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Hypnosis: an additional technique for weightloss


Hypnosis is a natural state where the subconscious (creative) mind can be accessed. Since this is where a person's memories, beliefs, and habits are stored, having access to them means that they can also be modified for the person's benefit. Hypnosis has been used as an alternative treatment in medical institutions to manage everything from pain to smoking to weight loss.

 

Generally, the hypnotic state is defined as a state of focused concentration -- a condition akin to being so absorbed in a good book that the outside world seems to fade away, said Guy Montgomery, president of the Society of Psychological Hypnosis, a division of American Psychological Association. It's during this state that patients become more open to suggestion. The idea is to access the subconscious mind to modify behavior in a positive way, which the conscious resists.

 

Women experience being hypnotized in different ways. While some women have the feeling of falling asleep, others remain completely conscious and aware of every word said around them. "Some will tell you that their mind went blank, others have flashbacks from childhood, "Some will feel their feet numb, and others will feel a sense of heaviness or lightness in some parts of the body or in its whole." How the person feels while being hypnotized usually has no relation to the level of relaxation.

 

According to a hypno-therapist, a person becomes overweight because of a set of unhealthy habits that she cannot change consciously. A person who suffers from being overweight simply has some non-useful beliefs about food and nutrition. If the client can change the set of beliefs that made her overweight in the first place, then it's easier to change the unhealthy everyday habits that go with it.

 

Whether hypnosis will bring results varies from person to person as in any other treatment. Studies showing weight loss as a result of hypnosis alone are few in number and suffer from methodological problems. When combined with a behavioral weight management program, hypnosis has been shown to be an effective treatment for low to moderate amounts of weight loss.

 

Advantages

  • It's non-invasive; when done under the supervision of a qualified hypnotherapist, it's also safe.

  • There's no one-fits-all solution. Sessions can be adapted to the needs of every patient.

  • It's often successful where conventional treatments have failed.

  • Contrary to popular "miracle cures," Hypnotherapy does not promise a magic answer to weight loss. Hypnotherapy helps the patient deal with the reasons she's overweight, but the actual work has to be done by the patient.

  • Hypnotherapy promotes lifestyle changes. If the person doesn't change the beliefs that make him or her overindulge and doesn't learn to put long-term wellness above immediate satisfaction, any change in weight brought in by dieting is not likely to be permanent. Hypnotherapy deals with the core, the actual processes the mind goes through, and therefore it stays for life.

 

Disadvantages

  • Because there is no statutory regulation of the profession, there's always the risk of running into somebody who lacks the right training.

  • Hypnotherapy is not recommended for people with post-traumatic stress, epilepsy, and serious psychological disorders (such as split personality, borderline psychosis, and depression).

  • The process takes work. Many patients undergo hypnotherapy in the hopes of finding a miracle cure and get disappointed when the therapist mentions diet and exercise.

 

 

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