A woman named Kim Robinson may answer “no”, surgery is not necessary for her. For others though, it may be a different meal on a plate. Kim, who has never physically had gastric band surgery, recently ate her first solid Christmas meal after living on a liquid diet for two years. Kim weighed 21 stone when she chose to have hypnosis for two years to trick her into believing she’d actually physically had gastric band surgery when she hadn’t.
Within 14 months, Kim dropped eight stones – five dress sizes – and is now between size 14 to 16. According to Kim, her hypnotist, Mr Nelson, helped her experience the same feelings that a person really undergoing gastric band surgery would feel. We have to ask, did this all depend on Kim’s openness to suggestion and level of empathy? www.gastricbands.co.uk has its own thoughts.
Hypnosis, empathy and gastric band surgery
People with high levels of empathy, such as those with mirror-touch synaesthesia, can watch a movie and feel emotional and physical responses to what they see on the screen – as if it is really happening to them. It’s because of their overactive mirror neuron system. When reading about a case like Kim Robinson’s, we have to ask:
- Did the hypnotist use suggestion that appealed in some way to Kim’s mirror neuron system allowing it to become overactive specifically to gastric band surgery, making her feel as if her stomach was the size of a fist for two years even if it wasn’t?
- Or does Kim naturally have a highly active mirror neuron system that makes her a prime candidate for gastric band hypnosis – taking on physical feelings to what she hears and sees in her mind, like stomach = size of fist?
We have to wonder if those with lower levels of empathy paying for “gastric band” type hypnosis would experience the same kind of result. And, if not empathy, what would make this form of hypnosis work for some and not for others?