Hypnosis has been around for a long time. In fact, papyrus has been found that the Egyptians wrote about it on. The man that is credited the most in “modern times” is Franz Anton Mesmer. Here is more information if you want to dig deeper about him:
With that being said, we are working on carbohydrate craving and how to stop that.
NOTE: These methods can be used for any type of behavior modification that you want to use them for. Wherever you see carbs, just substitute your problem and it should work well.
A surprising number of people are able to be hypnotized. Some believe over 90%. As with anything, practice and persistence are keys to success. Everyone should be able to do at least part of these.
The Dr. Bernstein’s technique turbo-charged:
This is best practiced in the privacy of your home away from others at first. Sit comfortably and loosed any restrictive clothing (ties, shoes, belts, etc.) The key here is to get as comfortable as possible. Even some music playing softly in the background is OK. Pick a time when you won’t be interrupted, if possible. You need to make sure that you are awake and refreshed. Being half asleep won’t help. Consuming some type of fatty food 3-4 hours before trying this may help to feed your mind and make it more alert. Concentrate on your breathing for a moment. Try to breathe out through your mouth and in through your nose. As you do picture white light or pure energy entering your body. As you exhale, see blackness or negative energy leaving. This technique is from Hatha Yoga and works very well to energize you and increase your well being. After a few of these cleansing breaths you can go to the next step. As your body learns this procedure it will automatically do all these things naturally without your having to think about it. For now, while we are learning how to do this, we will do exactly what Dr. B suggested. Later on, I will show you easier ways that are less intrusive or noticeable that can be done so easily or quickly, you can be walking in a store, at a traffic light, or at your office desk, watching the kids, etc.. The reason we don’t start out that way is you have to first train your body to respond to you.
OK, next after breathing, roll your eyes up towards your eyebrows, then close them, and return them to normal. This is a trigger that tells your body you are getting ready to enter a trance state. If you are in public, you can close your eyes first, then roll them for a moment and return them to normal. Clear your mind of any problems that are on-going. Picture your arm as a balloon that gets lighter and lighter and floats up on it’s own accord. If you are in public, you can put your hand to your forehead like you are in deep contemplation about something. That way, no one around you has to know what you are doing. Either technique will work. You then begin to speak to yourself in your mind. Talk gently and speak as if you are speaking to a little child. Do not scold, inform. Such as this. “I am so sorry for the damage I have caused and the danger I have put you in from these carbohydrate foods. We cannot eat them. They will eventually kill us if we continue eating them. I need your help to make me strong so we can be safe. If I see something that starts a craving and it is a bad food for us, I will say, “That is POISON”. You will then know that even though it has a pretty package, or the pictures on the box look really good, or even if the smell makes you want it, that it would hurt you to eat it. I care about you and want the best for you. I need your help to keep me away from foods that will harm us.” You get the idea. Doesn’t have to be be long or involved. Figure out your own words. We call this getting in touch with the inner child. You will know when you have beat the craving and can then come out of the trance. You want to exit with, “I am now coming back up to consciousness and I feel calmer and more rested and energized.” Open your eyes and move your arm back down and you are done. You can then return to whatever you were doing before the craving began. As you reinforce this you will find that you will automatically enter into the trance state. It will become easier and easier.
Another way to enter a trance state:
In your minds’ eye you are now on a small island. The air is clear and the sky is a beautiful blue. The weather could not be better. It is neither too hot or too cold. You can hear birds softly whistling and singing off in the distance and you can hear the water making a soft rippling noise as it is divided and travels on each side of the little island. You feel at peace and completely safe. You cannot believe the luck at finding a rock shaped perfectly so that you can sit and comfortably lean back on it. When ready, no hurries and no worries, you begin to examine the choices you have made in your life that has gotten you here. Examine without any pain or guilt, just as an observer. When you have briefly examined the past, start to think about what you would like to do; lower your blood sugar or your weight, etc. Whatever you can do that will increase your quality of life. After you have pondered on that for a moment, think of what you would like to say to your “inner child”. Visualize a smaller you sitting next to you. Tell them that you love them and want the best for them. That you sometimes are weak and need their help to be strong enough to make the correct choices. That you do not blame them or yourself for your situation. Just that you need their help in being stronger. After giving your “inner self” a few positive reinforcing comments, you can relax for a bit After going there a few times in your mind, it will become easier and easier. If you are doing this correctly your inner child will never speak to you, just listen. To finish the session, you then just picture your island fading away as you become aware of your surroundings again. This is a wonderful relaxation technique to use when you are by yourself.
