Monday, November 29, 2010

Hypnotize your stomach into believing you've had bariatric surgery?

Sadly the commercial weight loss industry in Canada is a wholly unregulated one and consequently anyone can put up a weight loss shingle.

Anyone including a Halifax based hypnotherapy office that's promoting what they're calling a, "virtual gastric band".


"This treatment uses hypnosis, NLP and powerful imagery, along with behavioral modifications, to convince your unconscious mind that you’ve had gastric band surgery."
According to the site, the "virtual" gastric band treatment was pioneered by a UK Clinical Hypnotherapist who claims on her website that 99% of patients in her two "trials" were successful in losing weight.

Quite the surprise that those trials weren't published. It would certainly be a boon to medicine to have a 99% effective weight loss treatment. That's better than actual bariatric surgery. I guess they're too busy curing people to be publishing.

So how awesomely successful is the procedure?

Well according to the BBC news report posted on the founder of this procedure's cite, one of her 99% successful trials had 25 people losing "14 stone between them".

Sounds impressive, no?


In pounds 14 stone over 25 people translates into 8lbs a piece.

Also in the generally positive news report? A spokesperson from the UK's Hypnotherapy Association explains that the only evidence to suggest hypnotherapy is effective for weight loss is subjective in nature.

The worst part of this story?

The fact that the BBC decided to run a lengthy and generally positive story on a treatment backed up only by subjective evidence where even the subjective outcomes are awful.

[Hat tip to Dr. Michael Vallis, a Haligonian that I imagine is not referring his patients for this "virtual" procedure]