Weight loss

Hypnosis, an Effective Aid to Weight Loss

Hypnosis is a highly effective method for weight management whereby you are helped to open up a new channel of communication with your body and your mind, through your mind. With the help of a qualified clinical hypnosis practitioner, you are guided into a state of focused concentration and mental and physical relaxation in which your suggestibility is heightened and your imagination is stimulated. In this state, the part of your mind that controls your habits (i.e., your subconscious mind) is more receptive to constructive suggestions for changing your eating and exercise habits, and improving your self-care.

You are not only helped to experience this heightened state of suggestibility and relaxed, focused concentration in the office, but also on your own at home. This is accomplished by making you a recording on your phone that you are encouraged to listen to at least once a day at home. By repeatedly listening to your hypnotist’s suggestions over and over again, the messages get through to your subsconscious control centre in your brain. This helps to re-program your eating and exercise habits, your body image, and your self image. You are also taught how to harness the power of self-hypnosis so that you can enter this state of focused concentration on your own to meditate on your goals and your new self image.

Hypnosis is also a tool for uncovering and discovering underlying, unconscious emotional factors that cause you to overeat or make poor food choices when you are stressed, anxious, bored, depressed, and so forth. Once these emotional eating factors are made conscious, the hypnosis tool is then used to help you change them to more positive motivators so you can make better choices under stress.

The largest obstacle in weight loss is its long-term retention, or the maintenance of weight loss. With that said, it is my clinical experience that maintenance is promoted when a person who is committed to following through with a weight maintenance program has the proper tools to help him or her cope with their anxiety and their other emotions.  The proper tools include: emotion regulation skills, self-control skills, motivational skills, and knowledge about diet, nutrition, and exercise.  Hypnosis, self-hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral skills provide the best resource tools in this regard based on the research and my own clinical experience.

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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).
Findings
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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Hypnosis for Weight Management

SlimmingHypnosis is a highly effective method for weight management whereby you are helped to open up a new channel of communication with your body and your mind, through your mind. With the help of a qualified clinical hypnosis practitioner, you are guided into a state of focused concentration and mental and physical relaxation in which your suggestibility is heightened and your imagination is stimulated. In this state, the part of your mind that controls your habits (i.e., your subconscious mind) is more receptive to constructive suggestions for changing your eating and exercise habits, and improving your self-care.

You are not only helped to experience this heightened state of suggestibility and relaxed, focused concentration in the office, but also on your own at home. This is accomplished by making you an audio tape (CD or cassette) that you are instructed to listen to at least once a day at home. By repeatedly listening to your hypnotist’s suggestions over and over again, the messages get through to your subsconscious control center in your brain. This helps to re-program your eating and exercise habits, your body image, and your self image. You are also taught how to harness the power of self-hypnosis so that you can enter this state of focused concentration on your own to meditate on your goals and your new self image.

Hypnosis is also a tool for uncovering and discovering underlying, unconscious emotional factors that cause you to overeat or make poor food choices when you are stressed, anxious, bored, depressed, and so forth. Once these emotional eating factors are made conscious, the hypnosis tool is then used to help you change them to more positive motivators so you can make better choices under stress.

The largest obstacle in weight loss is its long-term retention, or the maintenance of weight loss. With that said, it is my clinical experience that maintenance is promoted when a person who is committed to following through with a weight maintenance program has the proper tools to use to help him or her cope with their anxiety and their other emotions.  The proper tools include: emotion regulation skills, self-control skills, motivational skills, and knowledge about diet, nutrition, and exercise.  Hypnosis, self-hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral skills provide the best resource tools in this regard based on the research and my own clinical experience.

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Hypnotherapy and Anorexia

Hypnotherapy or hypnosis has a long and successful history in treating anorexia nervosa.

