Gastric Band Hypnotherapy

Does Hypnoband Work?

The truth behind Virtual Gastric Band Hypnotherapy

If you have struggled with your weight for many years, you might be tempted to use Hypnotherapy to help you lose weight. A few years ago, the Hypnotic Gastric Band made it’s first appearance in the Hypnotherapist’s practice. Since then it has grown in popularity due to it’s promise of helping people to eat less and to have the benefits of having a virtual gastric band fitted, without the risks of surgery.

I was one of two hypnotherapists in Scotland at that time to embrace this new idea and since then I have helped many clients to lose weight but I thought it was time to write a post to help people understand more about Hypnoband. Both about what it does and what it doesn’t do.

Does Hypnoband suit everyone?
I always attempt to match my clients with the best technique and approach for them. I don’t simply use one technique with everyone. Years of experience of helping people to lose weight has shown me that each client has a different problem with their weight and therefore the therapy must be tailored to each unique person attending for Hypnotherapy.
So my quick answer to this question is…. No, it isn’t suitable for everyone.

If you’re thinking about having Hypnoband then it’s best to have a short chat on the phone with the therapist first. The therapist can ask you some questions which will give them some information that can save you some time and potentially money! Any good Hypnotherapist will be honest with you and will not take you on to do Hypnoband if they don’t think it’s going to suit you.

What happens if i choose to have hypnoband?
The Hypnoband is a standardised approach that involves four to six sessions of Hypnotherapy focussed on helping prepare you to experience a virtual gastric band operation.

Session one – This session is an assessment where the therapist asks you some questions about your health and eating habits.
Session two/three – This the first session of Hypnosis, where the therapist introduces you to Trance and gives you some specific suggestions to help you to get into the ethos of the Gastric Band. The therapist also helps you understand your thinking problems with food through using a CBT style technique.

Session Four/Five – These sessions are used to prepare you and then take you through the “virtual operation”

Final Session – This session is a follow up session to check how you are doing. There is also the possibility to make an adjustment to your band if necessary.

Hypnoband works extremely well for some people. Especially for those people who simply partake of large portions of food at meal times. I works by helping the unconscious eating patterns. However it is not recommended for people who have eating disorders, thyroid problems and other physical health issues which cause obesity. Some medications are also know to cause obesity and increased appetite.

What can I do instead of Hypnoband?

Other Hypnotherapy approaches for Weight Loss are sometimes more effective for some people.
When I take on a new client I want to find out what is the root of the problem and what is actually causing the overeating and to help them to deal with it.

It’s necessary to look at all aspects of the problem. I will ask questions about stress, relationships, self esteem and confidence, emotional issues and other important questions to help me to formulate a series of sessions to treat the problem in the best way.

Often feelings such as loneliness and especially emptiness, can lead to overeating. I try to assess my clients needs and help them to achieve what they want. I truly believe that addressing these issues gives the best chance of long term weight loss with Hypnotherapy.

Therapy can be challenging

Sometimes clients will choose Hypnoband because they see it as a bit of a quick fix. It simply doesn’t go into the depths that I go to with clients who choose my other approaches.

Let’s be honest, the thought of crying in a therapy session and exploring emotions is not always a comfortable one. Especially because many of us are brought up to keep our emotions private and suppressed. Therapy can be challenging at times. It can challenge the beliefs you have about food for instance and can cause you to question things in your life but I think it’s worth the tears. After all, the tears are already sitting under the surface just waiting for an opportunity to help you to change and become more comfortable.

Tears are a natural expression of sadness, loneliness, frustration and even anger, as well as happiness. These are exactly the kind of feelings I help my clients to handle differently rather than reaching for the chocolate, crisps, cake or ice-cream.

If you are brave enough to enter the therapy room, and yes, it takes some courage in the beginning, you’re likely to feel a great sense of relief and will learn a lot about yourself and how to better cope with your life. I will take good care of you. I am supportive and compassionate. Having been a therapist for over fifteen years, there’s almost nothing I haven’t heard about in the therapy room. I am not easily shocked and I don’t judge anyone for the things that happen in their life. We are all just trying to survive after all and find a little bit of happiness.

