IF ALL fatty treats tasted like dog poo, it might solve a lot of weight watchers’ problems.
This is why in the third and final session of Dartford-based hypnotherapist Gareth Sammer’s gastric band hypnosis programme, you are encouraged to think of that Mars Bar tasting exactly like the mess Fido just left on the pavement.
The thought aims to help reinforce the lessons of stage one when Gareth tries to change your perception of food.
After that comes the ‘operation’ itself, for which the 33-year-old uses a water bottle to demonstrate what actually happens when a rubber band is fastened around the top of your stomach.
With the subconscious mind hopefully convinced your gut has been shackled, it is now time to envisage the new, slimmed-down you in session three.
Former Coca-Cola customer services worker Gareth compares it to a revision session.
He said: "It is about moving on from the old image you have of yourself to that new image you want in future."
To achieve this, a good portion of my final hour in the chair at Gareth’s Invicta Road home is spent with a pair of virtual mirrors: one ancient and decrepit shows the old me, while the shiny new one reflects the person I’ve always wanted to be.
Gareth encourages clients to turn the cobweb-covered one round so they can’t even see their former overweight incarnations anymore and jump in to the other mirror to grasp that svelte new self.
For 20 stone patients not overly familiar with the concept of fruit, you are presented with the image of yourself gorging on an orange and "throwing back your head with laughter" it is so good.
I may not have been in the target market for this treatment but I definitely had a strange feeling in my stomach after the second and third sessions as if I was full and did not want to eat again any time soon.
For obese clients, some of whom can’t even imagine putting on a swimsuit in front of other people, I can see how a bet on hypnosis might be worth it.
Contact Gareth Sammer on 07929 118250, via firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit uk-psychotherapy.com