Can hypnotherapy help food addiction?

Sufferers of food addiction suffer in silence, blaming themselves for their disorder, too mired in shame to realise that having this compulsion is not their fault.

The actual cause of the disorder has never been confirmed, and it affects people of all ages and walks of life. Sufferers may have  grown up with caring families or come from inadequate homes. It may have a genetic link. What we do know is sufferers are usually highly sensitive people, putting relentless pressure on themselves: 'perfect' is never good enough.

The disorder is anxiety-related, where food is only a symptom, not a cause. A huge build-up of tension is released through overeating. Some sufferers binge regularly, others infrequently, but they all have a feeling that once they start, they cannot stop. Unlike 'normal' eaters, who stop at satiety, overeaters will keep on and on eating. Some overeat on pre-selected foods, but others may take food from rubbish  bins, eat out of date food, and burnt food. They make themselves sick, vomit involuntarily or purge or do none of these things. What follows a binge is a  is an overwhelming sense of worthlessness that seems never-ending.

Food addiction can destroy self-esteem, ruin relationships, alienate friends and curtail  a career. As it may cause weight gain, and society can be tyrannical to those who are not the 'ideal' shape, sufferers are doubly exposed, which is not the case for other addictions.

It can be difficult to find help. One of my clients, Adele, a  beautiful and talented woman, was, after a long period of waiting, referred to a specialist clinic. Unfortunately, the letter was lost in the post, so she missed the first session. She received an abrupt letter of dismissal, withdrawing her from the programme. Adele had made a huge effort to overcome secrecy and denial so this felt like a punch in the face. Was there, she asked me, a hidden implication that she was to blame for her disorder? Had she missed her first chemotherapy or diabetic appointment, would she have been sent packing?

If you recognise any of these patterns, try hypnotherapy to cure this cruel disorder. Hypnotherapy enables clients to let go of destructive anxiety and self punishing expectations. Clients move forward into healthier, stronger and happier people, who come to terms with food, live life more fully and realise their potential. It does this through using the resources of the unconscious mind: memory, imagination, emotions, and habits. Life can begin anew. Start today.

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Cambridge CB21 & London W1G

Written by Marian Barry

Cambridge CB21 & London W1G

Marian Barry is an Advanced Clinical Hypnotherapist practising at the Harley St Hypnotherapy Clinic London, and Gt Abington, Cambridge. She has given talks at international conferences around the world specialising in personal change and confidence building. She is a best selling author of many popular works published by Cambridge University Press.

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