Have you been on and off diets for years without any lasting success? Are you tired of your yo-yoing weight and desperate for a strategy that is stable and sustainable over time?
When it comes to weight loss and weight management, many people find themselves in a never-ending quest for something new that will finally work -- a miracle formula, a pill or a daily regimen that's not too painful and fully compatible with their lives.
Recently, hypnotherapy has been gaining positive clinical results as an effective support system to help dieters in their endless battle of the bulge.
Hypnosis is a centuries old practice which alters a subject's state of consciousness by putting them in a relaxed frame of mind, making them more receptive to suggestion. Though the therapy has always had detractors, a compelling body of evidence accumulated over hundreds of years has ultimately convinced most skeptics of its efficacy.
By the 1950s hypnosis had been mainstreamed as a useful and legitimate therapy (ergo the word, hypnotherapy) to treat insomnia, anxiety, depression and addiction. Over 15 years ago, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded that hypnotherapy can help to alleviate severe chronic pain. It is also accepted as an effective treatment for anxiety, depression, migraines and addiction, among many other maladies.
You're Getting Sle-e-epy...
So what is the image that comes to mind when hypnosis is mentioned? Let me guess: a therapist swinging a pocket watch in front of his patient’s eyes, which gradually turn glassy as the therapist drones, "Now you are relaxed, now you are sleepy…" The patient rapidly assumes a thousand-yard stare and subsequently responds like a soulless zombie to the therapists questions and commands.
The pendulum technique was introduced by Scottish eye surgeon James Braid in the mid 19th century and was widely practiced for many decades. While the concept and practice of hypnotherapy have moved far ahead since then, this hackneyed image has remained in public perception thanks to its depiction in countless movies.
The goal of modern hypnosis, however, is not to induce a trance state. It is just about making an individual experience a sense of deep relaxation (and usually without pendulum props!).
Okay, I'm A Believer... What About Weight Loss?
In the last decade or so, hypnotherapy has gained wide acceptance as an effective aid to weight loss.
Hypnotherapy works here in two ways: 1) By alleviating stress, it reduces stress-induced, diet-busting binging; and 2) By making the subconscious mind more open to the right lifestyle choices, it facilitates a subject's own desire for increased self-control, for sensible eating habits and regular exercise.
And the best news? Hypnosis is the gift that keeps on giving, because the effect is sustained over time. It is not just a temporary quick-fix diet trick, but an ongoing weight management tool.
How It Works
Lowri Turner, a nutritionist from London who practices hypnotherapy, explains: “Much of the eating we do is unconscious. Hypnotherapy is able to access the unconscious part of the mind to remove triggers and associations that may be driving such eating.”
Charukesi has written on a variety of topics from travel and culture to health, food and social networking. Her work has appeared in Time, The New York Times, BBC, South China Morning Post, Christian Science Monitor and Asian Wall Street Journal, among others. Follow her on twitter - https://twitter.com/#!/charukesi