It is real. Physicians have been using hypnosis therapeutically much longer than we've been using medicines. Used correctly it is a very effective therapy. As evidence of it's real-ness let me point out to you that hypnosis has been used as sole anesthetic for surgery for 100 years. Ever experienced highway hypnosis? It is very real and part of the same phenomenon.
Real. Hypnosis can be very useful in "uncovering the subconscious" much quicker tha with other methods. And uncovering the subconsious can be the key to dealing with certain annoying symptoms. Do not confuse stage hypnosis with the serious use of hypnosis in medical situations.
Hypnosis. Hypnosis is not a "gimmick, " but great care is needed in using it. Some may use hypnosis to "recover" memories of long-ago trauma, and the results may be questionable. Hypnosis can, however, help a person make connections that are not otherwise obvious -- and can be very helpful in relieving pain and anxiety. It's important to be working with a licensed practitioner who's certified in hypnosis.