Stop Smoking Hypnotherapy

Quit Smoking Hypnotherapy

What Stop Smoking Hypnotherapy is and How It Works

Do you feel like your cigarette is your best friend? Many people characterise smoking in this fashion. Cigarettes don’t just provide a vehicle through which to ingest nicotine. They evolve into a daily ritual that creates muscle memory and engages the brain. Some use them to remain alert. For others, cigarettes help them to relax during stressful situations.

Therein lies the multifaceted power of cigarettes and why users find it nearly impossible to give them up. Cigarettes neatly intertwine physical, mental, and also emotional points of addiction.

Many people seem as emotionally addicted to the action of smoking as they are the physical effects of the drug within.
Because of the challenge presented, increasing numbers of people seek out more radical ideas, such as hypnotherapy to quit smoking.
But do these techniques really work? Increasing numbers of experts say that hypnotherapy serves as a completely safe and often effective part of an overall strategy to quit smoking.

What Is Hypnosis?

The practice of hypnosis emerged in the 1840s. A Scottish physician, James Braid, pioneered the technique and compared it to ‘nervous sleep’. In his estimation, one could put a person in a state where the mind could only focus on one thought or idea. A moderator could place ideas into the person’s mind and suggest that they concentrate only on that image, idea, or thought.

Hypnotherapy for Smoking

Unfortunately, the public conception of hypnosis, shaped by magicians and the media, does not correlate well to the reality of the technique. Misconceptions about hypnotherapy for smoking can lead to some overestimating its ability to help or fearing what they may be made to do while ‘under’.

Hypnotherapy Myths Debunked

Like much else in movies and television, as far as hypnosis is concerned, believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see.

A hypnotic state can occur in most people without the intervention of a hypnotist. The condition closely resembles a state of ‘hyperfocus’. Hyperfocus occurs when the brain concentrates on a single topic or task so completely as to shut the rest of the world out. Although anyone can achieve this state on their own, it often occurs in the context of attention deficit disorders and other conditions.

Hyperfocus poses no danger to mental health. For those who can control it positively, it serves as a means by which to maintain concentration on a task for long periods. It does not trap those in the state, unlike with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Under hypnosis, a person does become more suggestible to ideas and behaviours that align with their thoughts, beliefs, wants, and needs.

All other public images of the process come from fiction. Hypnosis does not put a person to sleep. It does not make a person perform and tasks they do not want to do. When a magician “makes” a subject cluck like a chicken, this happens out of choice.

Most importantly, to quit smoking, hypnotherapy does not work just because a practitioner told you to stop smoking during a hypnotic state. It involves more than magic.

Also, on average, one in four people do not respond to hypnosis at all.

Doctors also use hypnosis to treat other conditions, such as mental illness, addiction, weight loss, and more.

Preparing For Hypnotherapy to Quit Smoking

Although hypnosis does not reach one of four, that still leaves 75 per cent of the population able to use hypnosis to quit smoking.

Hypnosis creates an altered state of focus where the person appears to have fallen asleep or into a trance. They actually do not sleep under hypnosis, however. Most have a higher than normal level of neurological function not usually seen in sleeping subjects.

The Mayo Clinic advises that patients wear comfortable clothing to enhance relaxation during a hypnotic treatment. Dressing comfortably will help to create the state that makes a subject most receptive to hypnosis. On the other hand, it also suggests that you get a good night’s sleep and come to the session well-rested. Otherwise, the techniques might actually induce sleep, which in real-life hypnosis is counterproductive.

How Hypnosis Works

Just as in the movies, the professional lulls the subject out of his or her normal conscious state through relaxing speech. Soothing and relaxed tones help to lay the groundwork for the hypnotic state. The subject must cooperate for the technique to succeed. No one can undergo the procedure involuntarily.

In many cases, the professional will ask you to concentrate on relaxing imagery to develop the focus needed to create the hypnotic state. Once in it, he or she will suggest strategies or other techniques to help reinforce desired behaviours and beliefs, such as the need to quit smoking.

Once done, the hypnosis professional brings you back into a normal conscious state. You remain aware of your surroundings during the treatment and will remember all that happened.

Smoking Hypnosis Procedures

The first efforts to use hypnotherapy as a treatment for smoking came almost a half-century ago. Dr Herbert Spiegel, in a medical journal article, outlined his approach to therapy, which still remains one of the standard techniques.

Under hypnosis, Dr Spiegel reaffirms three simple and basic truths to imprint them deeply into the mind.

  • Smoking is poisonous to the body
  • You need your body to live
  • If you want to live, you need to respect and protect your body

The idea lies in making these truths, already understood, to develop into a more fundamental thought in the mind. Most people automatically shrink back from a substance labelled poisonous and deadly.

Other techniques involve reinforcing unpleasant sensory aspects related to smoking. A hypnosis professional could repeatedly suggest that the smell and taste of cigarette smoke resembles something that the smoker would find unpalatable, like garbage or truck exhaust. Some have even seen success in suggesting that a person’s mouth will get uncomfortably dry while smoking.

Not a Magic Bullet

Again, hypnosis does not automatically end your desire to smoke. Not even the most experienced professional can put a patient through one session, tell him or her to quit smoking, and create an instant cure.

Hypnosis does create mental barriers against picking up and lighting that cigarette. It places unpleasant and even noxious imagery, sensory cues, and thoughts in the way. Those thoughts should derail the desire to smoke before you purchase a pack, or light the cigarette.

Hypnosis fortifies the will to stand against the mental barriers that conflict with the innate desire to quit. In other words, hypnosis helps overwhelm one’s physical and emotional addiction with mental barriers of its own.

These techniques, however, only work if the individual cooperates. You have to want, or better, need, to quit for the hypnosis to work. That involves your mind holding up its end of the bargain. It has to “give in” to the suggestions implanted into the mind, making a conscious choice to reward the thoughts blocking smoking rather than rebel and light that cigarette.

Hypnosis, then, may not serve as a cure-all. It does, however, provide a powerful tool in the service of quitting. When combined with other proven effective techniques, it can help you get back on the road toward heart and lung health as a non-smoker.

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