Mini-Masochist: Hypnosis for Weightloss

1199905498Psychoanalyst and Harvard med school prof Jean Fain claims that self-hypnosis can help over-eaters lose weight by changing their attitudes toward food through directed trances. Her new CD, Mindful Eating Mini Trances, includes an intro and five five-minute hypnosis sessions.

The Masochist weighs in, after the jump.
The Experience: On the road to recovery from last night’s pizza binge, I test drive the disc while lying on a yoga mat underneath my desk. In the intro, like on the trance tracks, Fain speaks in a verrrry sloooow, sooooothing tone as she explains the program: A trance is an altered state of consciousness, somewhere between conscious and unconscious. Patients should listen to get entranced by her CD before every meal and snack, she says, whether they pick a different track for each pre-eating session or listen to their favorite track again and again. And for the hypnosis to work, one should listen in a quiet, comfortable space with no distractions (and not while driving!).

Though you’re supposed to space them out, I experience (or try to experience) three trances in a row. You know, to get the hang of things. In one, Fain starts the session by asking me to focus on the colors and light patterns on the back of my eyelids. In another, which ends up being my favorite, she urges me to imagine myself floating on a raft. Once I’m entranced (though was I really entranced if I can even remember any of this?), each track focuses on how I should embrace food’s healthful qualities, colors, and tastes. There’s also a lot of inhaling and exhaling going on.

The Verdict: I’m not sure if I was ever really in the hypno-zone, but nevertheless, spending a few minutes concentrating on eating healthy can only help. Though I’ve yet to be faced with serious junk food options, I’ve refused a mid-morning granola bar after evaluating my actual hunger levels, per Fain’s suggestion. And I feel more enthusiastic about eating leafy greens and legumes for lunch. Now I’m just hoping Fain will come out with a CD to combat my nail biting.

Mindful Eating Mini Trances, $35.95,