Can Hypnosis Help You Lose Weight?

The Answer May Surprise You!

How Hypnosis Can Help You Lose Weight
Are you getting sleepy? Learn now hypnosis is being used successfully in weight loss!

Hypnosis is the second topic in our three-part series that explores ancient alternative therapies that are being widely used to assist in weight loss: acupuncture, hypnosis, and meditation. These are being used successfully by many as part of a comprehensive health plan for weight loss and weight management. CLICK HERE to read Part 1, Acupuncture. CLICK HERE to read Part 3, Meditation and Mindfulness.


The subject of fascination and ridicule for centuries, hypnosis is gaining in popularity for its effectiveness in easing migraine headaches, lowering blood pressure, minimizing hot flashes, smoking cessation, and much more.


From ancient religious leaders to modern day scientists, the art of hypnosis has been facilitating healing for over 2000 years.  When you think of hypnosis you may see someone swinging a pocket watch or gem in front of someone’s eyes. You may think of mind control, or have other beliefs about this ancient practice.


However, hypnosis is not about someone else controlling you, it is about someone helping you to enter an altered state of mind where you are more open to suggestions and have a higher level of concentration. Hypnosis is also described as a natural state of concentration. It has been compared to the way you feel when you daydream, read a book or watch a movie.


Although the mass media has made somewhat of a joke out of this ancient practice, hypnosis is a clinically proven technique that has many therapeutic benefits. It has been widely used to reduce pain and anxiety and to end bad habits or replace them with good habits.


The mind is an incredibly powerful machine capable of storing massive amounts of information and memories. Hypnosis is also a tool that can be used to help us make wise choices and positive changes.


Brief History


Shamans and medicine men used hypnosis long ago. Ancient documents from China, Greece, Egypt and Rome all talk about practices that could be considered hypnotic. The word “hypnosis” means sleep in Greek.

However, it was not until the 18th century, during the Age of Reason, that hypnosis was really given any attention in the Western world. Franz Mesmer, a Viennese physician was the first person to develop a method for hypnosis. Mesmer is said to be the first to use it as a healing tool.


He felt that the practitioner could use his own animal magnetism to heal a person even if they were not in the room. Mesmer was successful in helping many patients with different problems. He did, however, love the theatre and many people were critical of him making a performance out of his hypnosis sessions. It is from his name that we get the term “mesmerizing.”


James Braid is known as the Father of Modern Hypnosis. He is the one who challenged that it was not the therapist that did the healing but the patient’s own mind. Braid used hypnosis to prepare people for surgery in the 1800’s. His methods were also used on the battlefield during the American Civil War as a means to manage pain.


The Hypnotic Effect


Hypnosis affects people in different ways. Many people say that they are very relaxed, while others feel like they have little control. Most even remain completely aware of everything going on around them during a session and maintain the ability to carry on a conversation.


According to experts, almost anyone can be hypnotized as long as they have the desire. People who like fantasies are much more likely to be able to be hypnotized.


How Can Hypnosis be Used to Improve Your Health?


Hypnosis has been documented to be useful in treating many conditions including:


  • Pain
  • Headaches
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Insomnia
  • Irritable Bowel
  • Distress
  • Bad memories
  • Smoking cessation
  • Weight loss


Using Hypnosis for Weight Loss


Although the idea of using medical hypnosis to help with weight loss may seem strange, Dr. Scott D. Lewis, a licensed chiropractor and clinical hypnotherapist, claims it works. Lewis has been using hypnosis in his practice ever since he lost 41 pounds and ended a lifelong craving for potato chips, ice cream and Dr. Pepper. He has kept the weight off for 25 years.


According to Lewis, and others who support the use of hypnosis for weight loss, it only takes a few minutes to change the way you feel about certain foods and decrease cravings.


Psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Gardere also uses medical hypnosis for weight loss. He states that it can help people establish positive eating habits and really think about what they are putting in their mouth. Gardere states that once people are in a relaxed state of concentration it is easy to impact their behavior and achieve a goal.


A report published in the Primary Care in 2009, noted hypnosis as one of three complementary and alternative therapies effective in the treatment of obesity. An earlier report, published in 2005 in the Journal of Obesity, found that hypnosis was one of the top complimentary therapies to promote weight loss.


What to Expect from Hypnosis


If you are interested in adding hypnosis to your weight loss plan, it is best to check with you health practitioner. They will be able to refer you to a licensed hypnotherapist.


A hypnosis plan for weight loss may include:


  • Emotional eating
  • Cravings
  • Motivation
  • Self esteem
  • Healthy habits
  • Exercise
  • Self Image


You may be asked by your practitioner to work on some things at home in between sessions. As with any alternative or complementary therapy, hypnosis is most useful when used in combination with a healthy diet, exercise and supplements to aid in detoxing the body and helping to quell hunger.



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