Do the various Hypnotherapy Gastric Band processes really Work?

I was reading my therapist friend, Marie Burns' article on hypnotherapy and gastric band, I agree with every word she say and thought why not share this informative piece with you guys. I hope this article will answer some of the questions you might have about hypnotherapy gastric band and why as a hypno-psychotherapist we do not advise it to our clients. 

Here's what Marie wrote:

Lets be clear, in my opinion and until evidence suggests otherwise, the hypnotherapy gastric band weight loss processes are marketing techniques. I have it on good authority from a professional colleague who spends much of her time using one of the methods, that it is a way of bringing NLP and other techniques into a process for weight loss.

Some of their techniques are very similar to those that I might use in my typical hypnotherapy weight management treatment, however mine are set within a wider psychological and therapeutic approach. In my opinion this is a crucial difference and will enable my clients to take control of their weight for the rest of their life. My colleague working in this field readily acknowledges that just like regular hypnotherapy her particular process works really well for some people and is less suitable for others however she uses it to promote and differentiate herself from the many other hypnotherapists in her locality.

As yet she has not evaluated her process. However I did my own research and checked around the numerous hypnotherapists offering the various hypnotherapeutic gastric band approaches – and guess what? .…. as yet there is no research to support the claim that they are any better in terms of achieveing weight loss than any of other brief therapeutic approaches including regular hypnotherapy.

Perhaps, one day, there will be some evidence proving its efficacy. However, until then, I intend to carry on using my tried and tested methods. My experience of working with many women (and some men) who want to manage their weight (i.e. lose weight) is that there are only a few clients who eat habitually. Most overweight clients use food and eating to disguise or distract their emotions. Admittedly, it does not help that food manufacturers use every trick in the book to make their food more enticing.

They add flavour enhancers and max out on sugar, salt and fat to make their food practically irresistible for most human beings. However in the main we use food for the following emotional reasons:

• Security – it helps us to feel safe and secure. We may choose foods that remind us of our childhood or perhaps rely on sugar to produce a virtual security blanket.

• Control – as we strive to juggle our many roles in life – obsessing about diet and food creates the illusion that we have things under control.

• Emotional distraction – we often use food to treat ourselves, particularly if we feel down, unloved, stressed or bored.

Sometimes the opposite is true, we use it when we feel good, maybe treat ourselves with a chocolate bar or cake. We do the same to our children - rewarding them with goodies when they are hurt, bored, need comfort or do well at school. It's not surprising that we grow up relying on this method ourselves.

To illustrate this point I can use myself as an example. Some of you may have noticed that I have been growing – not business wise, it’s still predominantly me, but physically. 2010 was a very challenging year for me – lots of emotional stuff flying around including some serious health issues (which meant I couldn’t exercise).

Guess what? I used food, to comfort myself including chocolate, cheese and potatoes – tons of them. Not to mention the liberal helpings of extra-thick double cream and cakes! By the end of 2010 I had increased my weight by almost 18 lbs. Not only does the weight gain affect my ability to move and get things done, but my eating habits also dramatically affected my energy levels – I would crash somewhere between 2-4pm – a natural low point for most people, but for me it was a bottomless pit which I found it very difficult to climb out of.

Sometime after New Year, I realized that many of my clothes were too small so I’d had enough and decided to engage with my emotions using the support available to me and also refocus my eating. Exercise is still limited for me although I am slowly working on it with my 3 minute skipping sessions, some gentle weight lifting and a brisk walk a couple of times a week. This is the first time in my life I have seriously had to refocus my eating as I usually modify my weight via exercise.

It’s been interesting to use all of my techniques and principles on myself! My plan is to lose 1 lb a week – I have succeeded so far and intend to go all the way, step by step. This is not the time to go into all the reasons as to why we use food to cover our emotions, however, I would like to point out that our emotions are there for a reason. Our emotions were there when we were born and they helped others to understand what we needed or wanted. They are there to fire us up and motivate us towards a goal and our emotions are also a guide – they tell us when we feel safe and secure or bored or frightened.

Emotions themselves, however, can feel scary and many of us typically cover them up immediately. Despite this, it is worth considering that suppressing or distracting our emotions means that our judgment is being “clouded” and we are not listening to our body and mind. Given how frequently people block their emotions, it’s no wonder that we so often lack motivation, energy or focus or how often we don’t trust ourselves and rely on others ‘to show us the way.’ And so in conclusion, aside from it merely being a marketing ploy, there may possibly be a more insidious side to the various gastric band hypnotherapy. My fear is that they are the latest attempt ‘to show us the way’ to easy and effortless weight loss! However as we have learnt through years of yo yo dieting which fails to address the underlying reasons for our food consumption – we will be returning for another course in the not too distant future! .

Marie Burns

http://www.hypnotherapyliverpool.org.uk

Providing expert hypnotherapy advice in Manchester for smoking, weight loss, stress, phobias, ibs and more. Call: 0770 896 8947 Today!

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