Self-Hypnosis Helps PCOS Weight Loss Efforts

Many women with PCOS can correct most of their health challenges by losing as little as 7% to 10% of their body weight. But the metabolic complexity of PCOS can make weight loss a struggle. Some studies suggest women with PCOS have to work 25% harder to use up the same amount of stored fat-as-energy as lean women do. Self-hypnosis at home is an effective and health supportive tool that women with PCOS can use for achieving lasting weight loss.

Self-hypnosis is a way to learn new behaviors quickly and easily. Losing weight and more importantly, keeping it off, requires learning new habits. Self-hypnosis is a safe, enjoyable way to speed up your learning process. It allows you to see immediate results, which further increases your interest in learning. It turns out that what you spend your time thinking about has a powerful effect on what you actually do, and what results you get from your behaviors. What you expect to happen has a lot of influence on what you end up experiencing.

Ninety percent of people who lose weight regain what they lost, plus more- that statistic is well known to lifelong dieters and dreaded by, well, ninety percent of us. If you have reached the point (again and again) that you are ready to lose weight, (again), supporting your efforts with self-hypnosis can be the key to permanent success..

There is a group of people who lose significant amounts of weight, and never regain it. That ten percent are people who have learned how to maintain a significant weight loss for years. They have certain features in common:

They all eat less than they did to get fat;

They all exercise regularly, averaging an hour of activity most days.

They all keep a close eye on the scales, regularly checking in with the reality they see there.

Hypnosis, or more specifically, self-hypnosis, can help you learn, and ENJOY, these behaviors, too. The first two behaviors translate to that common-sense ‘just eat well and exercise’ mantra that has frustrated millions who try and fail regularly to do just that. The third element- that regular reality check of the scales- hints at the secret to breaking the failure pattern that plagues most dieters.

People who pay attention learn to connect the dots. “When I behave this way, I get these results; when I behave that way, I get different results.” Keeping a closer eye on your bathroom scale as you lose weight and especially as you transition to your healthy life-long diet, will reinforce the learning you are doing about what behaviors give you which results. Medical science is looking at how we learn to shape our experiences and our behaviors. “The idea that perceptions can be manipulated by expectations is fundamental to the study of cognition”, said Michael I. Posner, an emeritus professor of neuroscience at the University of Oregon and expert on attention. “But now we’re really getting at the mechanisms.”

Hypnosis is a process of reaching a state of deep relaxation in which your ability to learn is greatly enhanced. It is a powerful process and one that has the potential to be misused. Self-hypnosis, on the other hand, is a wonderful tool that you control for your own best interests.

Recent studies of brain function of people who are highly susceptible to hypnosis show that when they act on the suggestions made during hypnosis, their brains show profound changes in how they process information. The suggestions actually change how people interpret what is true about what they see, smell, hear, taste and touch. Hypnosis can change a person’s perception of reality. So, if you stand on the scale and see 150 pounds and think “I am fat!”, you teach yourself, and you believe, that you are a fat person. If you see the number 150 on your scale and you think “I am a person who is losing fat” (especially if you saw 154 on the scale a week ago!) you are more likely to believe that and in fact act like a person who is losing weight. And so, you do.

Hypnosis has been famously used for questionable entertainment. A hypnotist induces a trance or relaxation state in a volunteer and makes suggestions that the hypnotized person receives as a description of what is- of the truth. So when the suggestion is that you will cluck like a chicken- if you are a person who is willing at some level to cluck on stage, you will delight your audience with chicken behaviors. The idea that you do so involuntarily is in question.  There is no proof that a hypnotized person will behave in ways that are against their values, or against their will. But if you are willing to be an entertainer (get up on stage, as every as-yet unhypnotized volunteer chooses to do)- then you will be open to clucking once there, if that is the suggested entertainment you provide.

Even with little research into how it works, hypnosis has been used in medicine since the 1950’s to treat pain and, more recently, as a treatment for anxiety, depression, trauma, irritable bowel syndrome and eating disorders. In the 19th century, doctors in India successfully used hypnosis as anesthesia, even for limb amputations. When ether became available, hypnosis was no longer used.

Brain scientists are still not exactly sure what the hypnotic state is. It may simply be a natural form of deep concentration in which you become oblivious to distractions in the room while focusing on your thoughts.  Now, according to Dr. Posner and others, new research on hypnosis and suggestion is providing a new view into the learning process and normal brain function.

It turns out that information from the eyes, ears and body is carried to primary sensory regions in the brain. From there, it moves to other regions where interpretation occurs. For example, light bouncing off a rose first reaches the eye, where it is turned into a pattern that is sent to the visual center in the brain. There, the rough shape of the rose is recognized. That pattern is next sent to the next area of function, where color is recognized, and then to the next region, where the shape and color are added up to create the image ‘rose’, along with other any other knowledge you have collected about roses.

We process sounds, scents, touch and other sensory information the same way. Researchers call this direction of flow feedforward. As raw sensory information is carried in bundles of nerve fibers to a part of the brain that creates a meaningful impression, the data is moving from bottom to top.

The surprise is the amount of traffic the other way, from top to bottom, which is called feedback. There are 10 times as many nerve fibers carrying information down as there are carrying it up.

These elaborate feedback routes mean that consciousness, what people see, hear, feel and believe, is based on what brain scientists call “top down processing.” What you see is not always what you get, because what you see depends on the history of your experiences. You use what you already know to help you interpret the raw information – you see a rose or a hammer. 150 is a number that means “fat” or ‘losing weight successfully”.

This brain structure explains hypnosis, which is all about creating such powerful top-down processing that the hypnotic suggestions you give yourself become your reality. Brain scans show that hypnosis changes your relationship to information you have learned to think of as true. “I always regain weight” or “I can never lose this fat.”, can be replaced with “I am successfully losing weight” and “I am a fit, trim, agile and muscularly toned person.” Top-down processes override sensory, or bottom-up information, said Dr. Stephen M. Kosslyn, a neuroscientist at Harvard. People think that sights, sounds and touch from the outside world constitute reality. But the brain constructs what it perceives based on past experience. Most of the time bottom-up information matches top-down expectation, according to researchers. But hypnosis is interesting because it creates a mismatch. We imagine something different, so it is different.

When you want to lose weight and keep it off, you can use self hypnosis to change how you think about your self and what you are capable of. When you do that, you will find yourself behaving in ways that make your preferred picture come true. Imagine yourself happily exercising in some way every day. See in your mind’s eye the delicious healthy food you take pleasure in nourishing yourself with. See yourself in the clothing size you want to wear, engaged in the activities that you want enjoy, and make it so, with regular use of well designed self hypnosis sessions.

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