Hypnosis has long been recognized as an effective tool for producing behavioral change in the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia. Despite many studies from the latter half of the last century suggesting that hypnosis might also be of value in managing obesity situations, the efficacy of hypnotherapy for weight reduction has received surprisingly little formal research attention since 2000. This review presents a brief history of early clinical studies using hypnosis for weight reduction and describes a hypnotherapeutic approach within which a combination of instructional/pedagogic and exploratory therapeutic sessions can work together synergistically to maximize the potential for sustained weight loss. Hypnotic modulation of appetite- and satiation-associated peptides and hormone levels may yield additional physiological benefits in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Myths or misconceptions concerning hypnosis are regarded among the major barriers to effective implementation of hypnosis. Contemporary hypnotherapists are expected to elicit patients’ misconceptions and to provide explanations that distinguish between mystical and scientific perceptions of hypnosis and that offer a picture of the state of the art of hypnosis. Dealing with misconceptions on a rational and cognitive level seems to have the ability to change a patient’s conscious knowledge and understanding of hypnosis. Nevertheless, deeply rooted and emotionally saturated misbeliefs with historical-cultural origins still prevail. This article focuses on the prehypnotic phase of therapy and proposes remythification to deal with the myth of hypnosis. This approach aims to promote the hypnotherapeutic process by utilizing myth-related misconceptions.