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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Hypnosis Supports Desire for Healthy Foods

By Michelle DeStefano, L.Ac, CCH

Many people know the value of choosing healthy foods over junk food, yet many seem to have a hard time sticking with healthier choices. This may not be all your fault.

According to a 2017 article published by McGill University, a study conducted by the Scripps Research Institute on rats showed that when the rats ate fatty foods such as sausage, bacon and cheesecake, they derived great pleasure from the consumption of these foods, as compared to eating nutritionally balanced “rat chow.” Electrodes on the brains of the rats revealed the pumping of dopamine—a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure. In order to keep the dopamine coming, the rats were compelled to eat more of the junk food. It is not on a conscious level.

For many complementary medical practitioners, this is not new information. It has been widely known about the “addictive” aspects of “comfort foods” for decades. It is not enough to simply stop eating the junk food. Willpower may not be enough—so what to do?

Foods such as cookies, burgers, fries and ice-cream are dopamine releasers. However, hypnosis works directly with the subconscious mind to aid a person into feeling rewarded with the healthier choices. A combination (depending on the client) of suggestions for not finding junk foods tasty, and suggestions for how good it feels to eat foods that support health, can be the key to unlock this subconscious addiction. Suggestions may also include a healthy balance between “comfort” foods and healthier choices so that the client can stay healthy without feeling deprived.

So if you find yourself wanting to reach for the healthier choices but need a little help, consult your local hypnotist. See how fast this situation can improve.

Michelle DeStefano is double-certified in hypnosis and is a member of both the National Guild of Hypnotists and the American Hypnosis Association. She is also a licensed acupuncturist and her specialty is stress reduction and pain management. For more information, call 301-744-0200 or visit

DeStefano will be holding a free webinar that explains many of the questions people have about hypnosis on April 30 at 7 pm. Participants will have the opportunity to ask their own questions as well. To register for the Natural Awakenings, D.C.-sponsored webinar visit 

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