Tim Brunson DCH

Welcome to The International Hypnosis Research Institute Web site. Our intention is to support and promote the further worldwide integration of comprehensive evidence-based research and clinical hypnotherapy with mainstream mental health, medicine, and coaching. We do so by disseminating, supporting, and conducting research, providing professional level education, advocating increased level of practitioner competency, and supporting the viability and success of clinical practitioners. Although currently over 80% of our membership is comprised of mental health practitioners, we fully recognize the role, support, involvement, and needs of those in the medical and coaching fields. This site is not intended as a source of medical or psychological advice. -- Tim Brunson, PhD

Unconscious agendas in the etiology of refractory obesity and the role of hypnosis...



Full title: Unconscious agendas in the etiology of refractory obesity and the role of hypnosis in their identification and resolution: a new paradigm for weight-management programs or a paradigm revisited?

Abstract Hypnosis has long been recognized as an effective tool for producing behavioral change in the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia. Despite many studies from the latter half of the last century suggesting that hypnosis might also be of value in managing obesity situations, the efficacy of hypnotherapy for weight reduction has received surprisingly little formal research attention since 2000. This review presents a brief history of early clinical studies using hypnosis for weight reduction and describes a hypnotherapeutic approach within which a combination of instructional/pedagogic and exploratory therapeutic sessions can work together synergistically to maximize the potential for sustained weight loss. Hypnotic modulation of appetite- and satiation-associated peptides and hormone levels may yield additional physiological benefits in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2014;62(3):330-59. doi: 10.1080/00207144.2014.901085. Entwistle PA(1), Webb RJ, Abayomi JC, Johnson B, Sparkes AC, Davies IG.

Author information: (1)a Liverpool John Moores University , United Kingdom.

Healthy Eating versus Eating to Survive



by Tim Brunson, PhD

As nutrition is so vital to our body's health, why do so many of us turn this necessity into a problem? Normally, the answer lies in the fact that we have corrupted many of the natural capabilities of our brain. We have learned that eating not only serves as a requirement to provide nutrients to our cells and organs, it has somehow become linked to our stress-fighting defense mechanism. So, how do we transition from eating for stress to once again primarily eating for health?

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Is Work Killing You? (Part 2)



by Michael Licenblat

A few years ago, I remember was watching my two sons playing. At the time, Raphael was 2½ years old and was focused on putting together his favourite jigsaw. Zackary was 1 year old and was studying a plastic ring that had a soft toy hanging off it. They were in the same spot for over 15 minutes totally absorbed in their play.

I thought to myself... 'When was the last time I was 100% totally absorbed in the non-work aspect of my life? How many moments have I missed in my life because I was rushing to get things done, being busy, or thinking about something else?'

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Is Work Killing You? (Part I)



by Michael Licenblat

In today's world, we are working longer hours, have no time for breaks, grab food on the run, are too busy to exercise, get broken sleep, and are walking around exhausted. Is modern work-life slowly killing us?

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The Weight of Wait



by Adele Ryan McDowell, PhD

Like Oprah, I have spent my life dealing with weight and have recently regained once-lost avoirdupois. I hate that. I end up hating myself and then it's that all-too-familiar battle of up and down, Monday is a new start, last hoorah Sundays and so forth in a addictive cycle that has its roots in both biochemistry and emotion.

Decades ago, in my college economics class, there was a discussion of the "paradox of saving." As the name would suggest, the more you tried to save, the more you spent. I think the same holds true for dieting. In other words, the more you try to diet, the more you gain. And these days, science pretty much confirms that thinking given the preponderance of yo-yo dieting.

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Hypnosis in treating an obese early teen – A case study



By Jane Nash

Peter had walked though my door at barely 13 years old. Tall for his age and morbidly obese for his height, he needed to lose fifteen kilos and to change his shape so that he did not display 'man boobs' and not be teased at school in the changing rooms before and after sporting activities.

Because he was under 18 and also because I rarely see children, his mother had come with him. It became quickly apparent that she was displaying Kapassinian Emotional Sexuality (Behaviour traits as measured through the Emotional and Physical Behaviorist theories of George Kappas PhD.) As well as being withdrawn and awkward in her own physical presence, at her first interview she admitted to moving her son's behavior boundaries and consequence boundaries constantly due to guilt or poor time management. As a result it seemed that Peter had learned how to manipulate situations to his own benefit and within the confusion in what was and was not secure, had become a comfort eater.

