This article was originally written by Paul Gustafson RN BSN CH
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Obesity is a national epidemic. 58 million Americans are overweight and 80% are more than 25 lbs overweight. 70% of heart disease and 80% of all type II diabetes is directly attributed to obesity. 15% of children are obese and 70% between the ages of 6-8 believe that fast food is healthier than home cooked meals. Today’s children could be the first generation whose life expectancy is less than that of their parents.
Much of the problems associated with obesity begin in childhood. We make concrete decisions about self-image, what food means to us and how active a life we will lead, very early in our lives. There are also cultural influences which can dictate the nutritional paths we take.
Another factor is the emotional and compulsive connections to food. Millions use food to feel good or to at least feel better. Food offers temporary relief from symptoms of depression, loneliness, anger and stress. Another factor is how productively our body’s function which can have a major influence in how we look. A hypoactive thyroid slows down the metabolism making it next to impossible to lose excess weight.
In addition to all of this there is the problem of social hypnosis or advertising which bombards us with a never ending stream of useless, unproductive and unhealthy information 24 hours a day, everyday. To make matters worse advertisers aren’t even consistent with their manipulative message. On one hand they say we need to be anorexic to be beautiful, and on the other they say that ‘happy meals’ qualify as healthy nutrition.
Long term problems begin when these unhealthy patterns are repeated over time. We are creatures of habit, we are what we think. Consistently repeating patterns of unhealthy nutrition and sedentary living ensures that they will continue. It’s the repetition that gets them deeply rooted in our long term memory, or subconscious mind, where they take on a life of their own.
When an individual attempts to alter the path of an established pattern conflict results. This is what a smoker goes through when trying to quit on a conscious level. They experience mood swings, cravings and palpitations. Conflict with dieting occurs when an individual eat things they really don’t want to eat and does things they don’t really want to do, like exercise.
When the subconscious doesn’t get what it expects individuals become uncomfortable and stressed. The only way to make things right is to give the subconscious mind what it wants. Intellectually they know the changes they should make and the type of body they want to have but when this inner conflict arises the individual feels powerless and more often than not they revert to their old ways.
Hypnosis melts away the conflict. It helps uninstall old patterns and rapidly download new applications supporting new positive thoughts, actions and results. By stepping into this peaceful inner daydream world individuals have the unique opportunity to take control in way they never thought possible.
Mental imagery is one of the most powerful benefits of hypnosis. The hypnotist taps into the client’s imagination which is in the subconscious. This enables clients to create powerful images of ultimate health and fitness. Then the hypnotist offers suggestions supporting how easy it would be to make a few changes if this is the reward. This establishes a linear subconscious connection between action and positive results, and by routinely reinforcing this peaceful message clients easily go from concept to reality.
Making changes on the subconscious level makes new thoughts seem automatic. It speeds up the learning curve. A good clinician will record your session so you can listen to it on your own. Repetition rules with the problems and solutions as well. It took years of repetition to create the problem but the good news is that hypnosis dramatically speeds up the process to success.
With hypnosis an individual can disconnect from patterns of compulsive or emotional eating. One method directs the client to regression back to where compulsive or emotional eating began. Usually there is a general idea of how and when such patterns began.
Then they imagine a past event is replayed and they can see and feel the stress, concern or compulsion with food begin. It’s important to recreate the anxiety because then they get to make it go away.
They picture a thick glass dome being lowered over the past event and the lower it gets the more freedom and relief they experience. In moments the doom locks down into the floor completely preventing this experience from ever affecting their adult life again. Once they are free from the past they move forward and freely begin to choose new paths supporting fitness and fulfillment.
Success with hypnosis depends on how open the client is to relaxing, whether they are truly committed to creating positive change and if they give themselves the opportunity to become proficient with the process. Serious minded individuals with a strong desire to learn and grow usually do very well.
In addition to weight loss clients become more relaxed, centered and focused. They are much less affected by the day-to-day stress of life. This type of routine relaxation produces more smiles, laughter and an easy natural progression to shaping the body they were meant to have.