Hypno-Band therapy promises to help patients lose weight using the power of the mind.
Using a special hypnosis technique, therapist Andrea Crouch has been working with client Diane Marie to help her stop overeating.
"Eat only the appropriate amounts for the small stomach you now have…" says Crouch.
This is a demonstration of Hypno-band.
On her headset, Diane hears operating room noises.
Meanwhile she visualizes having an actual band like this one placed around her stomach.
"I'm walking through the steps of what's going on in that environment…” says Crouch.
“Now your doctor is speaking to you. Now the doctor is putting on the band. Now you are starting to feel a slight tightness in the stomach area."
"I had not heard of this." Says Dr. Keith Kim, a bariatric surgeon.
At a gastric band conference in Miami Beach, surgeons are talking about the real thing.
In the U.S., band procedures have become more popular than gastric bypass.
Dr. Kim isn’t sure about Hypno-band.
"If we're aiming for lifelong control of obesity and the diseases associated with it, it's hard for me to believe that hypnotherapy can be sustained."
It's only been three months for Diane Marie, so that's not long term, but at this point she's a believer and feels as if an actual band is in place.
"I can actually feel that…” says Marie. “It's like a very small part of my stomach and when that's full there's nowhere else to put it."
She's been eating 6 smaller, healthier meals a day and so far, according to Marie, she’s lost 21 pounds.
Hypno-band is 4 to 8 sessions.
The cost ranges from 5-hundred to 1-thousand dollars.
Actual gastric banding is more than 12-thousand dollars, but often covered by insurance.
Andrea crouch believes in most cases it's more than just about stomach size, she also focuses on emotional eating.
"Hypno-band is only successful if you use trigger and angers that are going to remind the client that they have to pay attention to how they're also feeling because I'm angry, upset, or emotional I don't know how to handle that what am I going to do? I'm going to continue to eat and say forget the band."
Whether it's surgery or simulation, doctors and therapists agree, the band is just a tool.
It usually doesn't work alone without nutrition advice and counseling.