Move It: Mind Power

by Stuart Burson

For many people involved in the battle to lose weight, overcoming temptations like their favorite fast food restaurants can be a challenge. But what if you could tap into your subconscious mind and reprogram your attitude towards food? Two psychologists in Lufkin say it's possible through hypnosis.

"Hypnosis is really just an altered state, and I like to use the word relaxed state. Your brainwave pattern actually changes and you go into what we call alpha, which a lot of people associate with bio-feedback. But it's actually a relaxed state that most of us have already experienced," says Dr. Debra Burton, a licensed professional counselor.

Dr. Lois Gonzalez of the C.O.P.E. Center in Lufkin says, "Using your subconscious mind, you're ten times more focused than what you and I are right now, and I think that's why it works. The best way to describe hypnosis is daydreaming.  How many times have you gotten in your vehicle, got to where you were wanting to go, and don't remember the drive very much?"

Getting hypnotized isn't exactly what you think it is. It's nothing like what you see on television or may see in the movies.  It's really quite different.  In fact, I wanted to find out, so I decided to get hypnotized myself.

Before we began, Dr. Burton interviewed me, asking me about things that I personally find relaxing and areas that I wanted to address. The first thing that struck me was just how relaxing the experience was.

Although I was extremely relaxed, I was also well aware of what was going on at all times, and was never in what you may want to call a 'trance state'. In fact, if anything, I was more aware of my surroundings - the perfect situation for positive suggestions.

"I think it's very important to stay positive with this," says Dr. Burton. "Instead of [saying] 'chocolate will make you sick to your stomach,' [we would say] 'you're just going to look at those healthy foods and have a really strong desire to put things in your body that are healthy and obtain that healthy positive weight.'"

But, keep in mind, hypnosis may not be for everyone.

"If someone were to say to me, I don't think I can be hypnotized, my answer to that is all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. If you want to be hypnotized, you will, and if you don't, you won't," adds Dr. Burton.

If hypnosis interests you as a way to lose weight, there are some things you have to keep in mind first. It's suggested that you get a medical exam to rule out any medical reasons you may be heavy, such as thyroid problems, diabetes, or side effects from medications. It's also important to rule out any eating disorders, and any underlying depression must be treated as well.

The bottom line is that more and more people are recognizing hypnosis as a legitimate therapy for weight control. It may be just the option that could work for you.