Reading Time: 26 minutes
If you are addicted to smoking, quitting is the best thing that could happen to you. Smoking is a dangerous habit because once the habit sets in, it is difficult to quit. People try just about everything from nicotine patches to behavior modification therapy. One road less traveled is hypnosis. Medical science and mental health techniques may fail, which is when you may think of trying hypnosis. Smoking raises the risk of developing a lot of diseases and ailments.
The habit harms not just you but others around you as well. Increased chances of COPD among second-hand smokers is just one aspect. In fact, every risk the smoker is exposed to becomes a threat for a passive smoker. So others pay the price for your deadly habits. Common conditions associated with smoking include heart disease, cancer, gum disease and infertility. Passive smoking is an irritant which can make suffering worse for those with asthma and respiratory ailments.
Quitting smoking can be a real challenge. But it is well worth the effort. Bid adieu to dangerous and chronic illnesses and whatever works for you is right. This brings us to the million dollar question– does hypnosis work? To answer that, we first have to understand what hypnosis is.
Hypnosis: An Altered State of Awareness
This is a trance-like state which can be induced to treat medical or mental health issues. It has even been used to help in pain management. Hypnosis has also proved effective for weight control, taming speech disorders and curing substance abuse issues. Does it work for smokers who want to kick the habit? Currently, the jury is still out on that. Some practitioners hold that hypnosis increases suggestibility and makes it easier to quick smoking using the power of suggestion. But others have disputed the trance a person falls into when unconscious. The truth is hypnosis is more of a heightened awareness because the deal is, you cannot be made to do anything against your will. Brain tests on patients during hypnosis has found high levels of neural activity.
Hypnosis for Smoking Cessation
A smoker may be asked to imagine unpleasant outcomes as a result of smoking, under hypnosis. The therapist may suggest the cigarette smoke is poisonous and toxic and leaves the mouth parched. Smoking poisons the body and your body needs to survive if you want to access positive health outcomes. Self-hypnosis could work in terms of healing affirmations that negate smoking and bolster the smoker’s will to give up this legal habit.
This brings us to another interesting point. Hypnosis does not work for everyone. 1 in 4 cannot undergo hypnosis. When it succeeds, hypnosis can also vary in intensity.
Studies have, consequently, shown mixed results. Whether hypnosis works depends on whom you have asked. A study review suggested that some benefit from hypnosis is possible. American Cancer Society has stated that though anecdotal evidence supports this claim, research does not. Hypnosis has not been recommended as an approved therapy by the American Medical Association. It is a hope that makes people try out different strategies and hypnosis happens to be one of them. If you do decide to go for hypnosis, you need to make sure that a licensed and accredited healthcare practitioner is there for you. Practitioners should be able to help without hurting.
When Does Hypnosis Work?
Hypnotherapy has been found effective for smoking cessation when it has stopped the link between negative behaviors and thinking patterns linked with smoking. Behaviors and thoughts smokers hold are what stops them from quitting. Hypnosis helps to let go of that. Hypnosis will only work when people really want to quit. Many people have also combined hypnosis with nicotine replacement therapy and medication.
Common fears stopping people from smoking such as weight gain, not having a social tool, not feeling it is right are some of the blocks hypnosis can help you to overcome. While there is a debate about whether hypnosis works, what is clear is that it works well for those it does. The basic principle behind hypnosis to treat addiction is to bring out the negative thoughts and replace them with the positive so that patients become aware of the adverse effects of smoking and give up this lethal habit.
The hypnotherapist identifies the triggers, history, and motivation for smoking and works on the same. Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness and it works well for those who want to break the dependency on tobacco. Hypnosis is not the magic bullet. What makes an individual an ideal candidate for hypnosis is that he/she has the will to stop? What makes someone else a bad choice for hypnotherapy is a desire to continue smoking epistle ill effects. Hypnosis can alleviate fear, pain and alter negative behaviors. Hypnosis also helps you to concentrate better, be less critical and more open to the idea of quitting smoking.
