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Weight Loss Via Hypnosis

  • Overview

    Hypnosis, an altered mental state or set of attitudes induced to heighten suggestibility, is gaining popularity as a weight loss method. Debates over the effectiveness of hypnosis for weight loss continue.
  • A woman measures weight loss success.
  • Use

    Hypnosis is used alone or to facilitate one or more conventional weight loss treatments such as dieting, exercise, surgery, or medication. Hypnosis is also used to complement other alternative weight loss methods such as relaxation, meditation, guided imagery, energy work and crystal healing.
  • Scientific Evidence

    Few peer-reviewed scientific studies have been published about weight loss via hypnosis. Most of these were methodologically flawed by having no control group, or a small sample size or relying heavily on anecdotal evidence. Several stronger studies support the use of hypnosis to boost behavioral weight management.
  • Features

    The hypnotist induces a light trance (or shift into suggestibility) through repetitive or confusing speech or physical and mental distractions, then suggests attitude and behavior changes linked to healthy weight loss. The suggestions, customized for each client, bypass the critical mind. Clients learn to give themselves daily self-hypnosis sessions to reinforce---and eventually replace---regular hypnotherapy.
  • Benefits

    Weight loss via hypnosis is safe and doable for most people and causes few---if any---harmful side effects.
  • Misconceptions

    Light levels of trance are just as effective as deeper ones. However, contrary to movie portrayals, post-hypnotic suggestions are relatively weak stimuli. Hypnosis is unlikely to help with weight loss unless strong motivation empowers it.
  • Warning

    In many U.S. states, anyone can practice hypnotherapy without earning a college degree, passing a board examination or being subject to government regulation. Ensure the hypnotist you choose to help with weight loss can verify successful completion of 120 to 200 hours, or the equivalent of two college semesters, of experiential training.

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