Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Should Hypnosis Be Considered as a Potential Weight Loss and Weight Management Tool

As we've said before on this blog, we believe that counseling could be a more important tool in weight loss and weight management. And since the passage of the new healthcare law, which requires weight loss counseling for obese adults and children over six, we believe that counseling will receive more attention, and that counseling will be used more by medical weight loss practitioners. Further, perhaps, hypnosis should be considered for increasing the effectiveness of the counseling.

Although hypnosis is not currently approved by the American Medical Association for clinical use, two hypnosis societies, the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and the Society of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, maintain that there is "a body of evidence-based research documenting the cost effectiveness and efficacy of hypnosis in specific settings." One of the settings might be weight loss or weight management clinics.

The San Diego-based Edward Hypno-therapy clinic is planning to use the Hypno-band, a weight loss program based on hypnosis. According to the clinic, the program is "comparable [in effectiveness]… to gastric bypass or lap band surgery." Of course, this view is debatable, since, according to the Mayo Clinic, "hypnosis may help you shed a few extra pounds when it is used along with other weight-loss methods, such as diet and exercise. But there isn't enough solid scientific evidence about weight-loss hypnosis to recommend for or against it."

Still, a meta-analysis, documented in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology during 1996, suggested that with the addition of hypnosis in "cognitive-behavior treatments for weight loss" a person can lose twice as much weight as someone getting cognitive-behavior weight-loss treatments without hypnosis.

At any rate, a prudent medical weight loss practitioner might consider investigating hypnosis. And if that investigation shows that hypnosis could have a place in weight loss or weight management treatment, including hypnosis as a weight-loss tool may give the practitioner a competitive advantage.

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