People usually smoke out of curiosity, peer pressure or simply out of boredom and before long, an addiction is formed. Quitting smoking is a real challenge and this kind of physical and mental addiction often requires more than will power to work. But it’s one of the best things you can do for your health. Even on every pack it is boldly mentioned, “Smoking is injurious to health.” It’s a leading cause of cancer and increases your risk for heart attacks, strokes, lung disease, and other health problems, including bone fractures and cataracts.
Hypnotherapy to quit smoking
If nicotine lozenges, patches, chewing gum, counseling, and other smoking cessation methods haven’t helped you kick the habit, don’t give up. Ask your doctor if hypnosis is an option. A big part of quitting smoking is letting go of the smoking routine and looking at cigarettes differently.
If you are considering hypnotherapy the first step is to make sure you choose to quit yourself. Hypnotherapy is most effective when you really want to quit – if you are doing it because you think you ‘should’ or because a friend or family member is pushing you, you may not get the results.
Some hypnotherapy methods try to weaken a person’s desire to light up, others try to strengthen willpower or help them focus on a quit smoking programme. For hypnosis to be successful, the person has to have faith in the therapist and be okay with being in a passive and susceptible state of mind. Some people find hypnotherapy alone to break the habit enough, while others prefer to combine it with NRT or medication to tackle both the physical and mental addiction together.
How can hypnotherapist make you quit smoking?
Hypnotherapy works by putting you in a deep, relaxed state where your mind is more open to suggestion.Hypnotherapist will try to change your thought patterns by making suggestions such as ‘I do not want a cigarette’ or ‘I am repelled by the smell of cigarette smoke’. For many, just one session is enough, however some may require several more.
During hypnosis for smoking cessation, a patient is often asked to imagine unpleasant outcomes from smoking. For example, the hypnotherapist might suggest that smokers associate cigarette with unpleasant tastes, order, or sensation – like smoke smells like truck exhaust or bus flames, or it has a nasty taste or that smoking will leave the patient’s mouth feeling extremely parched, or it will cause you to suffer from dry mouth. They might also suggest that smokers believe that they have lost the desire to smoke and can easily cope with their nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
The first use of hypnotherapy to help people stop smoking was described by Dr. Herbert Spiegel in 1970. His hypnotic strategy has become popular as the “Spiegel technique” and focuses on three main ideas:
- Smoking poisons the body
- You need your body to live
- If you want to live, You need to respect your body and protect it
Hypnotherapist teaches the smoker self-hypnosis, and then asks him to repeat these affirmations anytime the desire to smoke occurs.
How does the program work?
“A person who smokes erroneously puts files in their subconscious mind next to each other that are wrong—like if they have a cup of coffee, they have to have a cigarette, or if they had a great meal, they have to have a cigarette. They’ve associated pleasurable experiences with the habit of smoking. Hypnotherapist go into the subconscious mind through suggestions and put in the files that are supposed to be there—that smoking can make your clothes smell bad, give you nasty breath, cost you a lot of money, and hurt yourself. By putting those new thought processes into your subconscious mind, you don’t smoke anymore, because your subconscious mind will be in unison with your conscious mind.”
Pros and Cons of Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy can be successful as a combination therapy, used in conjunction with other treatments for such conditions as stress, anxiety, depression, and pain. Hypnosis does not involve the use of any medications, which might appeal to smokers who aren’t interested in using drugs or nicotine replacement products.
Hypnotherapy is not dangerous. The hypnotist cannot make you do something you don’t want. The greatest risk usually involves the unintended creation of false memories based on suggestions from the hypnotherapist.
Major criticism of hypnotherapy for smoking cessation is that no research to date has proven it works. Also, hypnotherapy is not considered a valid treatment for people who are alcoholics or drug addicts or are dealing with hallucinations and psychotic episodes.