Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy Blog




Does Paul mckenna Gastric band hypnosis work? a hypnotherapists discussion

Posted on



Follow Mark Powlett Hypnotherapy on Google+ for FREE help and advice

               Buy this on Selz Selz powering ecommerce websites  

    I have been following the arrival of the Paul Mckenna gastric band hypnosis method with his new book and CD. After writing a couple of posts about the Paul McKenna hypnotic gastric band(click here to read the first review of the band), and how despite being against the idea of even using gastric band hypnosis, Paul McKenna has now changed his mind, I have started to discuss the merits of gastric band hypnosis with other hypnotherapists to see what they think about the idea. Some people don't think that Gastric band hypnosis looks at the real reasons that people have put on weight. The majority of people would have no need for a gastric band or a gastric bypass operation in real life and so it calls into question giving them a session of hypnotism that makes them think they have a gastric band and how well it may work in the long term. You can also link directly to the Gastric Band Hypnosis MP3 that is available for immediate download from my website if you really want to try a new way to lose weight and relax too.

If you really want to see what the readers of Paul's book are saying than you could do worse than look at the reviews on Amazon and I think it is only fair that I mention this before I talk about what other clinical Hypnotherapists are saying. If you would like to take a look for yourself then the link is HERE..

If you would like to listen to a FREE MP3 and understand more about how hypnosis works.. then please just click HERE.

So, I started a discussion with other Clinical Hypnotherapists to ask what their thoughts were and here I wanted to publish some of the opinions so that you can make up your own mind.

Here is a summary of all the posts and discussions that I have been having with some interesting points of view on both sides ! You would not normally be able to read a discussion like this so if you are thinking of Gastric band hypnotism then you may well find the views will help you make a decision.

My initial question was this: "Paul Mckenna gastric band hypnosis. Is it a good idea?"

READ the first post that inspired this discussion on Paul Mckenna havening and Gastric bands by clicking here

Mark Powlett said: Paul Mckenna has been all over the media in the UK with his gastric band hypnosis. I have written a couple of blog posts about how I don't think that just using a hypnotic gastric band solves the underlying issues. I wonder what others think about it? You may find my blog post of interest... http://www.markpowlett.co.uk/myblog/categories_8652/paul-mckenna-gastric-band-hypnosis.html

D. Waller I agree with you. It's a technique I have looked at and chosen not to use because (while I am aware it helps some people) I think it's unnecessary in most circumstances.
If you use it on its own you are not looking at either the client's past relationship with food or their current triggers and thought patterns. It also seems to me to undermine the co-operative nature of the therapeutic relationship as it puts all the 'power' with the therapist. You are simply doing a session that says 'believe you have this and all will be well'. I don't trust that to have a permanent effect, though it may be very useful for short term or temporary weight loss.
The better programmes (and therapists) do look at cognitive issues such as automatic thoughts and habits, or past/underlying issues such as self esteem, beliefs etc. But once you have worked these through, the client should be released from them and easily following a healthy eating pattern. At that point the hypnotic band seems a bit superfluous.
Then again, I suppose no publicity is bad publicity.

R. Hadley No publicity is bad publicity... Except when it is. These days people (thank goodness) do their research. When something comes across as dubious they are likely to research deeply into it - particularly as there is an investment involved. If they feel it is a con, they will likely dismiss all hypnotherapy as bunk.

I am deeply wary of 'gastric band' hypnosis. Now, I know a lot of people have bought into this idea, and I may be blowing against the wind here, so I won't waste a lot of time on this. However, if I give you a hypnosis session that gave you 'virtual' hair colour, of course for a short time you'd believe you were blonde. It may not be true, and it would be short lived, but you may believe it has worked, especially if you desperately want it to... I think you can see where this is going.

More importantly, any weight related hypnotherapy treatment that fails to deal with underlying issues is basically a complete waste of time. The insecure individual that is living a life driven by anxiety, and only finds comfort in food, is really not going to be helped by this method. The same can be said for any system that attempts to address weight issues but does not include an exercise regime.

