I am often asked if I offer hypnotic Gastric Band therapy and the answer is always “Yes, but…”. The reason that I am loathe to offer an immediate gastric band fix is that it runs the risk of leaving the real underlying reason for weight problems unresolved and can therefore be doomed to failure.
Cummerspeck (literally grief bacon) is a German word which describes the mindless eating which leads to weight problems and obesity in those with untreated emotional trauma.
GPs in the UK are often faced with patients who are desperate to become “normal” and demand quick-fix gastric band or bypass surgery to solve their problems.
Yet having a physical gastric band fitted means making major changes to diet (for instance having to avoid anything with oil or fat in it or else experience vomiting immediately after eating) and having to accept a death rate risk of 1 in 2,000 operations (the most common cause of death being pulmonary embolism) plus the risk of being one of the 1 in 10 patients who will need a further operation at some time due to slippage, erosion, leakage or infection involving the band.
But of more concern perhaps, is the fact that although the patient may lose weight and reduce the risk of heart and endocrine disorders there is mounting evidence that they may suffer ADDED psychological pressure due to loss of their mechanism for dealing with stress, leading to issues of low self-esteem, relationship problems, dissatisfaction with body image and ultimately, depression.
The same psychological problems can obviously attach themselves to use of a hypnotic gastric band. As a result, I always insist that anyone wanting this therapy also does the first three sessions of my standard weight-loss course. In this way, they have the opportunity to relearn the basic rules of good eating and to come forward with any underlying problems of grief, loss etc which might be driving their behaviour. Having dealt with those things first and cleared or controlled psychological blockages, the chances of a hypnotic gastric band working are greatly enhanced.
In my view, hypnotherapy should provide support for overweight or obese clients in a variety of ways:-