Cigarette smoking cessation is integral to good health. In fact, smoking is counted as the leading cause of premature death and illness in many nations, including the US. Tobacco kills close to 7 million individuals each year and results in one million deaths due to non-smokers being exposed to secondhand smoke.
Close to 80K people each year in the UK alone die from smoking-related medical conditions. Statistics show 1 for every 5 adults are smokers.
Quitting cigarettes is a massive challenge for persons and they need more than will power. There are a lot of options available from campaigns to medicines, and even local support groups. Hypnotherapy remains a popular choice for those looking to kick the habit.
There is a reason why hypnosis is so easy to understand. Smoking, much like other habits, manages the unconscious mind.
Advanced hypnotherapists even say one can stop smoking after a single session of hypnosis. Adult smokers seeking to quit the habit and addiction should definitely think of hypnotherapy as an option for eliminating smoking.
When it concerns smoking cessation, it is important to know how to quit and make the decision for one's self. Quitting when you are not prepared or for reasons other than the one you have can lead to relapses and failures. If you need to quit and are committed, it is likely that you will succeed.
Smoking: Know the Facts
Smoking is terribly addictive. Close to 66 percent or two-thirds of smokers take their first cigarette within 60 minutes of waking from sleep. About half of the smokers worldwide die due to smoking-linked diseases prematurely. The life expectancy of smokers is 10 years as against that of nonsmokers. In many advanced Western countries, only 50% of smokers make it past their 70th year.
Secondhand smoking is another big concern. Globally, over 890K deaths in a single year are due to secondhand smoking. Smokers below 40 years of age have 5x times more chances of succumbing to a heart attack, as opposed to non-smokers.
Why Stop Smoking?
Smoking raises the chances of a wide range of diseases and health ailments. The habit harms the smoker's health and also impacts people around them negatively. If smoking around babies or children, adult smokers can cause infants to develop smoking-based health issues like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease/COPD and chances of cot deaths rise.
There are a lot of medical conditions associated with smoking:
Infertility: Smoking impacts male and female fertility, which makes it difficult to induce conception.
Gum diseases: Along with staining, smoking leads to premature loss of tooth associated with gum disease.
Heart disease: This is considered a silent killer. Close to 1 in 6 of the cases are linked to smoking.
Lung cancers: More than 8 in 10 cases of lung cancer are linked directly to smoking.
Other cancers: This includes throat, nose, mouth, blood, pancreatic and cervical cancer.
Adults exposed to passive or secondhand smoke for longer time periods are at increased chance of lung cancer and heart disease. Tobacco also serves as an irritant. This makes conditions like asthma worse.
The Structure of a Cigarette
A cigarette is not merely some natural tobacco rolled in paper. Apart from the tobacco itself, which is really harmful to health, many chemicals are added to the stick during the manufacturing procedure. Through the use of cigarettes, persons inhaling harmful substances can suffer serious health conditions.
Nicotine: This drug stimulates the brain, leading to activation of areas associated with addiction. For those who are regular smokers, unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal may result. Symptoms range across increased anxiety, intense cravings, headaches, and irritability.
CO/Carbon Monoxide: This is a poisonous gas, which impacts how much oxygen the blood carries to the body. Consequently, smoking prevents the body from receiving oxygen to function smoothly. The smoker can also experience shortness of breath, poor or inadequate circulation and low energy levels.
Tar: Once cigarettes are smoked, tar is deposited onto the lungs. From the lungs, the tar enters the bloodstream and carries over to other body parts. Tar contains over 4K chemicals, over 50 of which are carcinogenic besides other poisons. This is the reason smoking is considered the biggest reason for disease.
Value of Smoking Cessation
Smoking cessation or quitting smoking has so many benefits, irrespective of which age you are when you quit. If you make the choice to stop smoking, your health will improve, along with those surrounding you who are victims of passive smoke. The sooner you quit this habit, the faster a body recovers and the chance of serious health conditions decreases.
There are so many benefits to smoking cessation, from the economic to the health-based. Your energy levels and physical appearance are also impacted.