According to Baker and Nash (1987) and Nash and Baker (1993) hypnosis was introduced to anorectic patients as a means of gaining enhanced self-control associated with various opportunities for increased security and mastery. The induction techniques used were structured and permissive. Hypnotic interventions were specifically designed to enhance the patient’s personal sense of power, to increase capacity for autonomous functioning, to support the therapeutic alliance, to provide a sense of ego support that leads to mastery and expectations for success. Hypnotic techniques were also used to correct body-image distortions seen as closely associated with the issue of integration or an appropriate and mature sense of personality. Improvement of body imagery and general identity integration led to enhancement of the client’s general capacity for mastery. This treatment approach was used successfully with 36 women with anorexia. Follow-up data at 5 and 12 months indicated that 76% of the patients demonstrated remission of symptoms and an acceptable, stabilized weight. In contrast, of 38 women who were treated identically without the use of hypnosis, only 53% achieved the same level of symptom remission and stabilized acceptable weight.

anorexiaHornyak (1996) presenting a case of treatment of anorexia nervosa that lasted 20 months provided detailed presentation of the issued involved in hypnotherapy. At different stages of the treatment, hypnotherapy focused on self-regulation, relaxation for mastery and control of tension states, affect identification and symptom management, ego-strengthening, “parts metaphors” based on ego-state theory, hypnotic intervention for the frustrated self state, autonomy and separation concerns, hypnotic interventions designed to accentuate the experience of separateness, hypnotic imaginary-mirror exercises, internalization and integration . According to Hornyak “hypnotic interventions can strengthen the self structure by providing needed self experiences within the context of a supportive relationship” (p.70). Three years after treatment, the client reported continued progress and, although at one point she had lost 5 lbs, she had regained the weight.

Barabasz (2000) used hypnotic techniques of integration/replication to treat a case of a woman with anorexia with body image distortion.

Baker EL & Nash MR (1987). Applications of hypnosis in the treatment of anorexia nervosa. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 29, 185-193. Barabasz M (2000). Hypnosis in the treatment of eating disorders.

In L. M. Hornyak & JP Green (Eds), The use of hypnosis in women’s health care. Washington DC: American Psychological Association Hornyak LM (1996) Hypnosis in the treatment of anorexia nervosa. In SJ Lynn, I Kirsch and JW Rhue (Eds),

Casebook of clinical hypnosis (pp 51-73). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Nash MR & Baker EL (1993). Hypnosis in the treatment of anorexia nervosa. In JW Rue, SJ Lynn & I Kirsch (Eds), Handbook of clinical hypnosis (pp. 383-394). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

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Hypnotherapy and Weight Loss

“Janet entered the hypnotherapy program at 195 pounds, weighed 142 pounds at a 6-month follow-up, 131 pounds after one year, and 130 pounds after 3 years. At the time of treatment she was 46 years old, a registered nurse, married with two grown children, had a family income of $65,000 per year, and reported childhood onset of excess weight.”

So begins the first of three case studies presented in a paper entitled, ‘Hypnotherapy in Weight-Loss Treatment: Case Illustrations’* by Gordon J. Cochrane Ed.D. of the  University of British Columbia in the American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis.

The important thing about these case studies, and as shown by a considerable body of research into the use of hypnosis in achieving lasting weight loss, is that the results are usually long lasting and in most cases permanent.

As well as using hypnotic suggestion to change the way a client feels about food, a skilled hypnotherapist will address issues at the subconscious level that are often driving  driving the tendency to eat too much and to perhaps make poor eating choices.

Hypnotherapy is one of the most effective, side effect free  methods of losing weight.

You can read all three case studies here.

* Gordon J. Cochrane Ed.D. (1987): Hypnotherapy in Weight-Loss Treatment: Case Illustrations, American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 30:1, 20-27

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Hypnosis as an Adjunct to Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy: A Meta-Analysis

A meta-analysis* was performed on 18 studies in which a cognitive-behavioural therapy was compared with the same therapy supplemented by hypnosis. The results indicated that the addition of hypnosis substantially enhanced treatment outcome, so that the average client receiving cognitive-behavioural hypnotherapy showed greater improvement than at least 70% of clients receiving non-hypnotic treatment.

