(This blog was originally posted on February 13, 2015)
|Photo by Rick Hustead|
When Bill Maher asked when was the last time your doctor asked you what you eat on the February 6, 2015 episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, I started to wonder the same thing. Depending on what the blood-test results show, a lecture about the dangers of high cholesterol and how certain foods affect this level may be forthcoming. They also want to know if and how much I exercise each week; presumably that is because exercise is an easily quantifiable and relatively benign question to ask. Ditto for getting the stats about daily alcohol consumption (basically, none). But I honestly could not remember any time a physician or even a nurse (RN or LVN) asked me what I actually eat on a regular basis versus offering advice about what to avoid eating, altogether.
However, one of the first things I do ask my hypnotherapy clients is about their diet. This is true whether the person wants to increase his or her self-confidence, improve a golf swing or lose weight. I want to find out what they eat and even when they eat. I want to know these details because nutrition plays a huge role in how we perceive and respond to events in our environment.
Hypnosis Motivation Institute founder John Kappas, Ph.D., observed that low blood-sugar levels can exacerbate or even cause a person’s presenting problem (behavior or belief). For example, a sudden drop in blood sugar can trigger physical symptoms such as shaking, light-headedness and feeling tired, or even psychological symptoms such as depression, paranoia, irritability and memory problems. Furthermore, Dr. Kappas found an association between a person’s low blood-sugar levels and fluctuating suggestibility with the onset of a phobic response. (This fluctuation in suggestibility literally becomes obvious in our handwriting: lines of writing literally become “wavy” when the person is hungry and blood-sugar level is lower).
Not only do I ask my clients about their food choices and eating patterns, I describe how and why what they ingest (and imbibe) can affect their behavior. In addition, I explain how eating nutritious meals that contain protein prevents the sudden drop in blood-sugar level that can contribute to those physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety. If and when necessary, I will refer a client for a further medical and/or psychological evaluation if the individual describes dysfunctional eating behaviors (e.g., bingeing/purging, starvation) or beliefs about food or nutrition that are out of scope of my professional expertise.
Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.