Wednesday, May 10, 2017

What Do You Eat?

(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
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