Hypnosis for Obesity

Tracy Stein Phd MPH, in an excellent article published on the Psychoogy Today website describes how hypnosis can help in battling obesity, this way:

Hypnosis can help you understand unconscious barriers to weight loss and enhance your chances of success via a variety of types of positive suggestion. Some examples include:

  • Development of an “inner ally” to help support you in making potentially challenging, but necessary changes.
  • Enhancing competence and confidence via encouraging, affirming language.
  • Visualization of already having achieved your goal and feeling good about it.
  • Accessing and partnering with the part of your unconscious that wants to make change.
  • Comforting the part of you that may be afraid of change.
  • Understanding why you have needed to use weight as a tool.
  • Reframing the previous “use” of eating as a tool that can now be safely retired.
  • Visualization of the new, healthier “tools” for coping, navigating personal relationships, and communicating effectively.
  • Mental rehearsal to make using healthy tools more automatic.”

You can read the entire posting here.

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Research Supports Hypnotherapy for Obesity

Gordon Cochrane and John Friesen of the Department of Counselling Psychology at the University of British Columbia, conducted a research study that was published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. There have been previous reports of the effectiveness of hypnotherapy when used to treat obesity; however, they were not substantiated by any controlled research studies until Cochrane & Friesen (1986).
The conclusions drawn from this controlled study supported Cochrane’s original hypothesis. The group receiving hypnotherapy and the group receiving hypnotherapy plus audiotapes to use at home lost comparable amounts of weight. Subjects in the control group lost significantly less. According to the results, hypnotherapy was the key element facilitating weight loss. The margin of difference between the hypnosis only and the hypnosis plus audiotapes group was insignificant. Subjects in both those groups lost significantly more weight than those in the control group.
Notably, educational level, economic level and age of the subject at the onset of obesity did not appear to be possible causative factors.  Cochrane’s well-controlled study provides empirical evidence in favour of the use of hypnotherapy as an effective treatment option for obese individuals.
The conclusions suggest that future research studies should focus on hypnotherapeutic techniques as applied to clients with specific characteristics.
You can read a compete article on teh research here
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