According to WHO, obesity has increased three-fold since 1975. This has given rise to a number of medical problems among the afflicted. High cholesterol, diabetes, back and joint pain, shortness of breath and unbalanced hormones are to name a few. Plus, obese individuals often suffer from low self-confidence.
Health issues aside, among the primary culprits for this rise in obesity is technology and globalization. The result of all the convenience is that people don’t have to move around and toil a lot to get what they want. Instead, they eat on impulse and are capable of sitting for hours without getting bored.
Having said that, a lot of people realize the predicament and are trying to lose weight. Some people resort to diet and exercise whereas others look for quick fixes in the form of surgeries like liposuction, gastric bypass and gastric band surgery.
Among these, gastric band surgery has become all the rage as it is less invasive compared to gastric bypass. However, there are other non-surgical methods to lose weight as well. One of them is gastric band hypnosis.
What are Gastric band surgery and Gastric band hypnosis?
In gastric band surgery, an adjustable silicone band is wrapped around the stomach to reduce its size. It forms a pouch in the upper part of the stomach thus restricting the amount of food that a person can eat. As a result, the individual needs lesser food to satiate their appetite which leads to weight loss.
In gastric band hypnosis, the client is put into a trance. In such a state, the hypnotherapist persuades the client that they are going through gastric band surgery. After waking up, the person subconsciously believes that they have a gastric band attached around their stomach. As a result, the person starts to eat less believing that the capacity of their stomach has reduced. This leads to weight loss as well.
Issues with gastric band surgery
For starters, gastric band surgery is an invasive process and the individual needs to recover physically after the surgery. Patients are also highly susceptible to side-effects like infections and leakage as well.
Other side effects can include nausea and indigestion afterwards. People might also suffer from constipation as the body takes time to adjust to a lesser quantity of food. Plus, there is a risk that the band might move from its position leading to another surgery.
Post-surgery care is very tedious as well. The patient will likely need to start with a light and easily digestible diet with regular checkups being mandatory after the surgery. Moreover, not everyone is eligible for this procedure unless they satisfy various criteria regarding weight, bodily health, etc.
But perhaps more important is the fact that gastric band surgery does not change the emotional bonds of a person with food. Although the patient starts to eat less post-surgery, the need to be emotionally fulfilled still persists. Hence, to address their deprivation, the patients often turns to other addictive habits like smoking and drinking to fill the void and feel better.
Studies also show that gastric band surgery is less successful in the long-term. As psychological issues are not addressed, some people slowly start to eat more. There have been cases where patients surpassed their gastric band’s capacity and regained all the weight lost earlier. Pushing the limits of the gastric band can cause internal problems as well.
Gastric band surgery is an expensive procedure and is not covered by health insurance companies unless a person is morbidly obese and risks losing their life.
Is gastric band hypnosis a better option?
Gastric band hypnosis has many advantages over the actual surgery. It is a non-invasive method so has no physical side-effects. This limits the risk of internal complications and makes the mortality zero. Moreover, no special diet or vitamins are required after the procedure.
Many people claim to feel more composed and peaceful after the therapy due to the trance-like state that they experience. They feel calm and serene and find the therapy more fun than to be actually gutted and stitched back together.
It also helps patients form new habits of eating and exercising. The person starts to eat as per the suggestions made by the therapist during the hypnosis. Patients not only feel satiated after eating a smaller amount of food but they also experience less cravings. They are also able to control their food intake so that they do not overeat after they feel full.
Some hypnotherapists also include certain behavioral changes into the therapy. For instance, in case of emotional eaters, the therapist suggests changes in the perception of food. This helps in breaking the unhealthy relationship between food and stress in the subconscious of the person. Instead of wanting to eat unhealthy food, the person starts to think that such items are harmful for health. This change in lifestyle helps to lose and maintain weight in the long run.
The cost of virtual gastric band is also lower as compared to gastric band surgery. A person does not have to wait in long lists for their turn. And unlike gastric band surgery, there are no physical requirements to undergo hypnosis. A person does not have to fall under certain weight criteria to be eligible for this therapy.
Which method has a greater success rate?
The success of gastric band surgery depends on the patient. If the patient has no unhealthy attachment with food, this surgery will be effective in the long run. However, if the person suffers from emotional eating, the results might not be promising. The person may lose weight in the short term but may not be able to maintain it for very long.
The success rate of gastric band hypnosis on the other hand is relatively high. The main reason is that it targets the psychological factors due to which a person is unable to lose weight. It is based on the simple science that the subconscious of a person can be programmed, which in turn can change the behavior of the person.
There are people who question the validity of this technique. Most of us already use a simpler form of this technique in our daily lives. We believe that if we think positively, good things will happen. Such beliefs are ways to make our mind work in a certain way. Therefore, a virtual gastric band works because our mind is already used to the process of being subconsciously manipulated.