Woman claims loss of 55 lbs. with hypnosis treatment

Hypnotherapists say power of mind can make stomach feel full when it isn't

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 2:00am

Can you lose weight with your mind? One hypnosis clinic claims you can, and they do it by tricking you into thinking you have a lapband on your stomach.

"It was well over 200 pounds at one time," said Carol Vincequerra, talking about her weight. She said it skyrocketed after losing her husband.

"Pretzels, ice cream, anything that was heavy and fat," she said, listing off her go-to foods. She ended up losing the weight by exercising, but soon after was diagnosed with post-polio syndrome.

"How do I lose weight and not exercise?" Vincequerra asked herself at the time. She toyed with the idea of hypnosis, but had some concerns.

"Am I going to be able to go back to the person I was after this?" she asked. "Is he going to have control over my mind?"

But after a session with Sandi Graves and Don Rice, Vincequerra said she noticed a change in her bagel-a-day diet.

"I wasn't sure what was different in my mind and I didn't fully realize it until the next morning when I went to the coffee shop and I did not want a bagel," she said.

"How are you able to trick your mind?" Graves asked. "It's the art of hypnosis."

Graves and Rice created gastroband hypnosis, which convinces subjects they have an imaginary band around their stomach without the surgery.

"There's no surgery involved, there's no drugs, there's no side effects," Graves said.

So how can something this simple really work?

"You can get that logical mind to move aside, to be a little quiet," Graves said.

"I can't tell you verbatim what anyone says during hypnosis, I just know that I feel good," Vincequerra said.

Graves said it's about opening your mind and entering an alternate reality. One of her clients lost 16 pounds in two weeks, and another lost 6 pounds in one week. But Graves said typically people lose 2 to 5 pounds in a week's time.

"The hypnosis reinforced that idea here that I do want to lose weight and I want to keep it off," Vincequerra said.

Vincequerra lost 55 pounds and has kept it off for more than a year.

Still a skeptic? Graves said it doesn't matter how it works, as long as it does.

"If it is just a placebo effect, that's fine with me," Graves said.

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