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You May Need to Release Weight, But Do You Have The Motivation?



From Becoming Slender For Life by Roger Moore, PhD

There are many common roadblocks to weight release success and the biggest boulder of them all: a lack of true motivation.

I guess maybe I'll give this a try . . . I know I should lose weight . . . it would be better for my health. These are typical half-hearted reasons I hear to release weight. And then there are the reasons for failure like: "Oh, this it too hard." or "I'm too busy or stressed to do this now."

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EFT – Overcome Fear, Cravings, Obesity: CLIENT CASE STORY



by Andrew McCombe

From fear to sugar cravings to obesity and poor self-esteem to having her life back again.

The following is an example from a client, Mary (not her real name), prior to spending 30 minutes with me to rid herself of her (very common symptom) obesity.

"Andrew, I am 47 years old. I grew up as a confident and sociable person. I used to think of myself as a good-looking person. I was always comfortable with my sexuality and never seemed to have problems attracting the opposite sex. At my best, I used to weigh 55 kg and was always very active.

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EFT – Overcome Fear, Cravings, Obesity



by Andrew McCombe

Overcoming fear, eliminating cravings or losing weight is as simple as a tap on the head!

For many years as a sport scientist, personal trainer, life coach and EFT Practitioner, I have been working with clients who come to me for advice about how they can improve the performance and quality of their bodies; some want help to lose weight and tone up, others need to reduce their blood pressure and the effects of stress, some want to put on muscle and everyone wants to look and feel better. But, invariably I have found that it is never my client's physical bodies that require improvement in the first instance.

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Self-Calibration for Controlling Your Weight



by Don Pelles

How do you control your weight? Or do you control it?

I'm sure there are people out there who keep the same weight without ever consciously thinking about it; they automatically turn their metabolism and appetite up and down as needed, so their body mass remains the same without them ever having to think about it, week after week, year after year.

I am not one of these people. For about forty years I have maintained a healthy weight, even lowering it about twenty pounds over the last twenty years, but for me the process has always been conscious – I have to work at it. As a hypnotherapist I use hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) to help people reduce and control their weight, but right now I am speaking from experience that is personal as well as professional.

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Using Hypnotherapy to Clear the Metabolic Programming that Prevents Weight Loss



by David Quigley

If you are overweight you may be tired of everyone telling you that losing weight is just about eating less food and or consuming fewer calories. You may have tried every diet old and new. But, sometimes it seems that our bodies have found a way to turn a plate of lettuce into a pound of fat! Many people who attempt weight loss discover sooner or later their efforts are complicated by metabolic programming that keeps weight on the body regardless of how one changes their eating habits.

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Complementary and alternative therapies for weight loss.



Although many complementary therapies are promoted for the treatment of obesity, few are truly therapeutic. Evidence suggests that food containing diacylglycerol oil, acupuncture, and hypnosis are the only evidence-based complementary therapies for the treatment of obesity, and, at best, these should be used as adjuvants to the more conventional therapies of calorie restriction and exercise.

Prim Care. 2009 Jun;36(2):395-406. Steyer TE, Ables A. Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, 9228 Medical Plaza Drive, Charleston, SC 29406, USA. steyerte@musc.edu

Successful weight-loss maintenance in relation to method of weight loss.



This study examined the relation between method of weight loss and long-term maintenance among successful weight losers enrolled in a weight-loss maintenance trial. Participants were 186 adults (mean age = 51.6 +/- 10.7 years, mean BMI = 28.6 +/- 4.7 kg/m(2)) enrolled in the STOP Regain trial who had lost at least 10% of their body weight in the past 2 years using a very low-calorie diet (VLCD; n = 24), commercial program (n = 95), or self-guided approach (n = 67). Participants were randomized to a weight-maintenance intervention delivered face to face or over the internet or to a newsletter control condition, and followed for 18 months. At study entry, individuals who had used a VLCD had achieved a weight loss of 24% of their maximum weight within the past 2 years compared to 17% achieved by those who had used a commercial program or self-guided approach (P < 0.001). However, individuals who had used a VLCD regained significantly more weight than the other two groups and by 6 months, there were no significant differences in overall percent weight loss (i.e., initial weight loss and maintenance) between VLCD, commercial, and self-guided methods. In contrast, individuals who had used a self-guided approach maintained their weight losses from baseline through 18 months. The large initial weight losses achieved by individuals who had used a VLCD were not maintained over time, whereas individuals who had used a self-guided approach maintained their initial weight losses with the greatest success. The generalizability of these findings is limited by the sizeable weight losses achieved by study participants.

