Does Gastric Band Hypnotherapy Work?

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What is Gastric Band Hypnotherapy?

A gastric band done by hypnotherapy is a technique that is done under hypnosis to make the patient think they have had a gastric band fitted. It is also known as a virtual gastric band. It retrains the persons mind to stop them eating when they are depressed or bored and lets them eat when they are hungry only. Basically like if the person has had a gastric band fitted surgically. The technique has been used with success in the UK, USA and Australia and is designed for people who have a body mass index of twenty five or over. But does this technique actually work and if so why?

How is the Treatment Performed?

The treatment under hypnosis is done over a number of five sessions with its aim being to gradually trick the persons mind into thinking they are having a gastric band fitted. It uses a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy and guided imagery. The actual surgical procedure of having a gastric band fitted is explained to the patient under hypnosis, sometimes with operating room sound effects in the background. During the first four sessions the patient is guided to imagine all of the usual preparation that would normally be done in the surgical process of having a gastric band. The fifth session is when they will have the virtual band fitted. Under hypnosis positive dietary changes are given and weight loss techniques. The patient will often be given recordings that re enforces the healthy living message that they can continue to listen to at home.

Is this Safe?

Unlike a surgical operation to have a gastric band fitted this process is entirely safe. There is no recovery period, no side effects and no stress and trauma to the patients mind or body. The patient should have a realistic expectation of what this process can do for them but they must completely believe that the process will work for results to be achieved. In no way will the hypnotist try to make you do anything under hypnosis and you will be back to your normal self when you have been brought out of the trance. The relaxation techniques used when you go into a hypnotic state may make you feel calmer and more relaxed in general after the session. For this reason patients are advised to get someone to drive them too and from the session.

Does it work?

There are many different opinions out there as to if this process actually works. Regardless it has helped many people to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle without having a surgical operation. The main thing that will make this work is the patient’s complete belief in the process. If you believe any type of hypnotherapy will help you make changes to your life then there is a good chance that this procedure will work for you. Whether positive effects from hypnosis have been down to the patient firmly believing they have had a gastric band fitted or the patient listening to the healthy diet and lifestyle advice under hypnosis is not clear. The surgical view is that this will not work. However, even the most clinical of institutions do believe in the power of mind over matter. This is what hypnosis will do. It will re programme how the person feels about food in general. If you firmly believe in the procedure there is no reason why it may not work for you. It has got to be worth trying before embarking on a painful and dramatic surgical procedure.