That is a question that must be asked by so many people, especially those who have “tried every diet” and who in desperation or frustration are turning to other forms of therapy, whether it is acupuncture, emotional freedom technique or another of the growing number of alternative therapies available.
As an Edinburgh based Hypnotherapist I’m obviously biased and would say yes, but there is a growing body of evidence and support for this claim.
The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH), the largest U.S. organisation for health and mental health care professionals using clinical hypnosis says “Yes, research demonstrates a significant effect when using hypnosis for weight loss.
Contrary to what some people think, hypnosis is a legitimate clinical tool for behaviour modification and not just an amusing stage-show where people are made to cluck like chickens or eat onions like apples.”
Will it work for me?
Hypnosis tends to be most effective when the client is highly motivated to overcome a problem and when the hypnotherapist is well trained. Some people have a higher natural hypnotic talent and capacity that may allow them to benefit more readily from hypnosis. Hypnosis for weight loss can be very effective if you are highly motivated.
How Quickly Can I Lose Weight?
It is often the case that by the time clients come to see a hypnotherapist they are at their wits end, having tried everything and want to see the pounds drop off as soon as possible and very often with as few sessions as possible.
This is where we as hypnotherapists have to help our clients manage their expectations. When you consider for how long people have been putting the weight on and for how long they have been conditioning themselves to over eating, comfort eating, etc. it is unrealistic to expect rapid weight loss. Indeed, rapid weight loss is very unsafe outside a strictly controlled environment. It is also responsible in the main for rapid weight gain when clients end their diets, as discussed in an earlier blog post.
The Plateau Effect
There is typically a short period of a week or two where clients lose weight at say 10 pound, then slow down. This is usually where the client sheds excess fluid then settles down to a more gradual progress. This is far more sustainable and the hypnotherapy should include lifestyle changes to help the client sustain this. Key to this is the use of habit changing techniques; I use Cognitive Behaviour Therapy principles. The hypnotherapy scripts are then modified to suit the client’s circumstances and issues.
However, as a footnote; as any responsible hypnotherapist must do, I must say that there are no guarantees. It is after all the client’s mind, not ours. So as with any goal, make up your mind, give yourself a target and go for it.
There is much more information on this website about weight loss, so please do take the time to have a look. It would be good to hear your thoughts, so please post a comment.
Mike Rogers, Clinical Hypnotherapist