I meet lots of people from all over the South West who are interested in how Lynn Ward Hypnotherapy can help them lose weight.
As I mentioned in my previous blog ‘Spring Clean and Grow Lean’, for many of them hypnosis is simply a means to reconnect with their bodies and tap into their inner resources which provides them with all the motivation and focus they need to change the way they eat.
But what if you feel you have no ‘inner resources’ to call upon?
Many of you out there will have spent more of your lives ‘on’ diets than ‘off’ them.
Perhaps you measure your self-esteem not by the things you have achieved at work and home, or the love and friendship that surrounds you, but by the bathroom scales?
If you have lost weight then it’s a good day. You almost like yourself! If you have gained then it’s a bad day, you hate yourself, decide that you are a failure, not even worth the effort, and the only way you feel able to mask that pain is with food.
And so the cycle of self-loathing and overeating is repeated.
I have seen weight loss clients at my practice who have survived living off shakes for 6 months who tell me they have ‘no willpower’ – such is their low opinion of themselves! One lady I helped had spent a miserable Christmas on a liquid diet, only to gain all the weight back once she returned to eating real food, and even she believed that she must be weak, because ultimately she had failed.
She blamed herself for her inability to maintain the weight loss, not recognising that it’s the diet industry with its quick fix miracle diets that are really the culprits.
Following years of failed diets and broken dreams is it any wonder that so many people eventually begin to lose faith that anything will ever work for them?
It’s these men and women who often see gastric band surgery as their only hope. Having abandoned any belief in their own abilities to maintain permanent weight loss they turn to science for a miracle cure.
I’m glad to say that most realise that surgery really is a desperate last measure; healthy people don’t want to be sliced open and risk their lives for something they know they should be able to do alone.
For some of these people the idea of hypnotic gastric band surgery represents a safe alternative to this dilemma.
But can something that takes place in your mind really have a permanent effect on your body?
For the answer to that we need to look at ourselves to see the way our mind effects our body every day. You don’t need to be in an embarrassing situation to blush, just remembering such an incident can make your cheeks burn once again. And what about when you read a report about a house infested with fleas and bed bugs, how long is it before your skin begins to itch and you can actually feel something crawling up your leg?
This mind body connection is at its most evident when I help clients to overcome fears and phobias. One unpleasant incidence, such as being nipped by a dog when you were three, can become so stuck in our minds that it can continue to produce symptoms of panic years later, even if you have grown up to be a 6ft muscle bound trucker, and the current object of your fear is a miniature poodle.
Logically you know that the dog presents no real threat to you, but still your heart races, your mouth goes dry and you are rooted to the spot in terror. Such is the power of the mind to affect our bodies!
It is this ability our minds have to effect what is happening in our body that has caught the attention of top sports men and women. Most trainers and competitive sportspeople now realise that what’s going on in your head is as important as what is happening in the muscles and heart. Visualisation is used to imagine that perfect hit, kick or race, as the brain in programmed for success. An interesting thing that scientists have noticed is that the body actually responds to the images being produced by the brain ‘as if’ the action was actually taking place in that moment! So great is the effect that now injured sportspeople actually spend time each day visualising themselves taking part in their sport so that their muscles and nerves don’t ‘forget’ how to do that activity.
If you’re still not convinced of the amazing effect your thoughts can have over your body, just look at some of the research that proves we can actually lower our own blood pressure, limit stress hormones and boost our immune system just by relaxing and thinking in a positive way!
When I utilise this wonderful mind body connection to help my hypnotic gastric band clients harness the power of their imagination to create the memory of a gastric band having been placed around their stomachs, it is not only this physical restriction that helps them to lose weight and keep it off. Three sessions take place before the ‘surgery’ to prime the subconscious mind to believe the stomach is already shrinking. At the same time I deal with any underlying issues that may be causing overeating, whilst suggesting new healthier ways of dealing with triggers that cause problem eating, such as stress, boredom and low self-esteem.
Even before the band is put in place, clients have learnt to listen to their bodies and eat only when they are hungry. Clients are already losing weight at a sensible, sustainable rate and the gastric band is just that extra helpful reminder to keep eating in this way forever.
For too long overweight people have tried to solve their problems by focusing on what they put in their body, whilst ignoring what’s going on in their heads. I believe that is like trying to fix a faulty washing machine by changing your detergent! It’s not food that is the problem, it’s the brains inability to respond appropriately to the bodies need for food. So doesn’t it make sense to start at the beginning and go to the root cause of the problem?
A hypnotic gastric band isn’t suitable for everyone; the same criteria used in hospitals is adhered to with this weight loss method. It needs to be seen as an aid to weight loss rather than a magic panacea, and should only be used when significant amounts of weight need to be lost.
So if you have spent years on the diet merry go round isn’t it time you tried something different and used your head? Lynn Ward Hypnotherapy