European College of Hypnotherapy

European College of Hypnotherapy, UK
UK Tel: 01784 433421    •    International Tel: 0044 1784 433421

The hypnotic gastric band

Hypnotic gastric band and hypnotherapy

Because of the remarkably strong link between mind and body, strange as it may seem, sometimes purely imagined operations can actually be as effective as real surgery. It’s yet another demonstration of the mind healing the body. The hypnotic ‘gastric band’ is a good example.

The actual ‘gastric band’ operation for obesity has been available since the 1980s, and has had a lot of publicity – especially because several celebrities have used the procedure. Having a real gastric band fitted can be an effective, way of losing weight – though very expensive, costing thousands. Using ‘keyhole surgery’ a narrow silicon belt is carefully manoeuvred around the top of the stomach so that a small pouch is made. A very small camera, also inserted, allows the surgeon to observe what is happening on a TV monitor.

Food going into the pouch before reaching the main stomach, sends signals to the brain – so causing a fairly rapid feeling of fullness. The newly formed gap for food to pass through is termed a stoma. The result is that less food intake occurs. Patients report that a gastric band can take some getting used to. The wideness of the band can subsequently be adjusted by a special technique.

But now, there is the option of having a ‘pretend’ gastric band fitted, using hypnotherapy – and there are reports that it works well. For instance, one woman lost 4 stone – about the same amount that a surgically implanted gastric band would have caused.

A great advantage is that invasive surgery has not been performed, so none of the potential accompanying medical problems exist. Many people will now probably think that the psychological band is a sensible first step if they are intent on reducing weight.

How can such a thing work? We all know about the placebo effect – where a completely inert substance is given to a patient, and their health improves – sometimes dramatically. Even when the patient knows they are taking a placebo, the improvement can still manifest!  This is the general area, of mind-over-matter, where the answer lies. Representative suggestions are seen increasingly now as powerful tools in making people well.

In the hypnotic gastric band procedure, after inducing hypnosis – which seems to increase the power of suggestion – a full description of the real operation is given to the Client, as if it is happening to them. The small pouch in the stomach is explained, and the reduced diameter stoma. The main feature is that a sense of fullness will be experienced much sooner than has usually been the case. A Client reports that after a ‘hypnotic band’ session, even though she starts a meal feeling that all on the plate could be eaten, a sense of being replete always happens now when about half the food has gone – no matter how tasty.

Some Clients move around days after the session as if they really have gone through surgery, and even feel a slight ‘discomfort’ in the stomach area. It’s all part of the empathic psychological play-acting that has a real effect on the body.

The hypnotic gastric band may be a suitable treatment for some people. I’m convinced that such phenomenally significant mind-body interaction will be utilised more and more in the future, drawing psychology and medicine into a hugely successful alliance.


We offer ‘hypnotic gastric band’ treatment for slimming in Egham, Surrey, London, etc.