Effects seemed particularly pronounced for treatments of obesity, especially at long-term follow-up, indicating that unlike those in non-hypnotic treatment, clients to whom hypnotic inductions had been administered continued to lose weight after treatment ended. These results were particularly striking because of the few procedural differences between the hypnotic and non-hypnotic treatments.

Read the full paper here

*Hypnosis as an Adjunct to Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy: A Meta-Analysis, Irving Kirsch, Guy Montgomery, and Guy Sapirstein University of Connecticut

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 1995, Vol.63, No. 2,214-220

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Hypnotherapy and Weight Loss – Third Study

Here is the last of three studies investigating the effectiveness of hypnotherapy in assisting with weight loss.

Study 3*

In this meta-analysis, (which is when researchers correlate the results of multiple studies), the results of the two studies in my last two posts and other studies were
confirmed.

In the studies of hypnosis versus no hypnosis the average short-term weight loss was 6 pounds for those not using hypnosis and 11.83 pounds with hypnosis. Even more importantly, over the long term the average weight loss without hypnosis remained at 6 pounds, but with hypnosis it jumped to 14.88 pounds, indicating again that the effects of hypnosis seem to continue over time.

What is impressive about these results is that doing hypnosis under controlled conditions is extremely difficult, and to have the research indicate that people are losing anywhere from about 2 to on average 16 1/2 times more weight under hypnosis than when they do not use it, clearly indicates that hypnosis is a highly effective tool in our weight management toolbox.

 

* Kirsch, Irving (1996). “Hypnotic enhancement of cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments”—another meta-reanalysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64 (3), 517-519.

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Hypnotherapy and Weight Loss – Second Study

Here is an overview of the second of three studies I am posting that investigated the effectiveness of hypnotherapy  in weight loss.

Study 2*

This study, published in the “Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology,” investigated the effects of hypnosis in weight loss for 60 females at least 20% overweight and not involved in other treatment. The researchers interviewed each participant this time about their family background, educational background, and their belief as to their hypnotizability.

The group was split into hypnosis and non-hypnosis groups with both groups being given weight-loss behavioural treatments and counselling. The results were very interesting. The group using hypnosis lost an average of 17 pounds at the 6-month follow up. The group that did not receive hypnosis only lost 1/2 pound. They also found that “hypnotizability” and social and educational backgrounds had nothing to do with the results.

*  Cochrane, Gordon: Friesen, J. (1986). “Hypnotherapy in weight loss treatment.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54, 489-492.

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Hypnotherapy and Weight Loss

Over the next three days, I will present three studies that show how effective Hypnotherapy is in helping clients to lose weight, and, more importantly, to keep it off.

Here is the first one:

Study One:*
The first study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, divided 109 people into two groups for a 9-week study. The members of the first group were treated with changes in diet and exercise habits (the only way to lose weight) without the addition of hypnosis. The participants in the second group were given the same diet and exercise treatment and were also provided hypnosis for reinforcement.

After 9 weeks, not surprisingly, both groups lost weight due to the changes in diet and exercise while under supervision. What happened after the 8-month and 2-year follow-ups might surprise you:

1. The group that did not have hypnosis did not lose any more weight, and, in
fact, most gained most of their weight back.

2. The hypnosis group, however, continued to lose weight during both
intervals, and the studies showed that far more people in the hypnosis
group met their long-term weight-loss goals.

The most important thing to realize is that the hypnosis group continued the eating
and exercise habits learned in the experiment, while the non-hypnosis group did
not.

There is no magic pill for weight loss. You simply have to follow a healthy eating
and exercise plan. From this study, it is clear that hypnosis supports diet and
exercise adherence.

* Bolocofsky, David N.: Spinler, Dwayne; Coulthard-Morris. Linda
(1985). “Effectiveness of hypnosis as an adjunct to behavioral weight
management.” Journal of Clinical Psychology, 41 (1), 35-41.

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