Using hypnotherapy to incite positive change in men’s health

When it comes to men’s health, hypnotherapy isn’t the first technique that comes to mind for most males in Aotearoa New Zealand and it can often be paired with tales of the make-belief.


Having lived through the scepticism himself, Rotorua-based hypnotherapist, Richard Kellow is the first to admit it can be hard to get your head around using hypnotherapy to live a healthier, balanced life but urges other males to be open-minded to the concept.


And with Men’s Health Week rolling out again next month (10-16 June 2024), what better time than now to give it a go for the benefit of your most important asset – your health?


Specialising in weight loss, Richard guides people into a natural state of deep relaxation, where, through positive suggestions and visualisation, he can implant the idea of a virtual gastric band around your stomach.


This allows people to feel fuller after eating smaller portions and reduce the urge to overeat. But he says it’s not just about losing weight, it’s about promoting resilience, mindfulness, and emotional wellbeing.


“The work I do is about changing a person’s relationship to food, unlearning some of those harmful beliefs and addressing the underlying reasons why they may be turning to emotional eating.


“It’s also about training the mind to give people the inner strength to overcome the little stumbles and the bad days. If I slipped up once a month, that’s only 12 times a year, and that’s better than 300 – it’s all in the mindset.”


Richard knows firsthand what a difference living a balanced lifestyle can make.


“Fifteen years ago, I was working in a high-pressure finance job in London. Work-life balance wasn’t as big of a focus as it is nowadays and I found myself eating, drinking, and smoking to curb the stress.


“My thing was chocolate – I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But it got to a point where I could eat an entire block in two minutes, and I wasn’t even enjoying it.”


After trying several different diets, nothing ever seemed to stick long-term. As a bit of a last resort, Richard went to see a hypnotherapist.


Walking in with a healthy level of scepticism, as most people would, he found himself leaving the appointment blown away by the instant change in mindset.


Over the next 12 months, Richard used hypnotherapy to help stop smoking and deal with the stress of his job, and as a result, lost 30kg.


The visible results and shift in mindset led Richard to reassess his lifestyle and he decided a fresh start would do him good – that’s when he made the jump from London to New Zealand, changing careers in the process and setting up Kellow Hypnotherapy.


This year marks 10 years in business, and in that time, Richard has helped more than 2000 people across Aotearoa.


While his client base has predominantly been women, in recent years Richard has seen a rise in interest from men.


“Most of the men who come to see me are driven by a desire to improve their overall health. While they might still want to fit into clothes or feel more confident, there is definitely a focus on being more active, feeling energised, and looking after future health or current health if they have issues with blood pressure, diabetes, or cholesterol.


“I am also one of only a handful of men practising hypnosis full time in NZ, so the rise in male clientele could be because they feel more comfortable speaking to another man – and one who has been in the same place they’re in.”


Find out more about Kellow Hypnotherapy here.



Just 31 per cent of men said they’re already trying to improve their diet compared to 41 per cent of women, while 30 per cent of men are prioritising exercise compared to 35 per cent of women.

The study also found just 25 per cent of men are setting health or fitness goals.