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April 09, 1985

J ean, who asked that her last name not be published, suffered an auto accident 17 months ago. Her thyroid gland was damaged, sending her weight from 135 pounds to 245.

"With a problem such as mine," she said, "you burn nothing up. I tried every diet imaginable and still gained weight. Out of frustration, out of desperation, I turned to hypnosis three months ago. I've lost 17 pounds and couldn't be happier. To me, it's amazing. It turned my attitude around, made me look at things differently. Before, I could go to Marie Callender's and eat a piece of pie as an antidote for feeling depressed. After hypnosis, I didn't need the pie.

"It's amazing how it works, how subtle it is. I always thought you would enter a deep sleep. You don't. You're in a sleep-like state. You feel, hear and see everything around you. All your senses are awake.

"It's put me in touch with many of the things I hid from earlier in life--being molested as a youngster, being raped after marriage. Those I had closed out. I think they played a role in overeating after the accident. You know, you cry a lot when you're hypnotized. You're bringing out things that hurt but getting rid of them. It's helped in a lot of ways besides food. It's helped a tremendous amount there. Now I don't eat like a pig--my behavior is regulated--and I'm losing weight, even though I still have the gland problem."

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