Apr 17, 2010 Grace Joubarne
The European hypnotherapy technique "gastric band fitting" successfully facilitates weight loss in the obese without the cost and side effects of surgery.
While the basic concept of using hypnotic techniques to reduce the size of the stomach has been around for many years, hypnotherapists Marion and Martin Shirran, of the Elite Clinics in Spain, formally developed and trademarked their technique after an obese client quipped “If only a person could be hypnotized to believe they had a gastric band…” Now, this virtual procedure is gaining favor around the world under several trademarks.
Dangers of Actual Gastric Band Surgery
A surgically implanted gastric band is usually reserved for those classified as "obese" and who demonstrate a body mass index (BMI) over 30. It reduces the size of the stomach, thus the patient feels fuller after eating smaller portions of food.
The surgery has several significant drawbacks:
• The surgery is expensive; hospitalization is required;
• Gastric band surgery is considered a "last gasp" option because of fatalities;
• There is a possibility of complications and side effects of prescribed drugs during recovery.
Why Gastric Band Hypnotherapy Works
Researchers and scientists all over the world have conceded that the "mind/body connection" holds the key to wellness, achievement and personal development. The technique of using the subconscious mind to imagine a gastric band around the neck of the stomach as a "reality" has been showing great results (Maclean, 2010, Bruce, 2010). Certainly it is entirely safe, very cost-effective and has none of the side-effects and dangers of surgical gastric band fitting.
Standard weight management hypnotherapy involves hypnosis, direct suggestion and dietary changes. Gastric band hypnotherapy adds the imagination of the actual surgical procedures, including later "adjustments" to the virtual "band" tightness. As well, the mind is convinced the stomach has become smaller and thus clients feel full more quickly. By eating less and adhering to a healthy lifestyle, weight dissolves permanently.
How Gastric Band Hypnotherapy Works
Essentially gastric band hypnotherapy treatment has evolved to combine cognitive behavior therapy, hypnotherapy, guided imagery and nutritional counseling, with variations in methodology from practitioner to practitioner. The procedure of gastric band surgery is explained to the client during an in-depth and detailed intake session and before the client is hypnotized. Typically the emotional root-cause of the over-eating issue is dissolved using standard hypnotherapeutic techniques, including regression.
A European hypnotherapy technique, "gastric mind band," uses the mind to facilitated weight loss in obese people by guiding them to imagine the gastric band procedure:
1. Over the first three to four sessions, depending upon the client’s readiness and the practitioner’s preferences, the client is guided to imagine the overall preparation and procedures involved in the placement or fitting of a band around the upper part of their stomach.
2. At the fourth to fifth session, the client imagines that the band is actually “fitted” into place at the upper part of their stomach.
3. Positive and direct suggestions are given for weight loss, meal portion and quality of diet throughout the hypnotherapy process; the client is assisted to develop a new and more productive relationship with food.
4. The client is typically asked to listen to a reinforcement CD regularly until the desired weight and diet control is permanently achieved.
5. After 28-30 days the client is hypnotized and guided to imagine the band being "adjusted" and reinforcement for positive dietary and exercise changes is also repeated.
6. Dietary and lifestyle changes are also "suggested" in hypnosis and reinforcement CDs are utilized for continuing support as indicated.
Some practitioners such as Jagi Egnell in British Columbia, Canada, work with nutritionists to further empower and support their clients, while others actually create the hospital smells to further reinforce, for the subconscious mind, the "reality" of the surgery. Some practitioners orchestrate the entire "surgery" ensuring the client fasts before the "fitting" and have someone pick up the client after the "virtual fitting."
Practitioner Bryan Knight of Montreal points out the importance of doing a detailed interview to ensure the procedure is not used on those with issues such bulimia. Practitioners interviewed for this article have indicated that gastric band hypnotherapy is not indicated for those with thyroid problems, not qualified as obese, not fully committed or for those who do not have medical clearance.
John Maclean of the UK has developed the Hypno-Band technique, which utilizes cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to analyze client behavior and habits, and hypnotherapy to dissolve the emotional and psychological reasons for over-eating and to provide a "mechanism" to allow the client to eat less and feel full more quickly.
Dr. Bob Bruce of the UK, offers his weight management program "Virtualgastroband" in two parts where he employs a number of techniques including hypnotic suggestion. Part 1 can be taken on either a one-to-one or group session basis and includes the setting of a weight-loss goal. Part 2 can only be carried out effectively on an individual basis and after a full psychological evaluation of the client’s mental attitude and commitment toward the process and satisfaction of the agreed weight loss goal set in Part 1.
Bruce,B., Virtualgastroband 2007, Virtualgastroband Ltd, UK
Egnell,J., (2010) Innervisions Hypnotherapy Clinic, BC, Canada
Knight, B. (2010) Hypnosis Depot, Montreal, PQ, Canada
Maclean, J., Hypno-Band 2009, Newwave Hypnotherapy, UK
Wolchansky, K., (2007) Edn Hypnotherapy, Edmonton, AB Canada