Can hypnosis help you lose weight?
STILL reeling from a painful breakup, Elena Gluhova realised that the damage caused by her lousy ex-boyfriend went far beyond a broken heart: Her emotional eating had caused her to balloon to her heaviest weight of 130 pounds (59kg).
“Quite frankly, I felt fat, ugly and not attractive,” recalls the petite 32-year-old New York City resident, who stands at 162cm.
“I got a membership to New York Sports Club, but I only used it once a month.”
Unable to find the motivation to hit the gym, Gluhova began researching other tools to help her slim down — and after hours on Google, she stumbled upon a possible cure: hypnosis.
Though it may sound like a subject offered at Hogwarts, hypnosis is a treatment approved by the American Psychiatric Association that’s used for quitting everything from smoking to biting your nails.
The Newsroom actress Olivia Munn recently opened up to Good Housekeepingmagazine about her own brush with hypnotherapy. She had been seeing a hypnotist regularly to help her manage her obsessive-compulsive disorder and trichotillomania (a hair-pulling disorder), when he decided to add a fitness component.
A slew of notables — including pop star Lily Allen, former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York — have sung the praises of hypnosis for weight loss over the years.
“Psychotherapy came out of the hypnotic tradition,” explains Ben Michaelis, a clinical psychologist and visiting scholar at Columbia University.
Margaux R, a 35-year-old fashion PR executive, who declined to give her last name for professional reasons, says hypnosis helped her achieve what nutritionists and trainers couldn’t — quieting her anxious mind. After seeing Alexandra Janelli of Manhattan’s Theta Spring Hypnosis, she lost 30 pounds (13.6kg) in 18 months.
“All I know is that beforehand, 90 per cent of my thoughts were about food, working out and my weight,” says Margaux. “But once I started going to hypnotherapy, that whole conversation stopped. I suddenly had so much more to think about.”
MORE: Do we all have a natural weight?
“Your subconscious mind is the deeper part of who you are, and contains information such as your beliefs, your habits and your patterns — basically, your view of the world.
“At the end of a day of work, I would go outside to smoke a cigarette to release the stress and tension,” Johnson, who recently moved to Seattle from NYC, explains. After a total of three hypnotism sessions, finance manager, Johnson, lost 15 pounds (6.8kg) in the first four months alone.
I floated in and out of consciousness for the the session — next thing I knew, 20 minutes had flown by, and we were done.
Hour long sessions in USA 2014 — are charged $US200 ($AU270) each