#1 More Energy
CO affects oxygen levels in the blood, and due to smoking, the body can find it difficult to operate because less oxygen is carried by the blood. This permits muscles and lungs to work the way they should. More oxygen also reaches the brain, boosting energy and alertness.
#2 Improved Immunity
Smoking leads to a drop in the immunity system. This causes the body to be more susceptible to flu and colds. Quitting allows a healthy immune system.
#3 Greater Life Expectancy
For those who quit smoking by age 30, life expectancy rises by 10 years. Even quitting at 60 can add three additional years to your life.
#4 Better Breathing, Healthier Lungs
Within just 9 months of smoking cessation, lung capacity rises by as much as 10 percent. This permits the body to carry out everyday tasks without losing breath. Conditions linked to cigarette usage like smoker's cough also vanish and breathing conditions like asthma come to a halt.
#5 Lower Levels of Stress
When faced with mental stress, most smokers go for a cigarette. The immediate effect of nicotine post-withdrawal can induce feelings of relaxation, yet in the long run, smoking raises stress levels.
#6 Younger Skin
Smoking ages the skin prematurely as well. Regular cigarette smokers look older, with dull, dry skin having wrinkles. When individuals take the decision to stop smoking, the skin becomes clearer as it begins to receive the nutrients required. Over time, skin appearance improves and the skin regains its vitality and youthful appearance.
#7 Economic Benefits
On average, a pack of cigarettes costs around USD 6. If a person smokes 20 cigarettes per day for 10 years, they will spend over USD 438,000. Quitting cigarettes means you lose money, as well as positive health outcomes.
How Smoking Cessation Impacts Your Body
- Within 20 minutes, heart rate and blood pressure return to normal.
- In another 12 hours, CO levels drop to normal.
- Within 24 hours, the body clears out lung mucous build-up.
- Another 72 hours, once over, will lead to an increase in energy levels and easy breathing.
- The skin improves its appearance within a span of one month.
- Lung functions enhance by over 10 percent within 3 to 9 months.
- In another 1 year, risk of suffering heart attacks cuts down by half for a non-smoker.
- Another 10 years, once passed, the risk of lung cancer is cut down by 50% compared to a smoker.
- Within 15 years, the risk of suffering heart attack is cut down for non-smokers.
Hypnotherapy For Quitting Smoking
A lot of people find hypnotherapy for smoking is a treatment which works. The effectiveness of the treatment stems from breaking negative behaviors and thinking patterns linked to smoking. This includes smoking for stress relief. These negative behaviors and thoughts are the reason why people are not able to give up smoking successfully. Quitting does not lead to the resolution of underlying issues, and before long, the person returns to his or her cigarette addiction.
When an individual makes the decision to stop smoking, the key is to leave aside the routine and change how cigarettes are viewed. Breaking the addiction is a challenge. It is not easy, especially if one is trying to kick a lifetime of addiction. Changing how one thinks about it can be hard.
Hypnotherapy essentially focuses on change. The hypnotherapist supports and guides individuals through the process, so you are no longer battling the addiction on your own. On account of this, hypnotherapy is fast becoming a popular treatment method.
When opting for hypnosis to stop smoking, the first thing to do is ensure that you are ready to quit. You should be clear about yourself. Hypnotherapy for smoking is effective only when the person is determined to quit.
How Does Hypnotherapy Work?
Hypnotherapy functions by impacting the deep mind states after putting the person in a relaxed state. At the time of deep relaxation, the individual is susceptible to persuasion and change in their ideation. The power of suggestion is used by hypnotherapists to change behaviors and thought patterns linked to smoking. Suggestions are tailored on the basis of this and individuals are able to visualize smoking a cigarette along with the acrid aroma or sour taste. This creates an association whereby when one thinks of smoking, unpleasant thoughts arise.
Self-hypnosis techniques are commonly practiced at home, too after the professional sessions are over. The value of this lies in overcoming reactions to particular triggers, especially after sessions with a professional hypnotherapist.
may not work for you. By studying all the options, effective and suitable treatment can be sought. Carry out free and frank discussions with your hypnotherapist and medical practitioners to understand what will work best for you.
