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Weight Loss, Hypertension, and Alternative Therapies

Hypnosis

Hypnosis isn't a proven weight loss solution on its own, but it may help you stick with other things you're doing, like following the diet and exercise plan your doctor recommends.

If you want to try it, go to a licensed hypnotherapist and let them know you want to work on weight loss and making better food choices. You won't be asleep when you're hypnotized. It's a "highly relaxed state," according to the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.

Fain says hypnosis has worked for many of her clients' stress and weight-related goals. "It gives them better access to their feelings, thoughts, memories, and problem-solving abilities," she says. "With these enhanced abilities, change often happens more quickly and easily."

Biofeedback

You can use biofeedback to help manage blood pressure and stress, but it's not a proven tool for weight loss.

There are at-home biofeedback monitors for your computer. "These kinds of tools allow you to explore thinking patterns, thoughts, feelings and even triggers," Perlman says. "If you understand the patterns, you can make more productive, healthy decisions."

Many patterns are deep-seated, he says, and need more extensive exploration beyond biofeedback. The goal? "It’s discovering the best ways to deal with stress individually, and food’s role in managing stress," Perlman says.

Acupuncture and Acupressure

These traditional Chinese medicine techniques harness energy, called chi. To do acupuncture, specialists insert very thin needles on certain points on the body for a short time. Acupressure uses gentle pressure, but not needles, on the same points.

Both techniques can help you relax and manage stress, which is good for your blood pressure. There's not a lot of research on these methods for weight loss, and the findings have been mixed.

A small study published in 2013 showed that ear acupuncture may help with weight loss, but it's not clear why. Other findings have been mixed. You can expect that you'd still need to diet and exercise to lose weight.

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Reviewed on August 01, 2014

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