Obesity is one of the most dangerous and disturbing health problems with various severe complications. Not so long ago, this problem has been not paid much attention due to the fact that obesity has passed for normal. At the same time, the increasing number of people suffering from obesity makes many nutrition specialists take this phenomenon seriously. “It is estimated that one-third of the adult population in the United States can be classified as obese.” (Donner, n.d, p.1)
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In recent years there have been established many weight management programs. There are several criteria in accordance with which this or that program may be evaluated. They are the effectiveness of the program, which means that a weight loss achieved in the course of treatment must be significant, safe for health and availability.
Among a great variety of approaches to weight management, it is possible to distinguish several basic principles. They are nutritional methods, methods of unconventional cytology, physical exercises, physiotherapeutic methods, psychological methods, surgical methods, and pseudoscientific ways of weight management.
In recent times the method of hypnotherapy is very popular for weight-reducing treatment. Hypnosis may be defined as “an altered state of consciousness characterized by heightened susceptibility to suggestion” (Mastering Hypnosis. A Stage Performers Guide, 2001, p.8). It is a connection between the conscious and unconscious parts of the human mind. Hypnosis is a temporary state, which provides a wide range of opportunities for treatment that are unavailable in a state of awareness. At the same time, hypnosis is not a treatment in itself.
Hypnotherapy is an alternative treatment, which uses the hypnotic trance – “a period during which patients are able to break out of their limited frameworks and belief systems so they can experience other patterns of functioning within themselves” (Ericson and Rossi, 1999, p.15). Sometimes this method is used in cases when conventional medicine cannot help.
As a rule, a hypnotic séance begins with a preparatory stage. During this process, with the help of deep relaxation, guided imagery, or concentration on definite objects, a patient tries to calm his mind and to achieve an unconscious state. During a hypnotic sleep, a hypnotherapist may ask questions or give suggestions in order to change the perception of a patient. When a patient returns to his ordinary state, there may be observed certain physical, psychological, emotional, and behavioral changes in him.
The effectiveness of such a treatment of the weight loss has been proved by numerous researches in this sphere. Thus, according to the investigation conducted by Cochrane, Gordon, and Friesen (as cited in Hypnosis Statistics for Weight Loss, 2015, para.2), “hypnosis was more effective on an average of 17 lbs. Lost by the hypnosis group vs. an average of 0.5 lbs. lost by the control group, which was not exposed to hypnosis.”
The same researchers provide an example of another investigation. 109 people have experienced two various weight management programs, either with or without the usage of hypnosis. By the end of the course, both groups have shown a significant bodyweight loss. Nevertheless, “at 8-month and 2-year follow-ups, the hypnosis subjects were found to have continued to lose significant weight, while those in the behavioral-treatment-only group showed little further change.” (Hypnosis Statistics for Weight Loss, 2015, para.4)
These examples may serve as a good demonstration of the effectiveness of hypnotherapy in the weight-reducing treatment. At the same time, it should be added that the competence of a therapist is of a great importance in this process. Those patients who have made a decision to resort to hypnotherapy should consult only credible physicians.
Donner, K. (n.d.) Hypnosis and Weight Loss: Alternative Treatment for Obesity. Web.
Ericson, M., & Rossi, E. (1999). Hypnotherapy An Exploratory Casebook New York: USA: Irvington Publishers.
Hypnosis Statistics for Weight Loss. (2015). Web.
Mastering Hypnosis. A Stage Performers Guide. (2001). Web.