Gastric band hypnotherapy
Heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are to name but a few of the conditions which see an increased risk from obesity and being overweight.
As the most overweight country currently in Europe, Britain is now looking to alternative methods of weight-loss after experiencing little success with traditional methods such as dieting, healthy eating and exercise.
Recently public interest for a procedure known as ‘gastric band’ surgery has increased ten-fold after a number of celebrity admissions and much media coverage. The surgery involves placing a restrictive device around the upper part of the stomach which will create a pouch only capable of holding a certain amount of food. This reduced space where food will now go after a meal will fill far more rapidly than the entirety of the stomach, meaning the feeling of fullness will happen much more quickly and consumption will be reduced.
Although gastric bands are highly successful in many cases, around 80% of patients will experience unpleasant side effects such as nausea and regurgitation of food. In addition to this, those who do not adjust well to the band may have to have it removed which again means more discomfort.
The British Medical Journal has reported gastric band operations having risen from 238 a year to more than 2,543 in 2007 with an estimated 240,000 people waiting to have surgery. The NHS do offer the procedure to those who fit certain criteria but with a long waiting list, strict eligibility guidelines, a heavy price tag for those choosing to go private and a long list of potential side effects many people are looking into alternative options, one of which is gastric band hypnotherapy.
Gastric band hypnotherapy involves the use of hypnotherapy, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) techniques to convince individuals that they have had a gastric band fitted but without the fears, risks, cost and side effects of going through the actual surgical procedure.
What does treatment involve?
As mentioned above the procedure will involve a number of different techniques such as positive suggestion, visualisation, NLP and other techniques depending on the way your particular hypnotherapist chooses to work.
One of the key benefits of hypnotherapy is that it will also help to address any emotional and psychological issues which have caused an individual to begin over eating in the first place, helping them to eliminate these so they can maintain a healthy weight even years after their initial hypnotherapy treatment.
Though each hypnotherapist will work in a different way and treatment will vary from practitioner to practitioner, generally the first meeting will be an initial consultation. This stage of the process will involve a discussion with your hypnotherapist regarding your eating habits, your BMI, what weight loss methods have already been tried, mental health and attitude towards food.
This session is an opportunity for your practitioner to gather information about you so they can ensure treatment is personally tailored to best suit your needs. They may ask you to go into a little more detail about your eating habits, for instance asking if you tend to eat when upset or distressed, or if you reward yourself with food. Some practitioners may also want to perform standard tests such as taking your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and heart rate as all of this will help them to put together a comprehensive picture of you and your weight problems enabling them to give you the best treatment possible.
The procedure itself will be intended to mimic that of the real surgical procedure, often implementing the use of sound and smell to make the experience more authentic. Your practitioner will usually begin by taking you into a deeply relaxed state which will see your pulse rate drop to a rate not far from the level it falls to whilst you are asleep. In this state of deep relaxation your subconscious can then be accessed and you will be far more susceptible to positive suggestion.
You will then be taken through the operation step by step and throughout the procedure though you will be deeply relaxed you will still remain aware of what’s going on around you. Your hypnotherapist will take you through the entire procedure from being put under the anaesthetic, to the first incision, to the closing off the gastric band to having the final stitch put in.
Soon after the procedure is complete individuals will hopefully feel the sensation of fullness after just a few mouthfuls which will mean they feel hungry less often and eat less when they do eat.
Individuals usually find they achieve a steady ongoing weight-loss and some hypnotherapists request that their patients return so they are able to monitor the weight loss and see if an adjustment to the gastric band is needed (this is also a requirement of actual surgery) to either speed or slow down the weight-loss.
Other techniques such as visualisation may also be used at some stage. For instance you may be asked to picture an item of clothing which you love but don’t fit into after gaining weight. Your practitioner will ask you to visualise yourself wearing this item once again so next time you are planning on overindulging or are going to eat even though you’re not truly hungry this image of you will come into mind and will act as a deterrent.
Patients are also often encouraged to return for a long term weight management session where the practitioner will often discuss and formulate a maintenance plan which will help them to maintain their weight on a long term basis.