Using hypnosis to lose weight
Courtny Gerrish reportsPhoto: Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE- There's an obesity epidemic in America, and obesity surgery is now the solution for many people. But what if you could just trick your mind into thinking you had the operation?
We're talking about using the power of hypnosis to dump the pounds. Convincing the subconscious you actually had surgery! It's definitely cheaper, there's no recovery time and a Wisconsin hypnotist tells us it really works.
You're being rolled down a hallway to an operating room. You see bright lights, smell anesthesia and hear the beeping of machines. You're about to undergo obesity surgery where doctors make your stomach smaller to help shed those unwanted pounds.
Except none of this is real; it's all about tricking the mind. "We'll use hospital sounds. we'll actually use gurney sounds," hypnotist Kellen Marson explains. And one Wisconsin woman believes the "power of hypnosis" will work for her telling us, "there's no other choice."
Tami, who doesn't want to use her last name, has found her secret to weight loss in a tiny office downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Her goal is to drop 100 pounds.
"I've, I'd say, struggled with weight almost all my life," Tami tells us. This is her third session with licensed hypnotist Kellen Marson.
Up to this point Tami's therapy has been about discovering why she overeats. Through hypnosis Marson first gives his clients behavior techniques. "Hopefully they can find one that will work for them to help them eliminate the cravings and desire."
We were allowed to video Tami's pre-op session, where she "meets" her team of doctors. At the next visit Tami will have her operation. In this case called "Hypno-Band Surgery." While Tami is hypnotized Marson is already preparing her for that telling Tami, "the surgeon will gently tighten the band which will make your stomach smaller."
Again none of this is real, but Tami will think it actually happened. As Marson puts it, "our subconscious mind really doesn't know the difference between reality and fantasy."
But what do surgeons think about all this? Dr. Jon Gould, a bariatric surgeon at Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin tells us 'the surgery is more than just a surgery. There's a lot of preparation and education."
He worries about the severely obese patient. Dr. Gould feels hypnosis won't treat their underlying medical issues, and he cautions, won't be a long term fix like surgery.
"But at the end of the day there's also a physiologic issue that I think the hypnosis is not going to address like the device and the surgery will."
Joan Boudro had obesity surgery three years ago. She lost 140 pounds. "I wanted to see my grandkids. I don't have any yet but I want to see them someday."
Despite her *surgery* success story if she had to do it all over, Boudro tells us this time she would try hypnosis first. "If you can trick your mind into believing certain things why wouldn't your body just follow suit?"
Which is exactly what Tami's banking on and so far, so good she tells us. "I just don't feel so obsessed with food." Tami's already lost 12 pounds and is ready to tackle the rest with the power of hypnosis.
This "virtual surgery" was developed in the U.K. Marson claims to be the only hypnotherapist in Wisconsin doing this. He points out the therapy part, addressing the cause of patients emotional eating, along with the hypnosis is what makes this approach to weight loss work.
Marson charges $250 for the program. It's much more expensive in the U.K. where it can run up to $2,500.