Your mind has an abundance of resources and capabilities that you’re unaware of and using hypnotherapy can uncover these resources and literally reroute the patterns of your brain. Eating habits can be altered to allow you to lose weight. I don’t encourage clients to diet. Instead I measure success in habit change which supports weight loss.

If you have struggled with your weight for many years and want to do things differently, then there are Hypnotherapists around who can help. I can normally offer a clients a session within a week or so but i can also help you decide if it’s the right thing for you through having a short phone discussion. There really is nothing to fear. Give me, Rae Jenson, a call on 01506 830190.

The Best Hypnotherapist in Falkirk, Edinburgh, Linlithgow or West Lothian

When you start to think about finding a Hypnotherapist, you may find yourself asking these questions:

  • Who is the best hypnotherapist in Edinburgh, Falkirk, Linlithgow or West Lothian?
  • Are they safe/how well trained are they?
  • What success rates do they have?
  • How many hypnotherapy sessions do I need?
  • How much does hypnotherapy cost?
  • What happens in a session, do I lose control?
  • Do they have experience of my problem?Well…I am going to answer these questions for you.

Who is the best hypnotherapist in Edinburgh, Falkirk, Linlithgow or West Lothian?

Lets start with regulation

When you look for a Hypnotherapist, you should choose someone who is CNHC registered. This means that they are regulated and therefore your Hypnotherapist must follow strict rules about how they work. These rules cover things such as keeping confidentiality, working in a safe and ethical way and ensuring they are trained to work with your particular problem. They also have to be fully insured.  You can find out if your hypnotherapist is regulated by searching for their name on the CNHC register. If they are not registered, then this means that they are not regulated.  Therefore choosing a therapist who isn’t regulated means your therapist may not be well trained, so you might be wasting your money or they do not want to be held accountable if there is a problem with your treatment. Although there are therapists who are not registered and are safe, the CNHC registration reduces your chances of being treated by someone who has only had a few days training or being treated by a stage hypnotist who hasn’t actually trained as a therapist.

Next their qualifications

You should choose a Hypnotherapist who holds the HPD (Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma) as well as another Diploma in Hypnotherapy such as Dip AHMT, Dip HYP, Dip CAH, Dip HYP.  Anyone who holds the HPD qualification has received a nationally accredited minimum level of training, ensuring that they have produced a written portfolio of work of high enough quality and passed practical exercises to the standard required. Often therapists specialise in particular problems and they should hold additional qualifications in the area in which they specialise. Don’t be afraid to ask.

Success rates

Sometimes therapists will claim that they have certain success rates but you should be very wary of any therapist who gives you a figure. This is because if a new therapist had only seen one client for smoking cessation and that client stopped for a few weeks but never stayed in touch with the therapist afterwards, then the therapist could say that they had 100% success rate in smoking cessation. Of course this is ridiculous because firstly, they have only had one client. Other therapists might have seen thousands of clients, so it’s not fair or accurate and secondly: because the client may have started smoking again a few weeks later but the therapist doesn’t know this then it’s actually not a success.

To be able to offer success rates, a therapist would have to stay in touch and check up with every client, client every year. They would also have to keep records of every person they have ever seen to be able to work out a percentage and hold evidence of this. Then at what point can you truly say that something is a success? one week of being a non smoker, six weeks, one year, six years? Hopefully you are now seeing the problem in giving success rates for therapy.

How many sessions do I need?

This is a question we are often asked. People want to know how much therapy is going to cost them financially and in time. The responsible and ethical answer to it, is to be honest and say it is not possible to tell you exactly how many sessions are required. This is because:

  • Each person will respond differently to Hypnotherapy depending on a number of different factors such as their brain structure, their lifestyle, how often they practice self hypnosis, the severity of the problem, the complexity of the problem, their ability to introduce new routines into their lives and many other factors.
  • Everyone’s brain is different and some people can change a habit after one or two sessions, whilst for others it can take many more.
  • Generally if you are willing to put in the time on self hypnosis, you are more likely to get a quicker result than if you simply depend on the sessions alone.

