You have the power to do amazing things with your mind – including lose weight. This is the implication behind a story recently that a woman went from a Size 18 to a Size 8 in six months through the power of hypnosis. The sensationalist nature of the story’s headline implies that it was exclusively to do with the fact that she was hypnotised into believing she had a gastric band fitted: however on closer analysis it transpires that this was only one of a number of hypnotic techniques which were employed during her course of therapy, which amounted to four hour long sessions in the space of a month. (This fits in with my own experience in having conversations with hypnotherapists).
However, as remarkable as this sounds, this is not the most amazing piece of evidence to demonstrate the power of the mind of which I am cognizant. If you think about it – the hypnotherapy caused the lady in question to alter her behaviour – it was her new behaviour over the ensuing six months which caused her weight loss. She could, theoretically, have chosen to alter her behaviour voluntarily in which case the results would have been the same, but as it happens she felt she needed the hypnotherapy to help her. It would have been absurd to think that the hypnotherapy could have somehow caused the weight loss without effort on her part … or would it?
There has been at least one study in which test subjects were divided into three groups. The first undertook a full-body work out everyday for a month. The second was told to visualise undertaking a full-body workout from the comfort of their armchairs everyday for a month. The third was a control group. The results were as follows:
- At the end of the month, the members of the first group all displayed increased muscle-tone to a certain extent.
- Meanwhile, the members of the second group also displayed increased muscle-tone, but only half that of the first group.
- There was little or no change in muscle tone in the control group.
I am not aware if the experiment has been replicated: I will try to provide full citations at a later date.
You will therefore see that the power of the mind by itself can have great potential to alter health and fitness for the better. However, the counter-argument is that whilst mind-power on its own may work, it is not as effective as mind-power combined with physical activity. (Another interpretation is that 50% of any gains made in actual bodybuilding are due to psychological causes).