Now, the serious bit, and some people really won't like this. Eventually someone is going to do a consumer article on how effective this type of treatment is. They'll do it because many consumer magazines, tv shows and websites sell weightloss tools, and there's plenty of money to pay for this type of journalism. Unless it is proven overwhelmingly effective, 'virtual gastric band' is going to get slammed. At that point all those hypnotherapists who are selling 'Virtual Gastric Band' hypnotherapy are going to look like hacks, and will scramble to get the phrase off their websites - because it will show in search engines like a search for 'scam hypnotists'. And that is where the real danger lies.

I think Paul McKenna very good. I was surprised he was sucked in to this.

So, as I said, I don't expect to be popular for this comment, but that is the way I see it. 

M. Armstrong I think that this is a useful tool, but as with all therapeutic techniques one must be sure that it is suitable for the client's needs. No effective therapy is bad, only its misuse!


R. Dictus  If that is what the client needs, then surely it is a good tool. The only problem I have with all of this is that Mr McKenna seems to make people think that he invented this, while hundreds of hypnotherapists have been doing this for a few years now.


A. D'souza I have mixed views. I do use the gastric mind band but I have tailored it to incorporate the underlying issues,challenge faulty thinking, the nutrition and diet focus and an effective exercise routine. I use the final session (of 6 sessions) to place the gastric mind band and it acts nicely as a closing off session. After all, techniques in hypnotherapy do use "visualization" to access inner resources - how about glove anaesthesia and the circle of light? Since the approach by itself has been in the market for a couple of years or more, Paul McKenna appears to be wanting his share of the pie.. I am already in the process of monitoring the progress my clients make (not whether they managed their weight in the short term but if they are able to maintain their changed thought process and relationship with food and emotions in the 1-2 year timeframe). In my opinion that is more an indicator of whether the theapy has been successful or not. Will keep you guys posted.


R. MacDonad I use the same approach as Audrey. I trained in the Virtual Gastric Band Program and have added a lot in terms of getting to the "why" of eating. I've added EFT and Core transformation to the process and expanded it to 6 sessions as well. I've had great success with this approach and generally have people come back after 6 months if their band needs adjustment. By then, most of my clients have released between 30-45 pounds and all are very happy with themselves.


A. Phillips I wasn't aware that people were using the fitting of a gastric band as a stand alone exercise. For myself, it follows at the end after several other sessions. It is just the final part which some people like as a sort of 'belt and braces' approach. If it stands alone then it wouldn't be any more effective than real surgery. People get around real gastric bands by constantly snacking I have found, and would do the same with a hypnotic gastric band too.


D. Waller Angela
I have been told of someone using it as a standalone, one session, £5000 and a 3 month waiting list.


D. Unwin I agree..

"look at cognitive issues such as automatic thoughts and habits, or past/underlying issues such as self esteem, beliefs etc. But once you have worked these through, the client should be released from them and easily following a healthy eating pattern."

My clients are usually fine (have lost the required weight) after four to six hypnotherapy sessions. From then on they can easily follow a healthy diet and maintain their new weight.
So far I haven't used the gastric band ,,,,

  Buy this on Selz Selz powering ecommerce websites

L. Farrugia I trained in hypnotic gastric banding. This decision was taken more from a clients viewpoint, as the banding attracts clients who are desperate to reduce weight, but cannot face another diet, so banding is the next option.
I would only implement banding once healthy eating is established. By then the client is well on the way to weight reduction. In a nut shell- I would suggest banding if I felt it would be to the clients advantage, but, so far, have had no use of this- and possibly never will.


K Prevallet As Martin writes, "No effective therapy is bad, only its misuse!" I had a client who wanted the band surgery but her insurance wouldn't pay for it unless she gained 30 pounds. Now she's 310... and the band isn't working. The hypnotic gastric band protocol may not work for everybody, but at least it's not blatantly harmful the way the surgery clearly is for some people.