Some therapists will tell you that you will only need one session, whilst others will say six but really it’s not possible for anyone to tell you exactly how many sessions are going to rid you of the problem.

However, here are some guidelines to think about:

Weight problems and Eating Disorders are often complex and can require a lot of investigation and the person might need to address a variety of problems that cause the weight problem. They might need to address eating habits, self esteem issues and addictions for example. Whilst someone who is suffering from Anxiety may only require a few sessions to calm them down and offer some strategies. Smoking cessation can often be successful when done in one session for some people but others will require five or six sessions. Some phobias can be sorted out quickly whilst others can be the result of deeper issues that need to be addressed. Depression, PTSD and OCD can also take a number of sessions to help someone to feel better.

Some therapists offer discounts when you book six sessions all at once but what if you only need two, Do you really think it’s in their interest to give you your money back? or keep you coming back for the six that you booked?

What we suggest is that you pay for each session as you attend it, then you can be the best judge of how things feel to you and make your own decision about how many sessions you think you need, based on your own results.

Be aware that you have the right to stop therapy at any time.

Come back soon for part two next week.


Photograph of Rae Jenson Bill O"Hanlon and John Lawrence

Celebrate your Weirdness

I have been lucky enough to train with some great names in hypnotherapy, Michael Yapko (at least three times), the late Gil Boyne and the legendary Ormond McGill amongst others. They all passed  great wisdom and techniques on to me that served me well in my 18 years of practice. However one course I attended in Newcastle, England, sticks out in my mind. I had the distinct privilege of attending Bill O'Hanlon's "Geography of Possibilities Workshop" course way back in 2010. Bill is a very gifted trainer and practitioner of Neo-Ericksonian Hypnotherapy and one of a select band of privileged therapists able to train with Erickson personally. Dr Milton H Erickson is probably the most famous hypnotherapist in the world. A poor student at the time, Bill couldn't really afford to train with the great Dr Milton H Erickson. So Erickson cut him a deal. Milton was by then wheel chair bound with a very extensive desert garden to tend to in his home at Phoenix, Arizona. Bill agreed to be his temporary gardener in part payment as he trained with the great Erickson. There is little doubt as well as learning at the feet of "the man" during his formal training, Bill gained unique access to Erickson. Much insight and wisdom was learned in the relaxed and informal setting of the garden. This is where Bill had the opportunity to approach the great Erickson and gain therapy nuggets that no other student could access. I personally recommend Bill O'Hanlon's books and media to all my students as he has a very deep understanding of the techniques and wisdom of Erickson.

As a trainer Bill is one of the most genuine, unassuming individuals you are likely to meet in the field. During my training with him he broached the subject of clients who just like the rest of us have unique habits or mannerisms that serve them well at one level, but others in their circle might find unsettling. Behaviour modification is a goal of therapy, but some harmless mannerisms or behaviours marked these people out as individuals (yes a little quirky or odd by some subjective standards - but hey, who is to say?). Anyway Bill realised that some clients reneged against changing these mannerisms, which objectively, hurt no one. Instead suggesting rather than modify them to the unwarranted desires of others around them, they not only keep them, but celebrate them as well.

So when I encounter clients who tell me others think they are a bit strange or weird (and remember that can be as harmless as practising Buddhism, being a vegetarian or having a unique hobby or pastime) I just commend Bill's therapeutic approach to them...Celebrate your Weirdness!

Personally I find these individuals colourful, they brighten up a rather monochrome and uniform world for me. If I had to choose between boring and predictable or a little weird I know what peg I would hang my coat on, but hey I am a hypnotherapist and we all know how weird they are.

So until the next time, go placidly and celebrate your weirdness, be it big or small.

