March 6th, 2020
Co-authored by Dr. Holly Holmes-Meredith and Bill Yarborough.
Have your New Year’s resolutions lost steam or wilted away altogether? According to a study cited in Psychology Today, less than 20% of Americans considered themselves successful in keeping their resolutions two years later. That’s not an impressive record for an annual tradition that dates back to ancient Babylonia.
So, does your resolution to lose weight by utilizing traditional techniques of avoiding temptations, tracking progress, or rewarding success need an extra boost? If so, we’d like to introduce you to a few techniques that could prove helpful. Although we’ll stick with weight loss in this article, these tools may also help to overcome such addictions as smoking, drug use, excessive alcohol consumption, and others. Some of these techniques you can use yourself, while others need a trained practitioner.
First, a little background about us in this inaugural column: Dr. Holly Holmes-Meredith is a licensed marriage and family therapist and Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, and, as Clinical Director of the HCH Institute in Lafayette, she is a practicing psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, trainer, teacher, and author.
Bill Yarborough of Clayton is a Certified Hypnotherapist, EFT practitioner, trauma survivor, and author. You may recall reading about Bill’s childhood MK-ULTRA traumas in previous issues of The Diablo Gazette. Holly is one of the therapists who helped him on his healing journey.
We want to emphasize that the techniques we’re suggesting here are not for severe, life-threating addictions such as anorexia and bulimia. These require medical attention. But if you suffer from overpowering cravings that cause binge eating, then you may want to consider such tools as hypnotherapy, self-hypnosis, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and parts therapy.
When using any of these approaches, it’s best to address the needs and anxieties that underlie your destructive eating patterns. For example, your problem may not be so much binge eating but a low self-esteem. It is estimated that around 50 million Americans suffer from low self-esteem in any given year, often resulting in eating disorders, such as a carb or sugar addiction.
To overcome work-related low self-esteem, Bill used EFT. It is a form of energetic healing that involves tapping on pressure points on the body to get release from negative emotions or traumas. Bill found that when he used EFT to reduce his work-related stress, it provided a significant side benefit—decreasing his tendency to binge eat while anxious, which gave him greater control over his diet. EFT is an easy method to learn, and there are many sites on the internet that demonstrate its use.
Sugar and carbs can cause inflammation, which could contribute to health issues as people age. Holly has a good example, but to maintain the anonymity of her clients, we have changed the details. A man who was prediabetic came into her office for sugar cravings. He was a car mechanic, and every afternoon he took a break from work by going to a nearby 7-Eleven buying a candy bar. Because of his prediabetic condition, he realized it was unwise to continue this pattern. With EFT he reduced his cravings and now he just takes a walk around the block instead. He changed a daily, harmful habit into a positive one.
Other tools can also help you reframe and manage emotional eating whether it’s created by boredom, anger, anxiety, loneliness, and other disruptive feelings. Self-hypnosis is an excellent tool to reinforce new, healthy behaviors as opposed to addictive ones. It guides you into a relaxed state where you are more susceptible to embrace desired behavior changes. Similarly, hypnotherapy combined with parts therapy can help negotiate a resolution between conflicting parts within you. For example, a part of you may not want to lose weight due to hidden fears that becoming more attractive might heighten jealous reactions in your partner. In a hypnotic state, a therapist can help you negotiate between the parts of you that don’t want to change vs. the parts that do.
The American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis found that hypnosis has a strong success rate. In a study, hypnosis treatment was used with clients suffering from alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana addiction. After the one-year follow-up, hypnosis treatment showed a 77% success rate.
Of course, we are all unique individuals and may respond differently to various treatments, so a professional practitioner can help you explore these alternatives. We know doing so costs money, but teaching practitioners often have interns who charge minimal amounts to work with clients using multiple healing modalities.
We look forward to discussing emotional health and further healing techniques with you in future articles of this column. If you have questions, please reach out to us via the contact information on our websites: Holly at www.hypnothearapytraining.com or Bill at his contact page.
By Dr. Holly Holmes-Meredith, D. Min., MFT, Board Certified Clinical and Bill Yarborough, CHT and Certified EFT Practitioner.
The March Diablo Gazette issue can be found at the link below; this article appears on page 19.