When someone says “hypnosis” or “hypnotherapy,” one often associates it with a magician hypnotising a brave volunteer from the audience to act like a chicken or something silly like that. Back here in the real world, hypnotherapy is a different issue. Hypnosis doesn’t work in the way that magicians use it, but is more of a suggestive process. In simpler terms, hypnosis only works if you want to do what you’re being hypnotised to do. That being said, let’s look at how it works.

The patient is lulled into a meditative or trance-like state of being, in which they are more susceptible to suggestion. Hypnotherapy is generally used in accordance with psychotherapy, rather than as a lone treatment. In this case, though, we’re looking at hypnotherapy for weight loss, so it’s perfectly fine to use it without psychological counselling. Once the patient is in a meditative state and completely open to suggestion, the hypnotherapist simply suggests for them to do what they want to do. For example, one might be hypnotized to stop smoking, or to alter their mood behaviour, or in this case, to control their eating habits and become more active.

Hypnotherapy works in a similar way to a placebo, where if you want it to work, it will. Essentially, the patient has to want to change the way they eat or stop smoking or whatever, as well as believe the hypnosis will work. Hypnotherapy is a good option for someone to try if they’ve been unsuccessful with dieting in the past due to weakness of willpower, or lack of motivation/energy. There are no physical side effects to the process, and it’s not dangerous at all. The only time anyone experiences any problems in regards to hypnotherapy is if the person is actively drinking, taking drugs, or prone to psychotic behaviour.

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