I am a 17 year old and have been looking for a way to lose weight for a long time since people make fun of me. I came across the option of hypnosis. It seems really easy and a great option for me, but I have also become very interested in my Jewish roots lately and have heard that hypnosis is against Judaism. Is this true and if so, why?
No, it’s not necessarily so.
First of all, I assume that you are considering hypnosis because you have already tried “traditional” means of weight loss, such as diet, exercise and – most importantly – checking with your physician to make sure that the extra weight is not due to a health issue. If all else checks out, then hypnosis could be an option but it is not recommended in general.
Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, one of greatest Jewish authorities in recent history, discusses the topic of hypnotism in his famous responsa. After consulting a number of hypnotists he wrote that hypnotism is a legitimate technique used to help patients overcome various problems. He does, however, warn that a person seeking this kind of therapy must consult a Jewish, God-fearing practitioner. He then adds that although he cannot find any grounds for forbidding hypnotism, it is self-degrading for a person to allow himself to fall into such a trance. He therefore maintains that one should resort to this kind of therapy only if he indeed requires it, and not just for the experience.
I wish you much happiness and success in losing weight and in all that you do. Please feel free to write again anytime and I really hope that no matter what happens you will always feel good about the way you are, no matter what you weigh or how you look!