M. Haire I  recorded her scripts verbatim and listened to them over a course of 6 weeks and was very impressed that I went from size 18 to a current size 12.I now use it with clients but add exploration of unconscious programmes running in the background causing the comfort eating is vital as is self esteem building.There is a big problem of sugar addiction in the population and it needs to be tackled from a zero tolerance point of view. Education about the harm of high fructose sugars that the body cannot digest and that end up going straight into fat reserves needs to be understood by the client.Sugar:The Bitter Truth on utube is an exellent understanding of this problem by Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, he explores the damage caused by sugary foods. He argues that fructose (too much) and fiber (not enough) appear to be cornerstones of the obesity epidemic through their effects on insulin.
Personally I have found this to be the truth and also with my clients, a lot of whom are addicted to soft drinks and juices. Total abstinence approach from these drinks have a remarkable effect however this is often overlooked as been at the root cause of the problem of obesity. Especially fruit juices.
Once this area is addressed then the idea that you can eat smaller amounts I'd served well by the imagery of the gastric band works very well.
EFT is a very useful tool to help with the addiction and help the client to get over the addiction and withdrawal stages.
Hope these comments help from a hypnotherapist who has been successful on the gastric band.


Mark Powlett Some really interesting reading here including some views from hypnotherapists who use gastric band hypnosis. The thing that everyone agrees on seems to be that you can't just use a gastric band without looking at the other issues which was my original thought, so this really is one with the Paul Mckenna gastric band hypnosis that will be very interesting over time ! Thanks everyone for your thoughts opinions and ideas.


J Moonie Just had a client in - very obese - who has lost 24lbs in 2 weeks using this method. But it's not exclusively gastric band. I also use an aversion for chocolate/bread/crisps etc which can be just as damaging in weight terms. I also emphasise drinking water and exercise. If necessary I also delve into the emotional reason for overeating. Sometimes it's just habit but sometimes there is a more serious underlying issue that has to be addressed. Also bear in mind there is something of a bandwagon effect here which can be valuable in terms of belief and expectation that it will work. You could use gastric sleeve or stomach stapling or the blow-up gastric balloon idea as well! Just another tool in the box.


N Burrows I have been a qualified hypnotherapist for around 18 months, having used hypnotherapy several times to help with my own issues in the past. Weight has always been one of my greatest problems, and I have traced the problem through regression to an incident in childhood, plus ongoing parental messages. I am dealing with these. 2 years ago I lost 2st 8lb in 90 days using Paul McKenna's "I can make you thin" programme. The weight stayed off for ages, unlike when I had attended slimming clubs in the past. Then I forgot the rules, didn't listen to the CD and let my original conditioning take over. Result, a predictable weight gain. My failure, not the programming. Since New Year I have followed the programme again, with a result of over 15lbs lost already, but due to the effects of my past, do find feeling full very difficult to recognise. I was also interested to research the hypnotic Gastric band as part of my CPD and bought the book and CDs. In fact I have just listened to it all having completed reading the book. I do feel a bit uncomfortable. I like the havening DVD, I think that will help greatly and I look forward to teaching my own clients the technique. I think this will all assist me both for my own weight control and in helping others in the future. I was skeptical before, but feel much more positive now I understand the process. In my working life I have always maintained that you need to experience something or be able to do it before you expect others to do it. Let's see how this goes.


P Hancocks Glad to hear it's helped you, Nikki. However, I'd beware of the fallacy that you have to experience something before you can expect others to do it. For example, I practise hypnobirthing but have never given birth, I have also never had a phobia, alcoholism, smoking habit, eating disorder or particular problem with exam nerves, yet many of my clients have had one or more of these things. If I followed the reasoning above, I would have turned many people away - people I've been able to assist.
At the end of the day, unless you wish to become a niche therapist, you will encounter a wide variety of issues that you will (hopefully) never suffer from personally. In fact, I wonder if not having had these problems is helpful for the therapist. 

I imagine that there will be further comments and discussion and I think that in the end only time will tell. I just hope that having a little more knowledge can help you to make up your mind about whether it is the right thing for you or not.

Here again is the link to Paul's Book and CD so you can see what the real buyers of his product are saying...

 AMAZON - Paul Mckenna hypnotic Gastric Band







Add a comment:

Leave a comment:
  • This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


  1. astraldreamer

    "I think the hypnotic gastric band definately works, after losing almost 7 pounds in my first week of following it i am feeling very positive, didnt get the hang of the havening technique though." Thanks for your comment. I hope that your success continues. Please do feel free to let me know how you get on. kind regards, Mark

    Posted on

Add a comment