Every so often I have a client who needs help with chocolate. Several of them were eating one to two pounds of chocolate a day!
It is first necessary for the hypnotherapist to find out if the client needs to resolve emotional issues or associations to chocolate to completely be free of the cravings for good. For example, chocolate may be used like a drug to reduce stress or to avoid unpleasant emotions. In those cases a simple technique is used to ask the client's unconscious mind to create new choices for accomplishing the goals of eating chocolate, such as reducing stress or resolving unpleasant emotions. The client's unconscious mind, while in hypnosis, will create surprisingly healthy, wise, and effective choices for the person. Once those issues are taken care of, it is a simple matter to eliminate the cravings completely.
Since every thought that we have is expressed as a mental image, sound or word, physical sensation, taste, or smell, it was actually pretty easy for my clients to quickly get rid of any lingering chocolate cravings.
Usually, when someone has a craving or compulsion to eat particular foods like chocolate, they imagine it in a very enticing way. By changing the quality of mental representation slightly, its possible to eliminate the cravings and still enjoy the occasional indulgence. For someone who have been struggling with cravings that may seem impossible, but I've helped many people do just that.
It's common for people who crave chocolate to imagine the flavor and mouth feel of their favorite chocolate candy. If they simply change the imagined mouth feel to the texture of a baked potato the cravings disappear, and they then experience having control of their desire in a new way. It only takes a little mental rehearsal to shift the representation permanently.
I asked one client if her mental image of chocolate was life size, bigger, or smaller. She said it was bigger. And, when I had her shrink it to life size chocolate suddenly became "no big deal". Another choice is to make chocolate undesirable by associating it with an unpleasant food's taste. Again, it only takes a few moments of practice to make the new thoughts permanent. People and cats learn quickly. My Siamese cat used to love to eat popcorn, until one day he got to a hot kernel before I could stop him. After that, he wouldn't touch popcorn again.
By Wesley Anderson Doctor of Clinical Hypnotherapy
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