Hypnosis has received a bad reputation over the years thanks to its treatment in the media, but as studies have increasingly shown, this form of therapy can help a person make positive lifestyle changes and lose weight. Some of the reports are quite incredible, like the story of Julie Evans, as covered by CNN.
Evans tried hypnosis gastric bypass, during which a hypnotist walks a person through the gastric surgery bypass process. For some people, the suggestion leads them to believe the stomach has become smaller, and that is the experience that Evans had.
She went on to lose an astounding 150 pounds after combining the therapy with exercise.
Naturally, Evans had incredible results, and for many people, the change is not that dramatic. However, her story shows just how powerful the mind can be, and when it's focused through hypnosis, it can lead to some wonderful things.
Before you embark on your hypnosis journey to lose weight, here are ten things you need to know first.
The Answer to Weight Loss Is Within You
One main theory behind hypnosis therapy for weight loss is that you have what is needed to succeed. This means you don't need the latest diet wonder drug on the market or another fad diet to lose weight.
Slimming down is about looking to your own abilities for help, as you did when you rode a bike for the first time.
While you may not remember, it was probably scary when you tried that first time, but you kept at it until you could speed around with your friends without giving a second thought.
Losing weight is much the same thing; it may seem beyond you, but it's simply a matter of trusting your instincts and finding the right balance. If your body and mind could get you around on that bike, they can surely help you shed some pounds!
You'll Believe It When You See It
Generally, people achieve what they think they can, and this applies to hypnosis, too. When someone is led to believe they can be hypnotized, they show an increased response to hypnotherapy where they want it to work.
Where there is an expectation of being helped, you're more likely to see results, so get into that mindset as best you can.
Be open-minded about what hypnosis can do for your weight loss goals so you don't end up dissuading yourself right off the bat. The most important thing to remember is that clinical weight loss hypnosis is about retraining the brain and taking time to focus your thoughts and subconscious mind.
Highlighting The Positive Is Necessary
Negative suggestions or suggestions that are meant to dissuade you, like "Chocolate will make me sick," tend to work at the start but not over time.
If you want change that lasts, you need to think in a positive way.
For example, well-known father and son hypnotherapy team, Herbert and David Spiegel created one of the most popular hypnotic suggestions of all time for weight loss, and it revolved around the idea that too much food was damaging to a body that deserved respect and protection.
With hypnosis, positive reinforcement works better than the negative variety, and that's true in many other areas of life.
Visualization Is Vital
If you think it, it will happen. Visualizing your victory will prepare you for that reality.
You can, for instance, think about a day of healthy eating in your mind so you have a clear picture of the steps you need to take to become that person. Don't worry if you're having a hard time imaging that.
Try looking at an old photo of yourself at an ideal weight and think about what you did differently back then so you can imagine bringing those old routines back.
Should that not work, you can picture yourself receiving advice from a future you - one who has reached the desired weight.
Symbolization Really Works
Symbolic imagery, which is used in hypnotherapy, involves imagining things as something else to give them weight.
You could picture your junk food cravings being placed in hot air balloons or a dense cloud, where you can release them and send them away.
Try various images for your food cravings until you find one that really works for you.
Draw on that imagery to help your mind commit to the idea of those cravings just falling off and floating away from you and out of your life.
Combining Strategies Increases Your Chances Of Success
Sometimes, more works, and that's true when it comes to losing weight and keeping the pounds off. Combining cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) - a process by which someone revamps counterproductive behaviors and thoughts - with hypnosis creates a one-two punch.
As reported by The Guardian, this combined approach has also worked for anxiety treatment, and it is an effective tool for making positive changes.
You may have dabbled in CBT before if you've ever kept a food diary, as awareness is necessary when it comes to making life changes that last.
Taking Baby Steps Helps
Changing existing behavior patterns is often much easier and more successful than making a bunch of sweeping changes at once.
Take a look at your higher-calorie cravings, for example, and see what you can change about them.
If you crave a pint of ice cream, you could switch that out for a cup of frozen yogurt instead.
Look for all the little ways you can change your current eating habits so you're eating better without having to reinvent your entire day or balloon up your food budget.
Suggestions Won't Override Instinct
We all have a survival instinct, and our bodies need a certain amount of calories to survive.
Keeping that in mind - you can't suggest away every single bad food craving you have, and sometimes, cravings are a signal that your body must have more than you are giving it.
Your natural instincts will override everything else, so make sure you're still getting the recommended amount of calories for your age and body type over the course of a day.
Practice Is One Step Towards Perfection
One hypnosis session won't instantly "cure" you anymore than one Pilates class produces instant abs.
However, when you silently repeat your positive suggestion in your hypnosis session for about 15 minutes a day, it can transform your eating over time.
Stick to the practice and don't get discouraged. Rome wasn't built in a day, and the new you won't be, either.
You May Relapse - And That's Okay
If you find yourself overindulging despite your intentions to be as healthy as possible, it presents you with an opportunity.
In hypnosis, that's what a relapse is - a chance to learn about why it happened and what you can do so you are better prepared to handle temptations in the future.
Using hypnosis by yourself or with a trained professional can help you make some significant and positive changes to your life. Try this practice today to help you reach your weight loss goals and other things you want to achieve.