Newport Beach Addiction Specialist: Let LA Lakers’ Lamar Odom Eat Cake
“Until jelly beans are put on the NBA’s banned substances list, it’s no one’s business how much candy Lamar Odom eats,” says clinical hypnotherapist
(Newport Beach, CA – June 4, 2009) Los Angeles Lakers fans are dismayed by recent rumors about Lakers power forward Lamar Odom. The left-hander is feared throughout the NBA. But if media reports are to be believed, the 6’10” Odom is helpless against an unlikely enemy…the tiny gummy bear. Odom is reported to suffer from an overwhelming sugar addiction.
“Certain commentators are making a big deal about Lamar’s love affair with red vines and honey buns,” says certified clinical hypnotherapist Scott Sandland, of Newport Beach, California. “But Lakers fans like me wonder if this isn’t just a media-generated tempest in a teapot. Lamar Odom is a grown man, and an elite athlete who burns thousands of calories a game. He doesn’t play like a guy who’s strung out on Fun Dip.”
“And unless Lamar Odom thinks he has a problem, the media should get off his back and let him focus on winning the NBA Finals,” insists Sandland, who serves on staff at Sober Living by the Sea, a Newport Beach chemical dependency treatment center. “As long as Lamar Odom’s candy intake doesn’t harm his health, or his performance, his finances, or his relationships, who can say it’s even a problem?”
But what if the media reports are true? Some sources claim Lamar Odom gets up the middle of the night to feed his candy cravings. How could Odom—or anyone else—tell if they need help?
“If you find yourself struggling with an unwanted behavior of any kind—whether it’s popping jelly beans, smoking, gambling, or even procrastination—in spite of negative consequences, you may want to look at what you’re sacrificing to continue the behavior,” says Sandland, who works with dozens of drug addicts and alcoholics every month. “People usually come to me when they decide the trade-off isn’t worth it, and they want to stop the self-destructive behavior before it affects other parts of their life.”
Even if the reports are true—and he’s addicted to sugar—Lamar Odom has nothing to be ashamed of, Sandland continues. The hypnotherapist, who serves on the board of the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy association, explains that addictive behavior has nothing to do with lack of willpower.
“You can’t become an elite athlete like Lamar Odom without tremendous discipline and focus. Lamar Odom really is a difference-maker on the floor. When he’s playing well, he’s just about impossible to match up with,” says Sandland, who has been attending Lakers games “since the best players we had were Dennis Rodman and Vlade Divac.”
“The problem is, addiction doesn’t respond to willpower, or reason or logic,” says Sandland, “or there would be no smokers or alcoholics left in America. Addictive behaviors are not driven by the conscious, rational mind—which is why even lung cancer patients can find it impossible to stop smoking,” says the addiction specialist.
That’s why hypnosis can be so effective against irrational, self-destructive behaviors, says Sandland. “Addiction is generated in the subconscious—a deeper, more fundamental part of your mind that doesn’t respond to analytical reasoning,” Sandland explains. “Hypnosis allows us to access that part and help you let go of negative behaviors quickly and easily, without willpower or discipline.”
Professional athletes and Olympians have been using hypnosis to improve sports performance for decades. But medical hypnosis is also a powerful tool for helping people change self-defeating behaviors, says Sandland. “And unlike pharmaceutical treatments for addiction, there are no harmful side-effects with hypnotherapy.”
If you struggle with unwanted, unproductive behaviors, look for a qualified hypnotherapist in your area, suggests Sandland. The Orange County native recently launched a hypnotherapy directory at his social network, www.HypnoThoughts.com, to help connect clients with hypnotherapists in the U.S. and around the world.
“If Lamar Odom really has a problem with candy—and I’m in no position to say he does—clinical hypnotherapy could be very helpful to him. And I’d even be glad to work with him myself. But that’s for Lamar and those closest to him to decide. Everyone else should just respect his privacy and let him focus on the task at hand—beating the Orlando Magic.”
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About Scott Sandland, C.Ht.
Scott Sandland, Certified Hypnotherapist, has spent the past three years working with drug addicts and alcoholics on the staff of Sober Living by the Sea, a chemical dependency treatment center in Newport Beach, California. He is also on staff at a physician’s office and dental practice in Newport Beach. Sandland is a member of the International Association of Counselors and Therapists and the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association, and has taught hypnosis for addiction management at a number of international conferences and professional hypnotherapy workshops. He may be reached at (949) 999-0831 or online at www.gohypnotherapy.com.