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Weight Control / Weight Loss

Can hypnosis help you lose weight?
The answer is unequivocally “yes”.

How does hypnosis for weight loss work?
Hypnosis is a tool that helps you focus on what you want–your goals–for example, to be a thinner person at your desired weight. Hypnosis can help you harness the power of your imagination to see yourself doing what you must do to achieve your goals–for example, to lose weight. For losing weight, this would require your changing your eating and exercise habits, and your self image. Hypnosis can help you do these things.

But, how does hypnosis help you do this?
Hypnosis is a method 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 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.

Hypnosis for weight loss is very effective when the reason you are overweight is overeating, or “problem eating”. Overeating is usually an automatic, anxiety-based coping behavior. It tends to occur frequently and repetitively without your having much conscious control over it. You may overeat in many different situations without realizing you have done so until after the fact.

When your overeating, or “problem eating” is an automatic (subconsciously driven) habit behavior, it is usually associated with your misinterpreting the messages being received from your stomach and the rest of your body. Your overeating behavior is immediately reinforced or gratified because it feels good, or satisfies the need to make sense of your body’s messages. However, your overeating behavior usually triggers negative physical sensations afterwards, such as your feeling overly full, bloated and stuffed, as well as negative emotional feelings afterwards, such as guilt, further anxiety, shame, etc. It is also a behavior that you probably recognize as having negative health consequences.

We specialize in the effective brief hypnotic treatment of overeating or “compulsive eating”. Through the use of individually designed psychological, educational, and behavioral interventions and clinical hypnosis, we can help you change and control your problem eating behavior. Most of our patients who come to us for “hypnosis for weight control” have a history of going on and off various diets. For the majority of my patients, these diets have not been successful at keeping the weight off for the long-term. Many of our “weight patients” report having experienced some success on some diets initially, but then, at some point, they began to have difficulty continuing to adhere to the particular dietary regimen. Initial weight loss that is not maintained is often followed by larger weight gains or “weight rebound”. These “dieting failures” often lead to demoralization and depression associated with negative coping behaviors.

Our approach to Weight Loss Hypnosis involves first finding the reasons you eat too much or too often. Then, we help you come up with alternative, healthier ways to cope with these causative and maintaining factors. On a conscious level, you may answer the question of “Why do I do this?” one way, but typically your answer is a conscious rationalization that does not address what is really going on. This is where hypnosis can be a very helpful tool. We use hypnosis to analyze the underlying, subconscious causes of your overeating behavior, and as a tool for helping you initiate and continue the process of positive change. Often “addiction to food” masks anxiety, and this underlying anxiety and your ways of coping with it need to be addressed. If you have a habit of “problem eating”, you probably eat to reduce feelings of anxiety that may or may not be related to current stress. In your Intake Evaluation, together we will develop a thorough initial understanding of your eating patterns and a hypnotic and behavioral treatment plan for solving your overeating problem.

People who are successful at changing and controlling “problem eating behavior”, and in losing weight, reframe their relationship with food and with formerly problematic food-social situations. My approach will help you to do just that. In our initial session, you are also hypnotized and helped to feel comfortable with hypnosis. We typically see weight loss patients for two to five visits. Of course, this is individualized to your unique needs and situation.

Following the intake session,we use hypnosis to:

1. Help you recognize why you overeat and to find alternative coping strategies.
2. To interrupt your continuous preoccupation with food.
3. To correct the mistaken belief that many or all body messages mean you are hungry.
4. To teach you how to safely externalize feelings of stress that had been influencing your frequent eating.
5. To change your unhealthy eating patterns and behaviors.
6. To motivate you to engage in new behavioral habits that start burning calories.
7. To help you to begin substituting self-hypnosis and relaxation for overeating and other stress coping strategies that have not been working.
8. To assist you in “ego strengthening” and self-esteem boosting.

If you want to start losing weight now, we can help you do it!