As a woman claims she hypnotised herself into thinking she had a gastric band, here’s how you can hypnotise yourself.
You’re getting sleepy… very, very sleepy. And if you need to lose weight, try self-hypnosis and maybe you will get skinny…very, very skinny.
Beverley Davies, 49, made headlines yesterday when she claimed she hypnotised herself into believing she had a gastric band and went from 12st 6lb to 10st 7lb.
She told how she tricked her brain into thinking she was full after four mouthfuls of food, and has now started a business providing “virtual gastric band hypnoslimming”.
Beverley says: “It’s the same as meditation, but instead of clearing your mind you think of things you want to achieve.”
It is claimed self-hypnosis can also help people stop smoking, overcome phobias and even boost confidence at work (or in the bedroom).
In his bestselling book, How to Master Self-Hypnosis in a Weekend, Rick Smith describes it as a “powerful secret weapon”.
Read more: Woman who hypnotised herself into losing weight
Andy Murray has also talked about using a sports psychologist to relax his mind, saying: “When my mind’s clear, I can go on the court and play, not worry about anything else.”
So what is self-hypnosis? How can you learn it? And how can it help you have the life you want?
What exactly is it?
How it works: The aim is to get yourself into a very relaxed state and then learn tricks to “reprogramme” your unconscious mind, replacing negative thoughts with more positive ones.
It also teaches you how to visualise the outcome you want. So, if your aim is to lose weight, you picture yourself with your new figure, or as someone who happily leaves uneaten food on their plate.
If you want to play football better, you will visualise yourself scoring a winner in an important final.
You can learn the techniques in face-to-face sessions with a trained hypnotist or registered hypnotherapist – visit the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis at– or from a book or online tutorial.
The basic idea is that you learn the skills to take away and then use on your own in moments of stress or weakness.
Here are just a few ways self-hypnosis could help you.
Turbocharge your will power for slimming
How it works: Once your mind is relaxed, visualise yourself as slim and having reached your ideal size. Vitally, you have to visualise yourself as the kind of person who is able to say no to food.
Sandra Roycroft-Davies, a Harley Street weight loss specialist and hypnotherapist, created Slimpod, a voice recording which you listen to for nine minutes a day.
She explains: “The recording gently retrains your mind, changing the way you think and feel about food and helps you gain confidence from the inside.”
Make yourself good at sports
How it works: Many well-known athletes have worked with hypnotherapists to learn self-hypnosis techniques, which can help them overcome issues of self-doubt that may be keeping them from moving to the next level of performance.
Boxer Mike Tyson has admitted using hypnosis before his big fights, saying he would be “hypnotised two or three times a day – before sparring, before training and before fights. My objective was to destroy”.
Beat your phobia… be it spiders or snakes
How it works: Self-hypnosis helps put fear into perspective. It teaches us to relax and visualise habits to help deal with trigger situations.
People with a social phobia may learn to visualise themselves giving a speech to a room full of clapping, smiling people. Phobia expert and hypnotist Cindy Locher says: “You don’t have to live in fear. Self-hypnosis can reprogramme your mind’s reaction to triggers – be it spiders, water or flying – and replace it with a sense of being calm and in control.”
Ditch the fags
How it works: Hypnotherapist Mark Boden says: “You’ve tried the drugs, patches, gum and lozenges, but they don’t get to the root of the problem. By tapping into the power of your subconscious, self-hypnosis can help you kick the habit, filling your mind with positive messages making you not want to smoke.”
Once in a relaxed state, repeat, “Smoking poisons my body ” or “I should respect and protect my body by not smoking”. In time, it should eliminate your desire to smoke.