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Nov;16(11):2456-61. Marinilli Pinto A, Gorin AA, Raynor HA, Tate DF, Fava JL, Wing RR. Department of Psychology, Baruch College, The City University of New York, New York, New York, USA. Angela_Pinto@baruch.cuny.edu

Use of complementary and alternative therapies by overweight and obese adults.



Obesity is associated with higher health-care costs due, in part, to higher use of traditional health care. Few data are available on the relationship between obesity and the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). METHODS AND PROCEDURES: We analyzed data on CAM use from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) Alternative Medicine Supplement (n=31,044). We compared the use of CAM overall, within the past 12 months, between normal weight (BMI from 18 to <25), overweight (from 25 to <30), mildly obese (from 30 to <35), moderately obese (from 35 to <40), and extremely obese (>40) adults. For the primary analysis, our multivariable model was adjusted for sociodemographic factors, insurance status, medical conditions, and health behaviors. We performed additional analyses to explore the association of BMI and the use of seven CAM modalities. RESULTS: We found that adults with obesity have lower prevalence of use of yoga therapy, and similar prevalence of use of several CAM modalities, including relaxation techniques, natural herbs, massage, chiropractic medicine, tai chi, and acupuncture, compared to normal-weight individuals. After adjustment for sociodemographic factors, insurance status, medical conditions, and health behaviors, adults with obesity were generally less likely to use most individual CAM modalities, although the magnitude of these differences were quite modest in many cases. DISCUSSION: Even though adults with obesity have a greater illness burden and higher utilization of traditional medical care, adults with higher BMIs were no more likely to use each of the individual CAM therapies studied. Additional research is needed to improve our understanding of CAM use by adults with obesity.

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Jul;16(7):1610-5. Bertisch SM, Wee CC, McCarthy EP. Division for Research and Education in Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies, Osher Research Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts,

USA. Suzanne_Bertisch@hms.harvard.edu

Suggesting childhood food illness results in reduced eating behavior.



Previous studies have shown that suggesting childhood events can influence current self-reported attitudes towards future behavior. This study shows that suggesting a false past event (i.e. becoming sick on a specific food during childhood) can modify present behavior (i.e. reduce eating of the food). Participants screened to be normal eaters received or did not receive a suggestion that they likely became sick on spoiled peach yogurt as a child. One week later they took part in an allegedly separate marketing taste-test study, during which they rated preferences for a variety of crackers and yogurts. After completing ratings, participants were invited to freely eat the remaining food while completing questionnaires. Results revealed that the participants receiving the suggestion expressed lower preference specifically for peach yogurt, and ate less yogurt of all the types, while not differing in eating of crackers. These results demonstrate that suggesting false past events influences subsequent behavior.

Acta Psychol (Amst). 2008 Jun;128(2):304-9. Epub 2008 Apr 15. Scoboria A, Mazzoni G, Jarry JL. University of Windsor, Department of Psychology, Windsor, Ontario, Canada. scoboria@uwindsor.ca

Hypnotic alteration of body image in the eating disordered.



A driving force in an eating disorder like anorexia nervosa has been a distorted body image. The psychobiological dynamics of eating disorders have demonstrated significant hypnotic phenomena such as forms of dissociation, hallucination, time distortion and catalepsy, and therefore, pose hypnosis as a good fit for particular parts of treatment. Presented here are four hypnotic approaches designed to inspire the establishment of a reality based body image in the eating disordered individual. Conditional prerequisites for application of these interventions are described and case examples illustrate each approach. A discussion on some of the rationale for formulating these strategies is offered.

