I’ve always seen this as a kind of “holy grail” of the mind’s potential control over the body. In today’s society, who wouldn’t want to program their mind for weight loss?
The Wall Street Journal recently featured a study that examined this very thing. Here is an excerpt(provided by Frontal Cortex):
Psychology researcher Ellen Langer of Harvard University has long been intrigued by mind-over-body effects. She and student Alia Crum therefore invited 84 women, ages 18 to 55 years old, who worked as housekeepers at seven Boston hotels, to participate in a study. Those in four hotels were told that their regular work was good exercise and met the guidelines for a healthy, active lifestyle. After all, the women cleaned about 15 rooms a day, taking 20 to 30 minutes for each, so they did get a bit of a workout. Those in the other three hotels were told nothing.
Questionnaires established that the actual amount of work the women did, at work as well as off duty, didn’t change over the four weeks of the study. Yet the so-called informed group told the scientists that their life was healthier. They had taken to heart the information about the fitness value of stripping beds and scrubbing bathrooms.
More surprising, the women in the informed group lost an average of two pounds, saw their systolic blood pressure (the first number) drop 10%, lost about 0.5% of their body fat, and reduced their body-mass index by .35 of a point. The other women showed no such changes.
True, these weren’t “I dropped 20 pounds in a month!!” results. But considering that the women made no changes in how they lived or ate (the informed group didn’t start dieting, for instance), it was nothing to sneeze at. The only change for the women who reaped these benefits was in their heads: They now believed that their cleaning work was a fitness routine.
“If you can put the mind in a healthy place, you can have dramatic physiological consequences,” says Prof. Langer, whose study will appear in the February issue of Psychological Science.
I’ve actually talked to hundreds of people who have used self-hypnosis or visualization techniques to augment their fitness routine, and most report great success.
This reminds me of an article by Hilda Silva Rubio, which luckily I was able to find. Hilda experimented with various self-help techniques meant to completely replace her diet. Here is an excerpt from her story:
Dr. Bruce Lipton speaks often about how our thoughts dictate our lives. This we have known for eons and yet we continue with negative programming. By this I mean, what is the one main thing that we say when we see a big, luscious piece of creamy cheesecake dripping with your favorite topping? Do you say, “If I eat all of that giant piece of mouth watering pie conceived by a heavenly beings, I will stay at the weight I am at?” NO! We are in the habit of saying, “If I even look at that cheese cake I will gain weight instantly!”
Why do we do this to ourselves?
And the results!
I ordered all that I wanted including the cheesecake but before I ate I closed my eyes, took a deep cleansing breath and said the following: “This food will help me reduce in weight for better health and my mind and body will be satisfied.” That night before going to bed I went to level and used the mirror of the mind technique. In the blue frame I saw myself standing on a scale and it read 263. I saw a big belly with “wide load” hips and I saw the size label of my blouse, which read 4x and the size label of my pants that read 26W. I had a sad unhappy face. I then moved over to the white frame and saw myself standing on the scale and it read 220! The labels on my blouse, were now 2x and my pants were 20W! I was smiling. The next night I put all my energy on only the white frame. DO NOT USE THE BLUE FRAME AGAIN TILL YOU REACH THIS FIRST SHORT TERM GOAL. I continued to say this affirmation with everything that I ate and drank. After 2 months I had not gained weight and I then began to shed the pounds the day after the second month was completed.
I have gone from a size 4x blouse to an 18-20 and from a size 26 pant to a 14 in a little over two years! Yes the reduction is slow compared to other diets but it has stayed off. It is less of a shock to the system, it is easy and I feel great!