When you think of hypnosis, you could be forgiven for picturing those stage shows where a hypnotist somehow encourages volunteers to do all kinds of crazy things.
However, it turns out that hypnosis can be a very effective aid in helping people on their weight-loss journey.
Clinical hypnotherapist Suzy Teixeira of Hypnohelp Melbourne explains how hypnosis can be harnessed for the forces of good!
What does hypnosis feel like?
"It's important to note hypnosis doesn't require any drug use," says Suzy.
"The person is gradually brought to a state of trance, where they are guided through visualisations and sensation, to a place of calmness and relaxation. Once this has been achieved, the individual is taken to a deep state of trance (cataleptic state), usually characterised by sideways movements of the eyes.
"Afterwards, the hypnotherapist takes the individual to a deeper state of trance (somnambulistic state), where suggestions can be made regarding the area where help is needed."
How does weight-loss hypnosis work?
"Weight-loss hypnosis can be done [in conjunction with] dieting and it can also be done alone, which is also effective," says Suzy.
"It still allows you to eat the meals you crave [while helping do so] in moderation."
How many sessions are needed?
"There's no fixed number of times someone should come for hypnosis before the intended help takes effect," explains Suzy.
"How many sessions someone needs depends on factors including how long the problem has lasted, the individuality of the client and more."
How much weight can someone lose?
"I've had clients lose around 10 kilos in six sessions and others losing about 15 kilos in seven sessions – it all depends on each individual," says Suzy.
"Research has even shown that weight loss hypnosis therapy is able to give you up to 10 per cent weight loss in a few weeks."
When do you start losing weight?
"In less than three months a person can lose some noticeable weight from hypnotherapy," Suzy reveals.
"The hypnotherapy itself doesn't bring about this change, instead the effects of the therapy does. What that means is the hypnotherapy affects one's diet and exercise positively, and as these attitudinal and behavioural changes are upheld, there will be changes in one's body [in terms of] weight loss."
Can you practise hypnosis at home?
"Of course, weight-loss hypnotherapy can be done at home," Suzy confirms.
"However, before doing this, you need to write down a positive statement of what you want to achieve, which you will recite when you get to the state of deep trance."
Here are her five steps for at-home hypnotherapy...
1. Make sure your environment is quiet and serene.
2. Focus on an object that catches your fancy. Make sure you're not distracted.
3 Take slower and deeper breaths and slowly close your eyes. Listening to music can also help you.
4. Slowly count to 10 and tell yourself that at every count you will be more relaxed. By the end of the count you will attain the state of trance or hypnosis.
5. Now begin to instruct yourself the positive changes you wrote down earlier. From your heart, begin to say them to yourself. After you are done, take time to relax again and count to 10. By the time you count to 10, you'll have come out of the state of trance.