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Case Study: Hypnotherapy for Weight Control Problems

by Barbara Lewis(more info)

listed in case studies, originally published in issue 130 - December 2006

Anne was 53 years-old when she first came to see me with a weight issue. Anne felt that she had made two major mistakes with regard to weight control. The first was using a liquid diet depriving herself of solid foods for four to five months. This resulted in her eating anything and everything; often ramming foods she didn’t even like into her mouth as if she was starving.

Secondly, her long-term use of diet pills to the point that they ceased to help her reduce weight, and only served to keep her weight at a steady level. When she came off them, her weight rapidly increased.

I suggested that she stop considering herself being on a diet, and focusing instead on healthy eating, stopping periodically throughout her meal to check whether or not she really needed to eat any more. When she felt that she had eaten enough she was to stop eating, no matter what food was left on her plate. I also recommended cardiovascular exercises, and building it up to three times a week for a minimum of 45 minutes. I noted her food weaknesses and bad habits, and used hypnotherapy with appropriate
suggestions to support her, and to build up her confidence in her ability to eat sensibly and healthily.

The first time I regressed Anne, she went back to when she was seven years-old in hospital, having just had her tonsils out. There were many visitors from her home village bringing her chocolates and sweets. Some of these people she didn’t really know, although she recognized them, and got the sense that they felt sorry for her, but she couldn’t work out why. Her parents did not visit and weren’t mentioned, and she wondered if they would come and get her. She was too afraid to ask. They had told her she would be there for five days; in fact she was there for nearly three weeks. Meanwhile, she had lots of chocolates which she kept hidden in the back of her bedside drawer, away from the night nurses who usually took them away. She couldn’t eat these yet because her throat was sore. She woke up one morning and found that her stash had gone. She intended to ask the night staff about her chocolates, but that day her mother came and took her home. She remembered it was snowing outside.

I worked with Anne, healing the inner child. When she came out of the trance she told me that she remembered feeling cheated because she had lost her collection of chocolates. This incident reminded her that she had issues as a child over whether or not her parents had really wanted her. Anne later discussed this session with her mother. At the time Anne was in hospital, there was heavy snow in the remote area where they lived, so her parents had not been able to get the car out to come and visit or pick her up. It was also long before the time when people had telephone in their home, so Anne’s father had to walk, through snowdrifts every day for two miles to the nearest phone box, to ring the hospital and leave messages for her which she did not receive. She said it was not unusual for them to be snowed in during the winter, so she would have understood had she been told. When Anne’s mother turned up to fetch her, assuming that Anne was aware of the situation, it was never mentioned. Her mother also told her that her father had put the word out around the village, and begged anyone who was making the journey to the nearest town, to please go and see her so that she would not feel forgotten.

Anne then understood the significance of comfort eating sweets and chocolates, as it had been given by people as a substitute for her parents. However, she still could not understand the forcing down of food she knew she did not like it.

Once again, I regressed Anne and asked that her subconscious take over. This time she was a little older, and the family was having Sunday lunch. On her plate were sprouts and runner beans, both of which she did not like. She was not allowed to leave any food on her plate. Sometimes, if she did not eat it, it would be carried over to the next meal, but usually, she was made to sit there until it was eaten.

She learned to eat her least favourite foods first. That way, even if she was too full, she could still manage to eat the rest. She said she still did that until this day. I suggested that she consciously changed that pattern by eating her favourite foods first. That way, if she felt full, it would be easier to leave food on her plate, something that she still had difficulty doing. I also backed that up with the appropriate suggestions during hypnosis.

Anne continues to reduce her weight, and still comes for the occasional ‘boosting’ session. She feels very pleased with herself, and says that her self-esteem and confidence have never been so high. Her final comment was, “Understanding myself has helped me get back into control”.


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About Barbara Lewis

Barbara Lewis has a BSc (Hons) degree in Psychology, is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, and a full Member of the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis. She is also an accredited Past Life Regressionist and Healer, and has been practising Hypnotherapy and Past Life Healing since 1995.

As well as hypnotherapy, she has studied Counselling, Bereavement Counselling, specialized in Past Life Regression, Weight Control, Goal Centered Therapy and Stopping Smoking.

She has studied with the Association of Meridian therapies, and is a practitioner of The Emotional Freedom Technique. Barbara is based at Dartford where she works with individual clients and groups. She is a qualified teacher, and lectures for the London College of Therapeutic and Transpersonal Hypnosis. Barbara may be contacted on Tel: 01322 285 678; Mob: 07930 301 581;;

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