While there are no quick fixes, do understand that for some people, even a single hypnosis session is enough to ward off smoking addiction or work out the issues on their own. Others may also benefit from follow-up sessions. The ultimate focus of hypnosis for smoking is empowering individuals to control addiction and improve health.
Getting rid of smoking addiction is a real challenge. Yet, it's worth the effort, as it is easily one of the best things you can do for health. Smoking remains a deadly and dangerous habit. Sayings like “smoking thrills, but kills” are accurate, for even a single cigarette a day can impact your health very badly. Smoking leads to cancer, strokes, lung disease, heart attacks and other problems such as a bone fracture or cataract.
When it comes to nicotine lozenges, chewing gums, patches, counseling and other methods of smoking cessation, it is important to remember that if the habit is hard to kick, you must persevere. Check if hypnosis could be the solution, as studies demonstrate it has impacted the will to kick the addiction for good effect in many cases.
Learn More About Hypnosis for Smoking Cessation
Hypnosis is a state of awareness that is altered. You enter into deep and relaxed mind states and are able to simulate a relaxed consciousness much like sleep or a deep trance. Hypnosis was earlier used to treat psychological problems. It can impact physical conditions, besides modifying behavior and averting addiction. Hypnosis helps patients to ward off pain, weight issues, speed problems, and even addiction disorders.
A lot of debate is on about how hypnosis actually works. Some individuals believe when a person is hypnotized, relaxation rises and concentration becomes focused. As such, people under hypnosis are more amenable to suggestions revolving around giving up smoking.
Even when in a trance at the time of hypnosis, one is not unconscious. There is ample awareness of surroundings. And despite what stage performers claim, hypnosis is not about doing things against your will. Brain tests performed at the time of a hypnotic trance show individuals display high levels of neurological activity.
Using hypnosis for smoking cessation is easy. Patients are asked to imagine unpleasant outcomes associated with smoking. The hypnotherapist may suggest cigarette smoke smells like exhaust from a truck and this acrid smelling flavor can leave the mouth feeling parched and dehydrated.
A powerful smoking cessation technique using hypnosis is Spiegel's method. This focuses on key ideas listed below:
The body is poisoned by smoking.
Your body is essential for living.
You need to protect and respect the body to the extent you would like to live.
The hypnotherapist teachers self-hypnosis as well. So, when the desire to smoke hits you again, you can repeat the affirmations to counter it.
Does Hypnosis Work?
Hypnosis works for some individuals only. Research shows that 1 in 4 people are not able to be hypnotized. Further, the intensity of the hypnotic trance varies from one person to another.
How well the process of hypnotizing works to counter smoking is dependent on these factors. A 2010 systematic study review found only some people could benefit from the use of hypnosis for smoking cessation. Another 2012 review said studies support a benefit from the adaptation of hypnosis. For discussing alternative methods for quitting cigarettes, the American Cancer society also cited some evidence of the effectiveness of hypnosis.
However, the American Medical Association does not approve of hypnosis as therapy. The organization does not officially support hypnosis or have a position on this form of therapy.
However, researchers studying hypnosis have indicated well-conducted studies can determine the impact of this therapy for smoking cessation. Hypnosis carries hope with it and has a lot of benefits. The easiest way to quit is by combining several techniques.
Finding the Right Hypnotherapist
If you need to try to quit smoking by opting for hypnosis, try a good hypnotherapist.
Here's how you can ensure you hire the right hypnotherapist for the job. Make sure that the hypnotherapist is trained, credentialed and licensed.
Hypnosis for smoking cessation and other behavioral or medical reasons should only be carried out by those having a license in health care fields like psychology, medicine, nursing or psychiatry.
The American Society for Clinical Hypnosis stresses that the hypnotherapist should be able to help you with smoking cessation issues.
Do watch out for claims or guarantees that prove too good to be true. Hypnosis does not benefit everyone equally.
It's never too late to leave smoking. If you leave cigarettes before age 50, the risk of dying within fifteen years following this is cut by half.
There are many instances of anecdotal evidence showing that smoking can be successfully stopped through hypnosis.
