“Gastric Band Hypnotherapy” is, like all forms of hypnotherapy, at best controversial, and is certainly not the fit all ‘miracle cure’ for everyone who suffers from obesity. Unfortunately, it is often presented in the media as such, leading to many who are not suitable for the procedure to be disappointed.
But what is Gastric Hypnotherapy? Essentially, it is exactly what the name describes – the utilisation of hypnotic techniques to convince a patient that they have had a gastric band fitted when, in fact, no surgical procedure has taken place. This alone is not detrimental – there is no physical aspect to the procedure to cause harm.
However there is no regulation, or proper assessment of patients, prior to the ‘operation’ – this can lead to individuals who are dangerously obese forgoing proven lifesaving medical techniques such as Gastric Bands or Gastric Sleeves for an ineffective technique.
The most common form of Gastric Band Hypnotherapy essentially just requires a CD player and a dark room. However, the success rate for this is low, and many opt to undergo the procedure in a specially designed room that has the same look and smell of an operating theater.
In some extreme cases, the therapists may opt to dress as surgeons for the role, and it has been known for it to go as far as them utilizing an anesthetic to ‘prep’ for the procedure.
The causes of obesity are complex, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to weight loss. A psychological procedure like a Hypno-Gastric Band won’t help an individual whose stomach has become stretched and enlarged – The hunger is a biological response that cannot be just ‘ignored’.
Similarly, a gastric band alone won’t resolve someone who’s overeating is a result of a psychological condition – not everyone who overeats does it to satisfy hunger.
The biggest danger is that, for individuals who fall into the lattercatagory, any unprofessional psychological treatment could further complicate the matter;rather than addressing the root cause of their overeating (which often is a symptom of a wider issue that needs to be addressed, rather than the problem) ,patients often convince themselves that an extra chocolate is ok because they are ‘cured’ – they wouldn’t want the chocolate if it wasn’t ok., after all. Nothing actually gets ‘fixed’.
A gastric band, however, is a tried and proven medical technique that genuinely resizes the stomach, changing the amount of food it takes for a patient to feel full, which in effect forces them to form new eating habits. If an individual is considering either option, they should seek advice from a genuine medical practitioner as to their suitability for the procedure.