Treating Obesity: Hypnotherapy

Treating Obesity: Hypnotherapy

Welcome back to the fifth and final post on treating obesity. So far this week, we have looked at the causes, dangers and costs of obesity. We have also delved into the most widespread treatment options such as traditional diet and exercise, drugs and bariatric surgery. Today we’ll spend some time looking at the effectiveness of clinical hypnotherapy in the battle against obesity.
Hypnotherapy is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I have been practicing hypnosis for over 35 years and in that time I have hypnotized over 10,000 people for a wide variety of issues. The three most popular reasons people come to me for hypnotherapy are anxiety/obsessive thinking/phobias, smoking cessation and weight loss, and my success rate for all three is in the upper 90% range.
Hypnosis in a highly effective and extensively researched intervention for weight loss, but don’t just take my word for it. Here is a sampling of some of the clinical research reports appearing in peer reviewed scientific journals.  I have taken the liberty of editing some of the posts for length:
Hypnosis Over 30 Times as Effective for Weight Loss
Investigated the effects of hypnosis in weight loss for 60 females, at least 20% overweight. Treatment included group hypnosis with metaphors for ego-strengthening, decision making and motivation, ideomotor exploration in individual hypnosis, and group hypnosis with maintenance suggestions. Hypnosis was more effective than a control group: an average of 17 lbs. lost by the hypnosis group vs. an average of 0.5 lbs. lost by the control group, on follow-up.
Cochrane, Gordon; Friesen, J. (1986). Hypnotherapy in weight loss treatment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54, 489-492.
Two Years Later: Hypnosis Subjects Continued To Lose Significant Weight
109 people completed a behavioral treatment for weight management either with or without the addition of hypnosis. At the end of the 9-week program, both interventions resulted in significant weight reduction. 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.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (1985)
Hypnosis Subjects Lost More Weight Than 90% of Others and Kept it Off
Researchers analyzed 18 studies comparing a cognitive behavioral therapy such as relaxation training, guided imagery, self-monitoring, or goal setting with the same therapy supplemented by hypnosis.
Those who received the hypnosis lost more weight than 90 percent of those not receiving hypnosis and maintained the weight loss two years after treatment ended.
University of Connecticut, Storrs Allison DB, Faith MS. Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy for obesity: a meta-analytic reappraisal. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996;64(3):513-516.
Hypnosis More Than Doubled Average Weight Loss
Study of the effect of adding hypnosis to cognitive-behavioral treatments for weight reduction, additional data were obtained from authors of two studies. Analyses indicated that the benefits of hypnosis increased substantially over time.
Kirsch, Irving (1996). Hypnotic enhancement of cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments–Another meta-reanalysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64 (3), 517-519.
Hypnotherapy group with stress reduction achieved significantly more weight loss than the other two treatments.
Randomized, controlled, parallel study of two forms of hypnotherapy (directed at stress reduction or energy intake reduction), vs. dietary advice alone in 60 obese patients with obstructive sleep apnea on nasal continuous positive airway pressure treatment.
J Stradling, D Roberts, A Wilson and F Lovelock, Chest Unit, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, OX3 7LJ, UK
Hypnosis can more than double the effects of traditional weight loss approaches
An analysis of five weight loss studies reported in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1996 showed that the “… weight loss reported in the five studies indicates that hypnosis can more than double the effects” of traditional weight loss approaches.
University of Connecticut, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1996 (Vol. 64, No. 3, pgs 517-519).
Weight loss is greater where hypnosis is utilized
Research into cognitive-behavioral weight loss treatments established that weight loss is greater where hypnosis is utilized. It was also established that the benefits of hypnosis increase over time.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (1996)
So, look deeply into my eyes. You are getting sleeeepy…and thin!

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