February can be a particularly trying month. Valentine’s Day is coming up, and with the allure of chocolate and restaurant “specials,” those weight loss New Year’s resolutions can become increasingly difficult to maintain. According to the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology, the top New Years resolution for 2014 is weight loss. No matter the resolution, about 65% of people maintain them for one month, and only 8% of people who make New Years resolutions are actually successful in achieving them. This isn’t meant to discourage you in your attempts to better yourself or make healthier choices this year. Most people just need a bit of extra help to accomplish their goals and sometimes, no matter what they do, something is holding them back.

Hypnosis has become a phenomenon as more people have seen success for weight loss, pain management, and smoking cessation, among other things. A recent scientific development provides insight and evidence into how hypnosis can be an effective treatment for a myriad of issues.

Suggestion and Affirmation

This past September, the New York Times published the article, “I’ll have what she’s thinking.” The article details the history of sexual research and articulates new findings that the brain’s pleasure centres react almost identically when the body is physically stimulated as when it is stimulated by pure imagination. This may seem unrelated to hypnosis, however, this study shows how the brain cannot differentiate between real and imagined stimuli. The Washington Times goes on to explain how this study implies the effectiveness of hypnotherapy in its article, “Orgasms from touch or imagination register similar brain pleasure.” Because the brain cannot distinguish between what is “real” and what is imagined, the idea that hypnotic suggestion can influence attitudes and behaviours is validated. While in hypnosis, the brain is much more accepting of outside suggestions and ideas of which you might otherwise be skeptical. For example, in your regular waking state, if someone says to you, “You love going to the gym,” your automatic reaction may be to contradict this suggestion with the reasons why you don’t love going to the gym. In hypnosis, this critical reasoning is put on hold, and you are able to accept the suggestion and affirm that you do, indeed, love going to the gym. By believing in a hypnotist’s suggestions wholeheartedly, hypnosis can produce the same results as more traditional medical treatments.

Harnessing Motivation

This phenomenon is regularly demonstrated by the continuous and successful use of hypnosis. Hypnotherapist Dr. Scott Lewis gives examples of hypnosis’ efficacy for weight loss in Hope Gillette’s article, “Self Hypnosis for Weight Loss: The power of suggestion to get lean.” Dr. Lewis explains how he used self-hypnosis with regular diet and exercise to lose 41 pounds in three months and kept it off for over 26 years. “Self-hypnosis is a simple process in which you relax and focus on a specific statement or concept designed to create a change. [It]often takes less than a few minutes,” he states. Most people can lose weight for a big event, like a wedding or vacation, because they have a strong reason for doing so. Hypnosis can help reinforce those original motivations so that you maintain your desire to lose weight after the event has passed. By pairing this with direct suggestion, you not only maintain the desire to lose weight, but your habits and behaviours naturally begin to change towards those of a healthier lifestyle. The key to successful change is harnessing the power of your existing desire to become healthier or quit smoking or overcome your fears. Hypnosis is a tool you can use to reinforce your desire or help reinstate your original motivation.

So if you are in that 35% group of people who have kept up with your resolutions, congratulations! If not, don’t be too hard on yourself. Childhood lessons and lifelong habits have been ingrained in your subconscious, but you can overcome them with hypnosis. Book your free consultation and let The Morpheus Clinic for Hypnosis show you how!