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Posted on Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 9:15 a.m.

Former Ann Arbor resident to be featured on ABC's Nightline for hypnotic weight loss techniques

By Danny Shaw

This story has been updated to reflect timing changes.

A former Ann Arbor resident is gaining national attention for her unique weight loss approach and will be highlighted in an episode of ABC’s Nightline next week.

Hypnotherapist Rena Greenberg said her hypnotherapy process subconsciously alters eating habits and “shrinks” the stomach of her patients - gastric bypass surgery using the power of the mind.


Rena Greenberg

Courtesy photo

“What I do is simulate the surgery through four hypnotherapy sessions,” Greenberg said. “People say they just can’t eat as much as before. That’s the amazing power of the mind. They feel like they did the surgery.”

Nightline members contacted her in January to do a segment about her gastric bypass hypnotherapy techniques, which airs Thursday, after the local news, at 11:35 p.m.

Gastric bypass surgery is performed in a variety of ways to make a person’s stomach physically smaller, usually by sectioning off the stomach with bands or staples.

Greenberg uses a series of suggestions while the patient is in a relaxed, hypnotic state to make the patient’s subconscious believe the stomach has been reduced in size, leading to less eating and weight loss.

“It's really exciting because people respond beautifully,” she said. “The subconscious mind has the ability to accept the suggestions that their stomach is smaller. It help prevents people from using bariatric surgery.”

She first used the process in 2010 and more than two dozen people have been helped, said Greenberg, who now lives in Florida. She said the process is adapted from European hypnotherapy techniques.

Greenberg hosts hypnotherapy weight-loss seminars in hospitals across the country. She said more than 100,000 people have attended her sessions at 75 hospitals in the past two decades. She said her relaxation and hypnosis techniques allow the patient’s subconscious to be more open to suggestions she makes, such as choosing healthy food, working out more and stopping over-eating.

"The suggestions I give them are things like portion control, that they prefer healthy food, and eat only when physically hungry. It's really natural," Greenberg said about her process. "We rewrite the programming in the subconscious level to be less attracted to unhealthy food and behaviors."

For readers interested in Greenberg’s hypnotherapy sessions, she will be coming to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor on March 24 from 1 to 3 p.m. The first 45 minutes is free and for $79.99 attendees can participate in a hypnosis session.

For more information about the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital session and the gastric bypass hypnosis surgery, visit her website.



Tue, Mar 6, 2012 : 4:06 p.m.

Wow! Such simplicity in all these negative comments! The mind is our most powerful tool!!! This is such a wonderful way to tap into that strength, many dont realize they have! Not to mention so natural, no drugs!! no surgeons!! I do speak from experience! Hypnosis has worked for me!!!!! I went to Rena wanting to achieve something and she helped me win the battle of will power over subconscience power! It was a very peaceful,renewing experience!!!! Helped my state of mind all the way around!! Anyone thinking of doing this, if you really want it, you should go see Rena! Her motivation comes from care, She is not a kook but a kind person wanting to help!!!! I also know of others this has worked for!!!!!!!!!

Buster W.

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 5:35 p.m.

I'm always amazed by all the gullible people out there that will buy into anything.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 5:13 p.m.

Just kooky.

Morris Thorpe

Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 5:03 p.m.

Wait a I really supposed to believe that Nightline is still on?


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:11 p.m.

Looks like quackery to me. I don't see any suggestion of scientific research backing up what this woman claims to do, even on her own website. Caveat emptor.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:47 p.m.

I see why she left town for Florida.


Thu, Mar 1, 2012 : 3:04 p.m.

I have a problem with this in that you have to have your mind set right BEFORE your surgery, is ever scheduled, if you doctor doesn't have you see a Psychologist or Mental Health Specialist PRIOR to APPROVING you for surgery, find another surgeon! I did hypnosis, and then had the Roux N Y, if you don't have your mind set right before surgery, it should NOT be done!