Am J Clin Hypn. 2008 Apr;50(4):301-10. Walsh BJ. affinity@bigplanet.com

Debra Mittler



Debra Mittler is an inspiring Hypnotherapist, speaker and life coach. She is certified by The International Hypnosis Federation, and a graduate of Hypnosis Motivation Institute the nation's first federally sanctioned college of Hypnotherapy. She is a member of the International Hypnosis Federation and The American Hypnosis Association.

Debra has individual clients for all areas of self improvement as well as teaches self hypnosis classes and speaks about anorexia and bulimia. She shares her personal journey, what she learned, and the steps she took to overcome this illness. She is the author of "Free yourself from anorexia and bulimia."

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Eating Disorders



by Debra Mittler CHt

Eating disorders are harmful eating habits that can get worse with time and without the best help. They can harm organs inside the body and, in severe cases, lead to death. The most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa; and bulimia nervosa. Some switch between the two. Anorexia and bulimia, usually affect females but the number of male anorexics is on the increase.

Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexics deprive themselves of food (and sometimes liquids), leading to weight loss and usually a variety of physical problems. Starving yourself on purpose, can devastate your body and life. Most anorexics have an obsessive fear of weight gain and being fat, although this is not always the case. Bulimia Nervosa? Bulimics eat large amounts of food all at once [bingeing] and then purging [fasting, vomiting, laxatives, diet pills, diuretics, over-exercise]. They may attempt to control weight but may not always fear weight gain. Some purge without binging, which is referred to as "purging disorder."

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Strategies, How You Decide What You Do



Have you ever seen someone at a restaurant, trying to decide what they are going to order? They may look up, pause, look down, lick their lips, touch their stomach, then order something; or they may repeat the options to themselves, (in their heads, or some times out loud, "a quarter pounder with cheese, hum"). They may even ask someone else, "What's good?" (Hoping your tastes are similar). What ever they do, they are running some type of Strategy, and most, if not all, of it is preconscious. We are not aware of how we do it. We just do it.

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Abstracts of Studies on Hypnotherapy and Weight Reduction



By Judith E. Pearson, Ph.D.

Scientific research shows hypnotherapy to be effective for weight reduction when used in conjunction with behavioral therapy. Studies recommend that effective hypnotherapy programs for weight control consist of at least six sessions of group or individual hypnotherapy. This article summarizes representative studies conducted between 1985 and 1998 on hypnosis for weight control. The abstracts are presented in alphabetical order, according to the last name of the lead author.

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Hypnotizability, eating behaviors, attitudes, and concerns: a literature survey.



The literature suggests that aspects of hypnotizability may be involved in the etiology and maintenance of self-defeating eating. However, interpretation of the published research findings has been complicated by the use of instruments that appear to have measured different or, at best, only related facets of the underlying constructs. This article reports relationships between weight, shape, dietary concerns, hypnotizability, dissociative capacity, and fantasy proneness. Implications for a key role for hypnosis in the treatment of eating behaviors, attitudes, and concerns are discussed.

Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Losing it: Dateline ultimate diet challenge



Six alumni pursue different diets before High School reunion

By John Larson NBC News - Updated: 4:42 p.m. ET Jan. 5, 2004

** This submission is edited to focus on Marc's journey during this time and how hypnotism was effective. If you made a New Year's resolution to lose weight and already you've blown it, here is some inspiration to help get you back on track. A year ago, we met six members of the class of 1978, all wanting to shed pounds before their 25th high school reunion this past fall. We offered to help them. Each was given a radically different weight loss plan.

Our volunteers could pick one of six weight loss methods -- from Atkins, Weight Watchers or SlimFast to intense exercise, having your own famous weight loss guru -- even hypnotism.

For the Dateline Diet Challenge, the ladies man back in high school, Marc Merlis chose hypnotism. When Marc's wife saw Dateline's letter she quickly picked up the phone and turned in her husband. And for good reason. His wife is worried. Marc is a baker by trade with a weakness for food. His weight is serious problem. His father died of heart disease at 50 and now Marc's cholesterol and blood pressure are dangerously high. So Marc has agreed to let a hypnotherapist help him focus on his weight and more importantly, his health.