Yours therapeutically,


Photograph of Rae Jenson Bill O"Hanlon and John Lawrence
Photograph of Rae Jenson Bill O"Hanlon and John Lawrence at Bill's Course in London

Resilience Talk

Rae and I attended a talk at Linlithgow Primary School last night (5/02/18). The talk examined how early intervention work with children classed as vulnerable, can make them a whole lot more resilient to the stresses of adulthood in later life. A diverse range of teachers, parents, Police, Local Authority employees and interested public were in attendance. It was a subject close to our hearts and one we have been teaching our students for years. There is strong empirical evidence linking our early childhood experiences of an adverse nature to later social and health outcomes. Both physical and mental health are compromised leading to compensatory behaviours later in adult life. In crude terms the bad cards people are dealt in early life through physical, or emotional challenges tends to link in to their adult health.  A lack of love and support in early life will often be reflected in low adult self esteem and this in turn  will bring about certain adult tendencies. This leads certain people in to making poor life choices later such as addictive behaviours.  All done mostly unconsciously in an effort to deal with the unresolved early life challenges.

The main theme was the need for early intervention in childhood with quality social, medical and emotional support for those children classed as vulnerable. The realisation that there is potential for huge savings in cost and time in solving these complex issues at a young age especially to a present day society plagued by adult ills, is of course just common sense. However the leap from common sense to common practice will take some political clout to achieve. The Scottish Government are broadly supportive on resilience but there is much work by everyone to make this vision happen.

We are strong advocates of “Sleep Talk” (look it up on the Internet) parent led self hypnosis for insecure children overseen by specially trained therapists to help resolve a whole range of childhood anxieties. It is a team effort between parent/s and therapist to secure the best outcome for the child. I personally have been using it with parents and young children for some 16 years. I know it works, the parents know it works and if you know how hypnosis and suggestion therapy works you will know this too.

For either good or ill our parents are most likely to be the most influential hypnotists we will encounter in our life.

Telling your young child that “mummy loves you, daddy loves you, (sister/brother, grand parents, even family pets) loves you” every night as they drop off to sleep is so simple yet amazingly powerful.

Put it this way,  you are presumably an adult reading this, so give this some consideration. If someone had put the effort in to that simple little process during your formative years, just how safe, confident and assured do you think that would have made your childhood? The developing human mind (we are all vulnerable as children) simply cannot get enough reassurance.

Luckily our brains are fairly plastic and good therapy is one way to resolve the unhealthy influence of early adverse childhood experience.

What ever happened can be re-worked through the power of hypnosis a modality designed to deal with all that bad stuff in the past and lurking there in the unconscious part of the mind. What’s not to like? Even as an adult there is nothing wrong with silently repeating this mantra of safety and acceptance.

Hang on though, I hear you say what if my mummy and daddy didn’t love me and even harmed me! Well thankfully the unconscious mind is no respecter of reality/history, nor is it very rational (try telling a flying phobic that statistically flying is very safe). It simply will not rationalise that fact until through hypnosis it eventually concedes it is safe to fly. Similarly re-writing or over-writing your own personal history in a consistent and repetitive way in hypnosis is something the mind likes to do. It is not interested in the past so much as the novel and new helpful suggestions coming it’s way and of course the warm feelings it brings. Does that sound too good to be true? Well listen the next time you sit down to watch a Batman or Superman movie with the kids and you end up with that nice “warm, all is well with the world feeling”  be aware you have been, albeit temporarily, hypnotised in to a changed state.

You do the same thing in your daydreams. Come on admit it, how many of you have spent sometime thinking of your imaginary lottery win in your mind, including that delicious farewell to your boss?

Thought so, you see this hypnosis business really isn’t that mysterious at all. We are all hypnotised and we can all hypnotise ourselves in to helpful or unhelpful trances. As I often tell my students a good hypnotherapist just alters a person’s bad or unhelpful everyday trances in to something far more useful and helpful to the self.

In fact the American therapist and writer Stephen Wolinsky once wrote a book on that very subject and he was a very clever man.

So until next time stay loose folks and watch your own trances, they may not be serving you well.

Yours therapeutically,