But what about being in public? And doing things that make you extremely nervous?
The Silva Mind Control Method
Jose Silva was deathly afraid to speak to large groups. Many call that stage fright. All Jose knew was that he would have a panic attack, his hands would sweat, and his knees would become like water when he got ready to speak. So he developed a trigger. Now, I spoke briefly about triggers in the first section. What a trigger does is to immediately put you into a light trance state. Using Dr. B’s “arm straight out” or ” hand touching the face” trigger is much too observable in my opinion. Mr. Silva knew of others techniques, but none that were truly ambiguous so that people around him wouldn’t notice. The trigger he finally figured out was to use the non dominant hand, place the thumb right at the first joint of the first finger.
A little practice with this trigger will give you the ability to engage it anywhere at any time. Many public speakers have used this technique when behind the podium without anyone ever knowing. Practicing at home will make this much easier to use when out in public. Say you are walking through the local grocery and you see a colorful display of candy. You can immediately use your trigger and reinforce the fact that to you, that food is poison. This is a very valuable tool when out in public.
The next one is almost the same as the little island. It differs in the fact that you are not trying to achieve relaxation, you are actually trying to cause a danger/revulsion reaction. Living with a non diabetic wife, I find this the quickest, easiest, and most effective of all. When cakes, candies, or other poisonous sweets are right there in front of me in the kitchen, as I am looking the box or package I picture a POISON sign with a skull and crossbones over the top of it.
With a little practice you will be able to do this with very little effort. You may put yourself in trace and reinforce to yourself that the skull and crossbones is poison to you and will hurt your body. Over time your body will learn to recognize this as danger and will stop the craving immediately.
Another technique that can be used by itself or incorporated into the other procedures is to internally speak to yourself. When you walk down that candy isle tell yourself, “This is poison and it will eventually kill me if I eat it.” After your body gets used to it, just saying, “POISON” while looking at the item will be enough to curb your craving.
And last but not least, for those of you that are triggered by smells (fresh bread, etc.), you may be able to modify that by using a substitute smell. For example, you could use a scent that you dislike, such as that tube of vapo rub inhaler in your pocket. Or it could be anything. Easiest would be to have something easily put in your pocket. Ammonia could be put on a cotton ball and placed in a baggie. You could begin the reprogramming process at home, telling your self bread is bad for you and that it is poison to your body. Each time you tell yourself this, take a brief whiff of the offending odor. Graduation would be then to go to a store bakery and reinforce it several times by smelling the bread odor, then smelling the offending odor. Eventually, after practice every time you smell bread you will immediately smell the ammonia or whatever else you are using and will lose the craving. It’s just how the mind works.
Two additional methods were offered from the DTA group. Both are very goos and may help you!
Debbie uses aroma therapy. She uses lemon and eucalyptus oil under her nose and on her wrist so she confuses herself and does not want snack foods.
Tammy suggests wearing a rubber band on your wrist. When you are tempted you snap the rubber band on the inside of your wrist. This will cause an association with the food and pain. I associate food with pain and for me it is very real pain. I consider most food to be poison to my body and this is a huge help to me. I can fry chicken (traditional) and make biscuits and gravy for my family and not even want to touch it.
I’m sure there are more techniques that can be learned and I hope I have opened the door to some tools to stop your cravings. The members and I have completed a de-programming video that we feel is very powerful. We have taken pictures of foods that we shouldn’t eat and have superimposed poison warnings, skull and crossbones, etc. over the pictures in the video. It then transitions to actual diabetic complication pictures. CAUTION: Some of these are very graphic and 100% real. You will be able to view the video as much as you need on You Tube. Here is the link. Many thanks to everyone that was involved in making this.
Good luck and stay strong! Someday we will have a cure, but until then we have each other!