But, what does hypnosis have to do with smoking cessation and can it help everyone break this habit? Let's find out!
Origins of Hypnosis
The founding father of the field of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud who wrote bestselling works covering hypnosis as therapy is probably what everyone has heard of. But hypnosis has ancient origins in the work of Anton Mesmer.
A lot of smokers, about 80%, would love to never smoke again. But you have to remember that this is an addiction and a compulsion.
Smoking adversely impacts health. Even moderate smokers have difficulty breathing or sore throat when climbing stairs. Therefore, there is a threat of serious consequences of health. As per the WHO, tobacco can cause over five million deaths per annum worldwide.
However, if smokers are seeking to quit, having enough reasons to quit and knowing the extent to which cigarettes are detrimental for health, are unable to do so, it's important to consider what's holding them back? The reason remains easy to understand. Nicotine addiction is linked to the subconscious mind. Physical and psychological stressors trigger thoughts that cause cigarette cravings.
What is the way to shut off compulsions to smoke? The key is to reframe subconscious thoughts to approach smoking in thinking negatively about cigarettes.
This is where the promise of hypnotherapy for quitting smoking essentially is the key. Through self-hypnosis and help of hypnotherapists, smokers can quiet down and untangle the subconscious thoughts that keep addiction in place.
Understanding the Mental Trap: Why Smoking is Hard to Quit?
Nicotine is a tough habit to kick, on account of mental addiction and physical cravings. The physical triggers, which lead to withdrawal symptoms serve as a roadblock for quitting.
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms range across the following:
- Feelings of nausea and vomiting
- Sense of irritability
- Pains and aches
- Sore throat
- Mental lethargy
While nicotine withdrawal symptoms are hard to crave with, there's a mental component to quitting smoking as well.
Subconscious thoughts keep the addiction to tobacco and nicotine in place. Subconscious motivations trigger the need for cigarette post-dinner, or when one gets behind the wheel. This is a subconscious mind triggering pangs when stressed out and it is exactly when the individual resorts to a smoke.
Mental battles abound. Nicotine replacement therapy and hypnotherapy aid in smoking cessation. As NRT eliminates the physical triggers, mental urges can be eliminated through hypnosis. Beating nicotine addiction requires tackling mental battles head-on. This is directly impacting the subconscious mind on account of top-down mental processing.
Here's how this works: An individual facing work-related challenges may feel stressed out, triggering the need for cigarettes. As all the sensory signals are collected and sent to the brain (this includes sight, smell, feeling and touch), raw sensory data is carried to the brain, for creating a conscious impression. The brain shapes feelings and emotions for delivering a response. This is how top to bottom processing works. The mind receives the stress signals, thinks about what is taking place and creates a thought-based response.
This is the process that makes it easy to quit smoking. Subconscious thoughts influence top-down responses. Associating smoking as a stress reliever requires that the natural response to stress that dominates revolves around lighting up a cigarette. Gaining top-down control is about quitting smoking by eliminating the responses to stimuli that ensure addictions are in place.
How Hypnosis Helps
Here's how hypnosis helps in nicotine addiction. It provides the capacity to reframe top-down thoughts.
When stimuli lead to craving, the mind has associations and linkages in place influencing the response. As a result of this, stress is felt. This triggers thoughts of smoking as a stress reliever and one reacts. However, hypnosis helps individuals to get into a frame of mind where negative thought processes must be altered.
During hypnosis, relaxation and breathing methods are required to reach trance-like states. The frame of mind is much like daydreaming, with a sense of awareness even when the mind is in a relaxed, free-flowing and tranquil state.
In such a trance-like state, the human brain is open to suggestions and removed from the conscious, critical mind. This is the part of the mind looking for reasons to remain a smoker. For positive and powerful suggestions that work, a hypnotherapist is the best choice. The suggestions to quit smoking create a powerful obstacle for top-down processing that was spurring the addiction in place. Whenever a smoking trigger is experienced, the mind does not react. It simply slows down and hears the new information provided.
