What exactly is a virtual gastric band?

At this time of year, thoughts often turn to weight loss and - as a hypnotherapist - demand for virtual gastric bands increases. The first question that clients ask is 'how exactly does it work?'. Celebrities such as TOWIE star, Gemma Collins - who lost three stone after having a virtual gastric band fitted under hypnosis - increased the appeal of virtual gastric bands, which carry none of the risks of physical bands fitted under an operation.

Virtual gastric bands are fitted in a state of hypnosis, which helps you to accept those suggestions which the hypnotherapist is making. In this relaxed, creative and accepting mode - as long as the client is motivated and willing to accept what the hypnotherapist is saying - you will accept that you have had a gastric band fitted. The band is fitted by suggesting to your subconscious mind that you are experiencing operation conditions. The experience can be enhanced by sounds and smells associated with a hospital setting so that your subconscious mind accepts it as being a very real experience.

As with a physical gastric band, you will find yourself unable to eat large amounts as the stomach will feel smaller and will feel fuller quickly. The sensation is not painful, but if you try to eat through it, discomfort may be experienced - just as with a real gastric band.

The "fitting" of the gastric band is usually combined with suggestions about behavioural change and increasing confidence which help motivate you and help you fully commit to your weight loss journey. Most practitioners will also offer nutritional advice and teach you self-hypnosis so that can enhance the work you have done with your hypnotherapist following the session. With motivation to succeed, and particularly for people who tend to eat large amounts or may have problems recognising those signals which tell them it is time to stop eating, the virtual gastric band can be a good way to completely change eating habits.

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