic state, we will see, hear, feel, smell, or taste in accordance with the suggestion given. A popular demonstration I've seen is one where a subject gets hypnotized, he is handed a raw onion, and he receives a suggestion taht he is biting into a sweet, juicy apple. The subject then bites into the raw onion and since he believes he's eating an apple, he reacts as if he is actually eating an apple. In hypnotherapy, we deliberately achieve this same state in order to enable positive suggestions to go straight to the subconscious.
All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. Hypnosis itself is a tool that if used correctly can help someone make positive changes in his or her life. The key point here is that the subject really desires to make the changes and really gets involved in the process. Hypnosis is not something that is done TO you. As a hypnotist I am not waving a magic wand at you and making you change. I just guide and develop the hypnotic state. I'm like a tour guide to the subconscious. I guide you to the necessary points of interest within your subconscious, but you have to be on the tour with me in order to be successful.