KINGSTON — When Chris Halbohm opened a bottle of lemon juice and took a sip, people watching him felt their own mouths pucker in sympathy.
When he said “plop, plop, fizz, fizz,” the half dozen women in his audience responded “oh, what a relief it is,” automatically finishing a decades-old antacid jingle once heard frequently over the airwaves.
As Halbohm explained later, the lemon juice scenario demonstrated the power of imagination, and the way his audience chimed in to complete the advertising jingle showed the power of repetition.
Imagination, repetition and relaxation are tools an individual can use to achieve a goal, Halbohm said.
In the case of his audience at the Hoyt Library on a recent Monday evening, their goal was weight loss — and the health benefits to which that might lead.
“I have high blood pressure and high cholesterol,” said librarian Carol Dalmas of Nanticoke, who believes reducing her weight would lower those numbers and perhaps eliminate the need for medication.
“I’d like to lose another 20 pounds,” said a woman who identified herself as Cristy from Kingston.
Halbohm, whose “Hypnosis for Weight Loss” presentation was the first in a series of “Live Your Best Life” health-related talks set for Monday evenings at the Hoyt Library in Kingston, reminded his listeners about the way children typically respond to the bell of an ice-cream truck by getting excited and following it.
“Would it be OK if your new habits would be automatic, easy and fun?” he asked. Knowing the answer would be yes, he suggested people can train themselves to see exercise and healthful food choices that way.
Some people who attended his talk already use some mind-over-matter techniques.
Among them, library director Melissa Werner said she has a bathing suit “in my line of vision” to remind herself she wants to fit into it in the summer. That helps her be content with half an anise cookie, she said.
Cristy, the Kingston resident, who has already lost more than 40 pounds, said she corresponds online with friends who keep her accountable and Dalmas said she has found that prayer helps her cope with stress.
Different techniques help different people and hypnosis isn’t right for everyone, Halbohm said, adding that before the Keystone Hypnosis Center, where he works, takes on a client that individual is screened to determine if he or she is a good candidate.
For some people, he said, hypnotic techniques can help you coordinate what you aim to do, such as perhaps eating more healthful vegetables; and what you actually do, such as maybe reaching for a rich dessert.
“It’s not like you don’t know that celery is better for you than chocolate cake,” he said.
Future topics at the library, set for 6 p.m. on Monday nights, include:
Feb. 15: Mingling with Style, how to make a positive impression in social and business situations.
Feb. 22: Social Security Seminar
Feb. 29: Fill My Cup: Self Care for Givers
March 7: Juicing: Jumpstart a commitment to a healthy lifestyle
March 14: Career Decision Making
March 21: The basics of essential oils
March 28: First time home buyer seminar
April 4: Five Wishes: Living wills – your needs and medical wishes
April 11: Health benefits of Yoga
April 18: Health care needs and preventions presented by Walgreens
April 25: Saving for future education costs
To register for individual sessions or the entire series, call the library at 570-287-2013.