- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Self Hypnosis For Weight Loss
Understanding weight loss self hypnosis
The idea of using self hypnosis to lose weight is not a new one, but most people really don't have a clear understanding of what hypnosis is, let alone self hypnosis. This hub is intended to help you deconstruct the idea and develop an understanding of the different terminologies and techniques so that you can have a clearer picture of what people are actually talking about when they talk about how to lose weight by using self hypnosis.
So the first step is to look at what hypnosis is, get a little bit of a sense for its history and whether it is a legitimate way to effect personal change. Next, I will extrapolate that idea into the derivative concept of self hypnosis, and explain a little bit about how this is done both on ones own and in conjunction with a hypnotherapist. Then I will look at the idea of weight loss, what this means biologically and culturally, so that we can formulate a good idea of what an appropriate goal would be if you were going to try to use self hypnosis for weight loss. Finally, we will tie all of these ideas together so that it becomes clear what hypnosis can and cannot do for dieters.
What do people think of when they think of hypnosis?
When most people think of hypnosis, they think about the only exposures they have had to this phenomenon, which has generally been through television and movies. The depictions you see there tend to be more than a little unrealistic, with hypnotists wielding sinister powers over their subjects. Often these hypnotists use swinging watches or spinning wheels to entrance their subjects, and they typically use a combination of secrete words and gestures to command their hypnotic subjects to do their bidding.
Some people have also seen a comedian, mentalist, or other entertainer perform hypnotism live on stage for entertainment purposes. These folks tend to associate hypnosis with losing control, acting in silly or embarrassing ways, and having amnesia for all the events that took place while they were in a hypnotic trance.
Many people associate hypnotizability with being suggestible or gullible, even though these are not actually related to hypnotic capability at all. The degree to which an individual is able to experience hypnotic phenomenon is partially an inherited trait, partially the degree to which your early experiences prepared you to experience trance phenomenon, and partly your motivation to experience hypnosis.
Hypnotists are able to achieve some outstandingly cool alterations of thought and perception, but are not generally able to cause you to do anything you would not like to do. Stage hypnotists have developed sophisticated selection processes to find the audience members who are most naturally hypnotically gifted and also the most willing to express their hypnotic gifts as a part of the entertainment. The hypnosis you see in movies and television shows is generally nothing more than fantasy.
What is hypnosis, actually?
However, the fantastical hypnotic visions of TV and movies are not invented out of whole cloth. They actually reflect an early hypnotic tradition started by Franz Mesmer in the late 1700s. "Mesmerism," as it came to be known, involved an elaborate trance-invoking ceremony with huge impressive gadgets and lots of pageantry.
It was essentially a form of group hypnosis and actually showed much more effictiveness than the contemporary medical establishment and scientific intelligentsia would have liked it to, because they were trying to promote a more enlightened way of thinking at that time. For them, Mesmerism was a woeful regression back to medieval witch-doctoring. Modern hypnotism emerged largely as a reaction to Mesmerism, as a way of extracting the effective elements and removing some of the pageantry and mysticism. it has since evolved into a highly scientific, nuanced, and artful form of medical, dental and psychotherapy intervention. Hypnosis to quit smoking is a very common application, and sports hypnosis is an emerging field with a great deal of promise.
Well then, what is self hypnosis?
Modern practitioners of hypnotherapy have discovered that much more of the hypnosis resides inside the hypnotized subject than was previously suspected. Not only are there genetic predispositions that can influence a person's level of hypnotizability, but you can actually learn how to hypnotize yourself!
Just as there are many different types of hypnotic induction procedures that a trained hypnotist might use, there are many different ways that a person can learn and use self hypnosis. Often, a person who is seeing a hypnotherapist will receive self-hypnosis training from the therapist so that they can practice on their own between sessions and continue to extend the benefits of the hypnotic sessions after the treatment is completed. Other times, people will learn from a self hypnosis CD or mp3 audio program.
If you intend to learn self-hypnosis from an audio program, please make sure that it has been produced by a highly trained and credentialed professional such as a physician (M.D.), psychologist (Ph.D. or Psy.D.), or other type of medical or psychological professional who has been certified as a clinical hypnotherapist by one of the following reputable organizations: American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, American Board of Medical Hypnosis, the American Board of Psychological Hypnosis, the American Board of Hypnosis in Dentistry, or the American Hypnosis Board for Clinical Social Work. Individuals without certifications from these organizations may not be adequately trained to deal with the medical and psychological issues that can play a role in healthy weight loss.
Another good thing to keep in mind is that hypnosis should be just one part of a comprehensive weight loss program. Even if you have no symptoms of anxiety or depression, a psychotherapist can still help you. This is because therapy can help you make the transition into a healthier lifestyle, can bolster your personal resolve, and can help you to encourage the growth of the relationships in your life that support your progress.
What constitutes healthy weight loss?
This is a very complicated question, and one which I will only touch on here. It is also a very controversial question. Although I am a qualified mental health professional with special education in Mind-Body Health, and although I have done a great deal of research on the subject of weight loss and metabolic medicine, I am not a medical doctor and encourage you to consult with a physician before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.
With that being said, it is my opinion that the healthiest diet is what has come to be known as the "primal diet." It is a diet that is high in protein, low in carbohydrates, high in natural saturated, monounsaturated, and omega-3 fats. I do not think that the standard "eat less and exercise more" prescription has any basis in science, and in fact contradicts the vast majority of scientific knowledge presently available. This is because exercise increases hunger and calorie restriction reduces metabolism. So you will end up burning fewer calories than you expected to and eating more calories than you intended. That is why most people gain weight when they attempt this style of dieting.
Instead I would recommend a program of targeted strength-building exercises combined with a high-protein, low carb diet. Most people spontaneously reduce their caloric intake on this type of diet, plus the diet reduces your insulin levels so that you are less likely to store new fat. Building up new muscle tissue will also help you to burn calories more effectively.
How can I use self hypnosis for weight loss?
Self hypnosis is an outstanding way to strengthen your personal feelings of resolve about your decision to lose weight and to closely follow a weight loss program. Weight loss self hypnosis can really involve any number of individual interventions designed to bolster your strengths, compensate for your weaknesses, and hep to improve your overall experience of dieting. After all, there is no reason why improving your health and body composition should be a difficult or trying experience. By using hypnosis you are able to align your mind and your body with your goals for greater health.
The self hypnosis program you use, of course, will be based around the dietary and lifestyle changes that you have decided on. So if you had decided to follow a primal style diet, you would work on reducing your cravings for sweet or starchy foods. While in a hypnotic trance, you might introduce various suggestions and visualization to help remove the idea that things like breads, pastas, potatoes, and sweets are made of food. Then you would be able to see and smell these products without any urges to consume them, because they simply would not register as something that was edible to you.
You can also use self hypnosis to improve motivation for exercise, so that you will be more likely to exercise regularly. You could also very possibly even experience faster muscle-building results, by using self-hypnosis techniques to engage your mind-body connection to focus your energy and resources on building up muscle and burning fat. This type of suggestion can have surprising power over the way that your body is operating.
I really believe that self hypnosis is an excellent tool for accomplishing your dieting goals in the healthiest and most satisfying way. I would, however, encourage you to seek out a qualified hypnotherapist who can help you to develop your personalized self hypnosis program and teach you how to safely and effectively practice self hypnosis for weight loss on your own. There are also a number of intriguing techniques that a hypnotist can use to help you lose weight, such as the new gastric band hypnosis procedure.