My journey with lipoedema: How hypnotherapy can help

When I was a young child, my body was what I considered to be completely normal. However, by the time I got to my teenage years, it had started to change more dramatically than my friends. I started to gain weight even though I wasn’t eating any more than before. I couldn’t understand why, even though I cycled a long way to school every day and ate the same healthy home-cooked diet that I ate before, my body was becoming so out of proportion and ballooning, particularly on my lower half!


As the years went on, I learnt to control it by cutting out meals and exercising excessively. I ate so little at times that my hip bones and shoulder blades would jut out at angles. I also become pale and sick with anaemia.

Ten years ago, whilst scrolling on social media, I came across a post that caught my eye. It was a picture of a woman with the same trunk-like legs as me. She described herself as having a disease called lipoedema. It was transformative, I suddenly realised that all these years I had been blaming overeating and lack of exercise for something that I had actually been born with.

What is lipoedema? 

I discovered that lipoedema is a chronic condition characterised by the abnormal accumulation of fat cells, primarily in the legs, thighs, hips, and sometimes arms, predominantly affecting women and exacerbated by hormones. Unlike typical weight gain, the excess fat in lipoedema is distributed on the legs to give a "tree-trunk" appearance. As I learned more about lipoedema, I realised that many more of the symptoms I had been experiencing, such as sensitivity to touch and easy bruising, aligned with those associated with the condition.

Growing up with lipoedema took a toll on my confidence and self-esteem. I struggled to accept my body's appearance, feeling self-conscious about the swelling and disproportionate fat distribution. The emotional impact of living with lipoedema was profound, affecting various aspects of my life, from social interactions to personal relationships. Despite my efforts to cope with the physical challenges, the emotional burden of lipoedema weighed heavily on me throughout my life.

There is no cure for lipoedema. It can be controlled with a strict diet that I find impossible to follow. However, since retraining as a cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist last year, I started to realise that the things I was learning about hypno-CBT could be used to alleviate some of the symptoms of lipoedema as well.

How hypnotherapy can help

I realised that valuable hypnotherapy techniques can be applied to manage the emotional impact of lipoedema. Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation, could help with the feelings of frustration, anxiety, and self-consciousness that lipoedema brings. Cognitive restructuring can be used to challenge negative thoughts and beliefs about body image, and ultimately enhance self-esteem and emotional well-being as well.

Moreover, hypnotherapy could also play a crucial role in managing the physical symptoms of lipoedema, particularly pain management and body awareness. Guided imagery and suggestion therapy could alleviate pain sensations and improve pain management strategies. By accessing a state of deep relaxation, it could modulate the perception of pain and enhance overall comfort and quality of life for those affected by it.

Furthermore, I realised that hypnotherapy could equip sufferers of lipoedema with practical coping strategies to help navigate the daily challenges of living with the condition. Stress management techniques and problem-solving skills can help foster resilience and adaptive coping mechanisms, enabling sufferers to face their difficulties with a more positive outlook.

My journey with lipoedema has been one of both struggle and triumph. While the condition presents its share of physical and emotional challenges for me, I have learned through hypnotherapy that there is hope and transformation.

Hypnotherapy has empowered me to take control of many areas of my life, improving my quality of life and particularly in minimising the impact that I allow lipoedema to have on my life now.

As I reflect on my journey, I am grateful that I have learnt these therapeutic skills through my hypnotherapy training, and I am hopeful that I will be able to help others in the future ahead through my clinic - The Nest Hypnotherapy near Marlow.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Henley-On-Thames, Buckinghamshire, RG9
Written by Rachel Bernard
Henley-On-Thames, Buckinghamshire, RG9

I am the founder of The Nest Hypnotherapy, based in Frieth, near Marlow, Henley and High Wycombe.

I offer personalised guidance for all ages and compassionate care to support you by teaching you skills and techniques to help you on your path to healing through a unique and effective combination of CBT, hypnosis and mindfulness called Hypno CBT.

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