Mental lap band: Is mind-altering technique weight-loss solution?

SAN ANTONIO -- There's a mind altering technique that touts the same benefits as a particular weight loss surgery. In fact, it's reportedly cheaper, quicker, has no side effects, and may be as easy as relaxing. It's called the hypnosis lap band.

Hypnosis experts say this mental lap band is a non-surgical means of dropping pounds by making patients believe they actually had gastric lap band surgery.

Using hypnosis for lap band, we can actually decrease the amount of food someone is able to consume, said Clinical hypnotherapist Mike Burrow.

Burrow runs a practice in Plano, Texas. It's one of the only in Texas doing the hypnosis lap band. He even says it has become a growing portion of his business.

The process seems simple. Patients go under hypnosis. While in a trance like state, the hypnotherapist implants the suggestion of lap band surgery by using the smells, visualization, and sometimes what one might touch during weight loss surgery.

It's called the theta state, Burrow said. This is a state of mind that we all go through everyday right before youfall to sleep or right before you get up.

Then, Burrow says the memory implementation continues by convincing patients their stomach are about the size of an orange. Most importantly, he says the time under his voice addresses emotional eating. Something he thinks contributes to an abundance of weight issues. It's also the key thing he says the surgical lap band can not do, at all.

Either one will help you lose weight, he said. But, unless you address the emotional eating you're not going to be able to keep the weight off when you do the surgical lap band.

The technique reportedly came out of Great Britain and spread across Europe. Now, people in the United States and even Texas are said to be enjoying the benefits. But, this is not something for everyone. Burrow said he, generally, treats patients who are 60 pounds or more overweight.

As you might imagine, those who perform weight loss surgery are little skeptical about the hypnosis lap band.

In selected subjects, here and there, people can have pretty profound results, said Bariatric surgeon Dr. John Pilcher. Trying to apply it to many different people over time it doesn't seem to have very strong or sustainable results.

Pilcher runs a portion of San Antonio's New Dimensions Weight Loss. He performs gastric by passes, gastric sleeves, and gastric lap bands. He said lap bands are the oldest and least effective of three weight loss surgeries. It can still cost $15,000-$19,000. The hypnosis lap band is $1500-$9,000. Even so, the surgeon weighs more on the side of lasting effects of surgery.

(Hypnosis) It doesn't seem harmful to me. That's a plus, said Pilcher. It seems to have a very low risk of side effects.

Burrow says his client base includes those who have relapsed from the surgical lap band. He said his method takes of seven-to-nine pounds off a client per month. The surgery route, he says, is between five-to-seven.

The sessions are spread out about a month apart. There are three-to- six of them. Patients are given audio discs to take home as buffers in between visits. Burrow said the only thing he's seen derail the process is an extreme life stressing event.

He admits the mental lap band is no silver bullet. Burrow recommends exercise and a proper diet as a part of the program.


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