Keen to drop a few pounds with no effort at all, Sarah Riches gives weight-loss hypnotherapy a try.
Hereditary and environmental factors, as well as metabolism – how fast the body converts food and drink into energy – can all affect a person’s weight. But ultimately there’s a simple formula to consider when attempting to slim down: the number of calories consumed needs to be less than the number of calories burnt. To gain weight, the opposite is true.
So when we hear about a monthly weight loss hypnotherapy session with Carmen Rodriguez Ware of BodyMind Hypnotherapy at fitness centre Bodytree Studio in Abu Dhabi, we’re sceptical. How can words help us drop pounds? Still, we’ll try anything once – and who knows, it might work.
About 15 people of different shapes and sizes, including two men, attend the session. We each take a seat on a yoga mat on the floor, which comes with a thick blanket. The hour-long class is held in a dimly lit room. Flickering candles and boxes of tissues are in the middle. Is Carmen expecting us to burst into tears during a group hug, we wonder? ‘The tissues are for an eating exercise,’ she explains, which makes us wonder if she can read our mind, too.
While Carmen is American, she has a diploma in hypnotherapy from the Academy of Holistic Hypnotherapy in Manchester in the UK. She is also a member of the International Hypnosis Association, an organisation that provides certificates for hypnotherapists around the world.
Carmen starts by explaining that hypnotherapy can help us access our subconscious mind, where we can find solutions to our problems that lie beneath the surface of consciousness. ‘Beliefs determine our thoughts and our thoughts determine our feelings,’ she chants. ‘Our thoughts and feelings determine our choices and decisions, and they determine our actions and reactions. Beliefs precede all thoughts, feelings, decisions, choices, actions and reactions.’
We can see the truth in this. After all, if you believe you’re overweight – whether this is true or not – it’s likely you’ll feel overweight, which could help explain the ‘one more won’t make any difference’ school
of thought. So, how can we change our beliefs?
For us, this isn’t answered. Instead, Carmen seems to change tack and pass around two bowls, one filled with chocolate, the other with crisps. We’re encouraged to take a piece of what we fancy and observe its weight, texture and smell before taking a bite.
Instead of gobbling the entire bowl, says Carmen, eating mindfully means you’re more likely to eat slower – and therefore get fuller quicker. This makes sense, as the sooner you feel full, the sooner you stop eating – and the fewer calories you consume.
Next, as we lie down under our blankets and close our eyes, we’re encouraged to imagine ourselves slim. ‘Picture yourself looking in a mirror,’ says Carmen. ‘The reflection looking back at you has the slim, healthy body you want.’
It’s no easy task, especially for people who’ve never been slim. But we manage to dredge up an image of our reflection from our slimmer days. After that, Carmen encourages us to tap our meridian lines, the network of lines that criss-cross through the body through which energy flows, according to traditional Chinese medicine. Using our fingertips, we tap above our eyebrows, the side of our eyes, underneath our nose, our chin and our armpits. We’re then instructed to ‘lovingly stroke away excess flesh’ with our hands.
By now, we’re struggling to stay awake, and one man is snoring. When we wake up, the class is coming to an end. We wonder if we missed the vital information.
Apart from feeling energised from our power nap, we don’t feel any different. So did the hypnotherapy work? We decide to put it to the ultimate test: at brunch the next day. The result? Unfortunately much gym work is still needed.
Dhs75. The next class is Thursday November 6, 6.30pm-7.30pm. Email Carmen.firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Bodytree Studio, Al Karamah, corner of 11th and 26th Street, www.bodymindarabia.com
(02 443 4448 / 056 602 7049).
Hypnotherapy in Dubai
Sessions teach weight-loss techniques such as learning to identify emotional eating triggers and boosting self-esteem.
From Dhs1,400 for one session. www.dubaihypnotherapy.ae (055 556 7485).
As well as hypnotherapy for weight-loss, this centre offers sessions for fear of flying and phobias. The first consultation is free.
www.hypnosisdubai.com (050 427 1739).
With clinics in both London and Dubai, renowned hypnotherapist Russell specialises in weight control, habits and addictions, as well as lifestyle changes.
www.russellhemmings.co.uk (055 286 7275).