Marc: "I remember how I felt when my father died. I was 20, you know? I would hate to have my kids go through that." Marc tips the scales at 245. His task is even greater, to lose 50 pounds. During his first hour-long session with Boston hypnotherapist Tom Nicoli, he received suggestions on healthy eating and lifestyle. The session left Marc reeling.

Marc: "And the strangest thing, I see this big belly (laughs) the belly button was a big red hole with fire coming out of it."

Don't laugh. Suddenly Marc started exercising and eating well. Three weeks later the hypnotist told Marc everything he'd learned will be reinforced by the color red. Tom Nicoli: "Brake lights, tail lights, lipstick, fingernail polish, clothing. Anytime you see the color red consciously or unconsciously."

Two months in, the man who originally couldn't get into his varsity jacket, now can't be held back. Marc was steadily working with a fitness trainer and he was religiously listening to his tapes of his hypnotist. After three months under hypnosis, his wife had a nickname for him. Incredibly, "droopy drawers" had lost the most so far, a staggering 40 pounds.

Smoking Success: That's when droopy's wife got in on the action. She went to Nicoli to quit smoking. And guess what? Smoke free, fat free. Five months in, for the Merlis's things couldn't be better. And at their son's bar mitzvah this May, lifting Marc was a piece of cake.

In late June, there was trouble in hypnosis paradise. It had been six months since Marc had seen the hypnotist. He'd blown off exercise, stopped listening to his tapes and now he was sneaking food and lying about it. By August he'd gained back 15 of the 40 pounds he'd lost. There was only one thing left to do: go back to the hypnotist, who had a lot to say. After a 30-minute tune-up, presto, Marc was back at the gym, listening to tapes and eating healthy again.

When we caught up with everyone in September, Marc was once again doing great.

Reunion time October 2003, 10 months into the diet challenge and 25 years since they graduated high school, the night finally arrived. Our ladies man, Marc Merlis, using hypnotism had a total loss of 35 pounds.

Tom Nololi, BCH, CI is a regular contributor. You can visit him at www.TomNicoli.com

Clear Your Negative Body Image



By Carol Tuttle, Master Energy Therapist and the author of the best-selling book, Remembering Wholeness: A Personal Handbook for Thriving in the 21st Century

What do you think and believe about your body? Do you look in the mirror with disgust? Are you dissatisfied with your weight and body shape? This technique will help you clear the negative mental programming you have about your body, which will free your body up to achieve greater results faster and in less time.

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Treatment of binge eating with automatic word processing and self-hypnosis



Binge eating frequently is related to emotional stress and mood problems. In this report, we describe a 16-year-old boy who utilized automatic word processing (AWP) and self-hypnosis techniques in treatment of his binge eating, and associated anxiety, insomnia, migraine headaches, nausea, and stomachaches. He was able to reduce his anxiety by gaining an understanding that it originated as a result of fear of failure. He developed a new cognitive strategy through AWP, after which his binge eating resolved and his other symptoms improved with the aid of self-hypnosis. Thus, AWP may have helped achieve resolution of his binge eating by uncovering the underlying psychological causes of his symptoms, and self-hypnosis may have given him a tool to implement a desired change in his behavior.

Department of Pediatrics, State University of New York Upstate Medical University, 750 E. Adams St., Syracuse, NY 13210, USA. anbarr@upstate.edu

False beliefs about fattening foods can have healthy consequences



We suggested to 228 subjects in two experiments that, as children, they had had negative experiences with a fattening food. An additional 107 subjects received no such suggestion and served as controls. In Experiment 1, a minority of subjects came to believe that they had felt ill after eating strawberry ice cream as children, and these subjects were more likely to indicate not wanting to eat strawberry ice cream now. In contrast, we were unable to obtain these effects when the critical item was a more commonly eaten treat (chocolate chip cookie). In Experiment 2, we replicated and extended the strawberry ice cream results. Two different ways of processing the false suggestion succeeded in planting the false belief and producing avoidance of the food. These findings show that it is possible to convince people that, as children, they experienced a negative event involving a fattening food and that this false belief results in avoidance of that food in adulthood. More broadly, these results indicate that we can, through suggestion, manipulate nutritional selection and possibly even improve health.

University of Washington and Kwantlen University College, Department of Psychology, Box 351525, Seattle, WA 98195-1525, USA.

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