Let's be completely honest. Losing weight is a challenge for many people and keeping it off afterward can be equally challenging. Hypnosis can be an effective tool for helping you lose weight. Broadly speaking, there are two approaches to weight loss with hypnosis. The first approach (let's call it the "traditional" approach) focuses on changing the way a person relates to food. Your hypnotist will help you learn to pay attention to what your body is telling you. You'll learn to eat when you're hungry and quit when you're full. There might be an emphasis on eating more slowly (this gives your body time to realize it's full and then to let your brain know). Eating things in moderation is suggested to your subconscious mind. Your hypnotist might give you post-hypnotic suggestions designed to separate the "old way" of doing things (eating) from the new way you've chosen to live. He or she might have you visualize or imagine how good you'll feel once you've achieved your weight loss goals. Any "blocks" to change will be removed. This is the approach used for most weight loss clients who seek out a hypnotist.
On the other hand, there is a newer hypnotic approach to weight loss. This involves the hypnotic or "virtual" placement of a gastric band. There is no surgery. Instead, over a series of sessions, your subconscious mind is introduced to the idea of the band. Ultimately, you are taken through a hypnotic "surgery" in which the band is "implanted". Because your subconscious mind believes you have had the band implanted, you can experience weight loss as if it had indeed been physically implanted. Sounds great, right? All the benefits, of a lap or gastric band, but without the side effects and at a much lower cost! Not quite.
The cost of a hypnotic gastric band is, indeed, usually much less than that of the surgery. In addition, there are no anesthetics given, there's no real OR time, and no time spent in the recovery room. That's the upside. But, there's more to the story.
The thing that makes a hypnotic or virtual gastric banding effective is that your subconscious believes the band has actually been placed. For that to happen, the real banding and its side effects have to be explained and suggested to your subconscious. This means, that just like a person who has had a lap band placed in surgery, your lifestyle will undergo some dramatic changes. The amount of food you'll be able to eat will decrease dramatically. A lap band constricts the stomach, reducing the amount it can hold. Your hypnotic banding will convince your subconscious that your stomach is similarly restricted. Thus, you'll only be able to eat a limited amount at a time. Just like a patient you has had a gastric band placed, you'll eat 3-4 small meals per day. You probably won't be able to drink anything with your meals because you'll get full before you've had the nutrition you need. Snacks between meals will likely be out of the question. Because you'll only be able to eat a small amount at a time, you'll need to focus on eating at meal times and eating high nutritious foods. Trying to exceed these limits may produce abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. For these and similar reasons, hypnotic gastric banding is not for most people who desire to lose weight. If your BMI (body mass index) is less than 30, it's probably not for you. If your BMI is 30 or above, it may be for you.
As a rule, if you are considering hypnosis for weight loss, your hypnotist may require you to obtain your physician's consult. Circumstances that may require that include wanting to lose more than 25 lbs, having a BMI greater than 30, being considered for a hypnotic or virtual banding, or if you regularly take any prescribed medications.
Hypnotic gastric banding can be an effective tool for weight loss for some clients. It's not for everyone. If you think it might be for you, speak with a hypnotist who offers the service and make sure you include your physician in your decision. Losing weight may be a good goal. Make sure the method you choose is one that's both effective and safe for you.