Lap band surgery is always an act of desperation. The surgery is a last resort for someone who is obese and unable or unwilling to stay on a restrictive diet and strict exercise program. Years of effort with exercise and diet have not proven to have been a long-term solution.
I believe that lap band surgery may also be an act of desperation on the part of bariatric doctors. They have been prescribing diets and exercise for their obese patients for decades. And many, if not most, of those patients have been unable to stay on their doctors’ prescribed diets and exercise regimes for the months and years necessary for long-term success. That has to be frustrating for bariatric specialists.
Lap band surgery, to over simplify a bit, puts a band around the stomach so that the patient feels full after eating a very small amount of food. Lap band patients hope that by restricting the amount of food that they are able to eat that they will have to lose their excess and dangerous fat. They do not trust their willpower and ability to limit their eating and make themselves exercise regularly.
So, if lap band surgery drastically reduces the amount of food someone is able to eat, why would they need or want help from hypnosis?
- Reason one: Lap band surgery requires a lifelong extensive change in habits. Lap band patients must eat a severely restricted diet for the rest of their lives. For example, they will no longer be able to eat beef because it is so fibrous that it can block the exit from the stomach. For the surgery be successful for weight loss lap band patients also need to exercise regularly. Most of them were unable to do that consistently before their surgery. Hypnosis and hypnotherapy can help these patients adapt to their new lifestyle relatively quickly and permanently.
- Reason two: A great many people, obese or not, eat for reasons other than hunger. They eat to calm themselves. They eat to celebrate. They eat because “that looks good” or just of the pleasure of the taste. For someone who’s been overweight dieting off and on for many years eating may be an act of defiance. Hypnosis and hypnotherapy can help these people change their orientation to food and eating so that eating for nourishment is completely satisfying. They find other, more fulfilling, ways to celebrate, to express their defiance, and to the calm down.
- Reason three: Many people develop counterproductive eating habits in childhood that may include cleaning their plate, eating until they’re so full they just can’t eat anymore, and eating so quickly that they don’t notice when their full. There is some research that shows that simply by eating on smaller plates people will feel completely satisfied with 22% less food. They will not even notice any reduction in the amount of food that they have eaten. Learning new eating habits can be accomplished quickly with a little bit of conscious practice, and a little bit of hypnotherapy.
- Reason four: Hypnotherapy can quickly help people change counterproductive beliefs and attitudes. And a great many people who opt for lap band surgery have a lifelong expectation of failure when it comes to losing weight. And, there are even those who will consciously work to defeat the lap band surgery because they were not properly screened or prepared psychologically for all the work and all the restrictions involved to lose weight after the surgery.
Obviously, people who are going to undergo lap band surgery need to be psychologically evaluated before their surgery. Those who experience the best results will have undergone counseling both before and after the surgery to support the huge changes in their lifestyle after the surgery. Hypnotherapy can play a useful and effective part in that preparation.
Sadly, there are a number of websites promoting band surgery that do not mention the necessity of psychological counseling before or after the surgery for long-term success. Surgeons tend to focus on surgery, and they do not spend a great deal of time in evaluating and preparing their patients for a lifetime of restricted diet, and potential feelings of being deprived of many of their favorite foods and beverages. They will literally be surrounded by forbidden fruits, vegetables, desserts, meats, and drinks the rest of their lives. Adjusting to that will take some real effort and dedication.