How Does Hypnosis Help with Weight Loss
The Society of Psychological Hypnosis describes hypnosis as ‘the procedure during which the subject is told that suggestions for imaginative experiences will be presented. The hypnotic induction is an extended initial suggestion for using one’s imagination, and may contain further elaborations of the introduction. A hypnotic procedure is used to encourage and evaluate responses to suggestions. If the subject responds to hypnotic suggestions, it is generally inferred that hypnosis has been induced’.
The practitioners define hypnosis as ‘a state of inner absorption, concentration and focused attention’ which implies that we can use our minds more powerfully when our minds are totally focused. This is definitely a mind over body therapy as clinical hypnosis involves the use of mental imagery in a focused state of attention. So, the by-word for the functioning of hypnosis is ‘suggestions’.
Hypnosis, as such, may not directly help you reduce weight as would weight loss diets or weight loss exercises. But it looks into and attempts to ‘cure’ the non-genetic cause of your weight gain, especially if it is related to psychological issues such as emotional eating, sleeplessness, stress, mood swings and depression. Most experts thereby suggest an adjunctive therapy along with hypnotherapy for weight loss program to be successful.
The procedure for weight loss hypnosis involves suggestions to relax. For those people who do not require relaxation, various suggestions are used to become more alert. The responses to suggestions are assessed by comparing them to a scale ranging from high to negligible.
Once you are ready to be hypnotized, the hypnotist will use verbal phrases and mental images to put you in a state of deep meditation or trance so that your subconscious mind readily accepts suggestions from yourself and your hypnotist. During hypnosis, you’ll be guided by the hypnotist to respond to suggestions for changes and alterations in emotion or behavior. These suggestions will help you fix problems such as eating disorder or stress and anxiety that are directly related to weight gain.
Weight loss programs in hypnotherapy or self hypnosis for weight loss techniques may utilize the science of binaural beats and ambient sound therapy to help you bring to a natural state of deep relaxation by affecting the levels of serotonin and other brain chemicals. For those interested in self hypnosis, you can select from a variety of hypnosis weight loss tapes and CDs available online or from stores.
In short, hypnotherapy can help with weight loss indirectly by addressing issues of eating disorders, insomnia and depression. Further, it will help you by:
- Improving your ability to focus and think more clearly;
- Increasing your self awareness;
- Lowering your stress levels;
- Producing more serotonin and other brain chemicals related to quality of life; and
- Improving your mental and emotional health.
- Stradling J, Roberts D, Wilson A, Lovelock F. Controlled trial of hypnotherapy for weight loss in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1998 Mar;22(3):278-81
- Kirsch, I., Montgomery, G., Sapirstein, G. (1995). Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy: A meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting Clinical Psychology, 63, 214-220
- Bolocofsky, D. N., Coulthard-Morris, L., & Spinier, D. (1984). Prediction of successful weight management from personality and demographic data. Psychological Reports, 55, 795-802
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