Posthypnotic suggestion, thanks to movies and TV shows, the very word conjures up the impression of a beady-eyed hypno-technician swinging a watch and droning the words, "You are getting sleepy."
Do a Google search, and you will find millions of web pages focused on the subject, especially weight loss hypnosis. Unfortunately, many websites that sell recorded hypnosis programs for weight loss make wild, unsubstantiated affirmations. I've been in professional practice since 1978. So I think that I'm more than competent to set the record straight on weight loss hypnosis.
First of all, hypnotic suggestion is a tool, just like a scalpel is a tool. Just as assorted surgeons have diversified skill levels in the use of a scalpel, varying hypnotists have assorted there are many remarkable forms of hypnosis.
Here are just a couple of the wild suppositions about weight loss hypnosis that I've seen on websites, along with the truth of the matter:
"Hypnosis for weight loss will speed up your metabolism." If you want to know the total truth, the fact of the matter is that weight loss hypnosis can't directly speed up your metabolism. But it can be very functional at helping to program your subconscious with increased motivation to exercise, and exercise can increase your metabolism. Similarly, hypnotherapy to speed up the metabolism for quick weight loss can be effected by programming the subconscious to motivate the intake of increased amounts of protein, because that intake will step up your metabolic rate.
Posthypnotic suggestion will make you shed some weight. This is false. But weight loss hypnosis can be used to help delete your appetite, so that you eat less, and eating less can help you to drop a few pounds.
The average person's appetite and urges are caused by two subconscious programs:
A. When you pair eating with any other behavior, the other behavior will trigger cravings for food and a compulsion to eat. This is called a conditioned response. For example, if you eat while you drive, you will automatically get an urge to eat each time you drive your car.
B. When you feel tense, you feel a strong urge to put food into your mouth for relaxation. This is the result of training that you received as an infant. When you got crabby, your mom or dad put a bottle in your mouth. You got distracted, relaxed, and probably fell asleep. Now when you get cranky (anxious or tense), you feel compelled to put something into your mouth for relaxation and pleasure.
C. There is a third unconscious program that is present for some people. It's called emotional eating. Emotional eating takes place when an individual is motivated to make him or herself fat, because by being fat they will protect themselves in some way.
For example, if a subject got their heart broken in a relationship, their unconscious will usually force them into a behavior that would prevent them from getting their heart broken again. Example: They are motivated to become overweight to keep them out of new relationships, because that will clear out the possibility of another broken heart.
D. I have written several articles on hypnosis for weight loss and compulsive overeating that are available on my website. There are some very effective ways to use hypnotic suggestion to reduce or overcome emotional eating.
So just how can weight loss hypnotherapy fix the above problems? Let's cover them one at a time.
In paragraph "A" above: Conditioned responses can be "wiped out" easily using a course that I call the "Flash." The flash trains the unconscious mind to setup a new set of triggers. In the above example, the subject had unconsciously banded together the depiction of food in the hand, with the TV. Each time he / she sat down to watch the TV, the unconscious mind filled in the missing part of the depiction: It "Flashed" the image of the food in the hand, and the subject felt an urge, and a craving to eat.
The Flash is a mode of operation we use to program the subconscious to use the visualization of the TV as a trigger for an impression of yourself watching TV without eating. When we lose the depiction of the food, we lose the cravings.
When we momentarily disassociate (see ourselves from the point of view that another person would), we are not able to sense our feelings (cravings and urges).
When we see ourselves in an activity (watching TV without eating), we feel a strong compulsion to generate that behavior. So the subject loses the cravings, and actually gets a compulsion to reject food.
In paragraph "B" above: The subject is eating and drinking for relaxation and pleasure. We teach the subject self-hypnosis for weight loss, because the very essence of the hypnotic state is deep relaxation.
And we utilize the "Flash" to program the unconscious to use the mental pictures that are triggering feelings of annoyance and aggravation, as triggers for secondary mental images and thoughts that will trigger feelings of relaxation. When the subject feels more relaxed overall, oral urges are greatly diminished.
In paragraph "C" above: We discussed emotional eating which makes the person overweight. The "behavior" of being overweight then provides some sort of emotional protection. So we use a mode of operation called an NLP Six-Step Reframe for weight loss, which programs the unconscious to be responsible for making the subject automatically substitute some other larger acceptable behavior that will provide the same emotional protection, in place of being overweight. And that reframe will delete the craving to eat for emotional purposes.
Self-hypnosis for weight loss can be a very powerful method. I can only uncover the tip of the iceberg in this short characterization. Please see my website for larger comprehensive articles and information.
(c) 2007 by Alan B. Densky, CH. This article may be reproduced on your website as long as you retain all clickable links contained within.