OBESE and overweight patients here are seeking a new form of hypnotherapy as an alternative to drastic gastric band surgery.
Gastric band hypnotherapy has taken off, according to industry experts, because it tricks the body into thinking that a gastric band has been inserted into the patient.
Paul McCabe, a hypnotist on Wicklow Street, Dublin, says the therapy can help clients lose around one pound per week.
"In the last 12 months it's got bigger. It's hypnosis, and when you're in that state of mind, you're very physically and mentally relaxed and things I get the client to imagine become much more real and the client has a very vivid imagining.
"It really depends on the weight that the client is at. If they've four or five stone to lose, they generally want all the help they can have."
Aisling Holly, from the Hospital Group, which carries out gastric band surgeries, said she would recommend gastric band hypnotherapy for those who have a BMI under 35, and who therefore would not usually qualify for a gastric band op.
But she added: "You've always got to be sceptical when there's no evidence. Most patients that present themselves to hospital have a long history of an eating disorder, so you're dealing with behavioural issues."