Hypnosis and eating disorders
Hypnosis is a proven and effective tool for many psychosomatic (mind and body) disorders including eating disorders. Eating disorders for men have become more prevalent in the last decade, alongside the increase in obesity (of 30-40%). In the West eating disorders present a growing health problem.
Binge eating is widespread among obese people and has a 1-3% prevalence in the general population. On the other end of the scale anorexia nervosa is characterised by the symptoms such as the refusal to maintain a minimally normal weight, an intense fear of becoming fat and gaining weight, a distortion in recognising the serious risk of low body weight, and absence of menstrual period.
Eating disorders often co-exist with other health issues such as depression, anxiety, substance misuse and a history of trauma of some kind. For long term change and weight reduction maintenance hypnotherapy may focus on addressing this as well as the eating disorder.
In this way hypnosis is an effective method for symptom removal and relief, and by using an integration of hypnosis and cognitive behavioural techniques the client learns to relax. It can help improve self-esteem, self-image and learned skills like appetite control, and helps people to live a more active, healthier lifestyle. Cognitive coping statements or self instructions are used to build a sense of self belief and efficacy ('I can do this') coupled with important personal values to counteract unhealthy habits ('I'm doing this because it's important to be a role model to my children).
The success of hypnotherapy depends upon the clients acceptance of the usefulness of hypnosis in reducing problems. By seeing hypnosis as a tool for enhancing control over life problems people are more likely to meet their desired outcomes and achieve long term change.
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