Reframing Subconscious Thoughts
Subconscious thoughts are powerful and they form part of the perception. So, when the subconscious mind tells us it will work, through top-down processing, the information is sent back down. Hypnosis works just like this. New accurate information is available regarding smoking.
Hypnotic suggestions are delivered when the individual is in a trance-like state. These are focused on smoking and how such habits are automatic responses to certain ideas. Hypnosis is based on the knowledge that there is complete control over thoughts. Or one needs to follow a given suggestion that cigarette smoke smell should be perceived as an acrid, overpowering foul smell.
One of the most popular hypnosis techniques for stopping smoking is known as Spiegel's Method. The first psychiatrist to spread the power of clinical hypnotherapy for curing addictive habits was the author of Trance and Treatment, Clinical uses of Hypnosis, namely Herbert Spiegel.
At the time of sessions, Spiegel provided the three-step hypnosis script discussed earlier. Spiegel's method did not focus on quitting smoking alone. Instead, the focus was on respecting the body as opposed to ignoring this crucial factor in smoking cessation.
When it comes to whether hypnosis can really help in smoking cessation, the answer to that question is yes. Compelling research found hypnosis is an effective tool for quitting smoking, beating traditional methods easily.
As with any smoking cessation program, results are absolutely essential. Hypnotherapy is not the ideal option if you feel you should quit, but there's some amount of resistance to the idea. It does not work for those wanting to quit for someone else or those not ready to quit.
For those who are ready to quit, hypnosis is a powerful method to deploy.
Research on Hypnosis for Smoking Cessation
Classic hypnosis studies looked at hypnotherapy for a range of conditions. Hypnotherapy takes an average of six hypnotherapy sessions for long-lasting changes, while psychoanalysis takes 600. Hypnosis remains really effective, with studies showing 93% of participants after 6 sessions had a recovery rate of 100%, while 38% receiving psychoanalysis had a complete recovery rate.
A lot of studies found hypnotherapy is extremely beneficial for the cessation of smoking. An American College of Chest Physicians study in 2007 found hypnosis needs to be compared to the nicotine replacement therapy. Around 55% of patients treated in the hypnotherapy group quit at 26 weeks as against 15.78% in the NRT group. Those undergoing hypnotherapy and NRT experienced a 50% success rate at 26 weeks.
A Psychological Reports study in 1994 found hypnotherapy was effective when combined with aversion therapy. In this study 93, male and female participants both had a cessation program which combined aversion therapy with hypnosis. Once three months are over, close to 90% of both groups refrained from smoking.
A 2001 International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis study found that hypnosis played an important role in smoking cessation. Of the 43 smokers undergoing treatment, around 39 remained smoke-free post 6 months.
Further, a comprehensive meta-analysis examined more than 600 studies examining various smoking cessation techniques. Close to 70K smokers were studied. The analysis found compelling hypnosis results:
Firstly, hypnosis was 2x times more efficient, as against other self-care methods like self-help books, or even simply quitting without any preamble. Rather than quitting cold turkey, hypnosis was more effective. It was twice as beneficial as NRT with nicotine gum, as well.
Further, hypnosis was thrice as effective as psychotherapy or counseling for quitting smoking.
How to Use Hypnosis
If you're ready to live your life without smoking, hypnosis as a therapy option is beneficial. There are several methods for deploying hypnosis to kick smoking triggers and curb the habit. The three most common ones range across:
Sessions with a Hypnotherapist: Qualified, licensed and certified hypnotherapists can help in one-to-one sessions over the phone or F2F, where the therapist asks queries relating to the addiction and works using hypnosis.
Guided or Recorded Sessions: Guided hypnosis sessions available as MP3s on a CD or DVD are just as beneficial. The session is guided using audio and video recording. Patients can listen to these recordings and enter into hypnosis.
Self Hypnosis: Self-hypnosis is essential for averting smoking cessation. This is so even for those with private sessions. Once one continues therapy at home via self-hypnosis, new triggers and challenges that arise post the guided or private hypnotherapy sessions are effectively dealt with. In terms of self-hypnosis, a hypnotic induction serves to reach trance states and hypnotic scripts are necessary to deliver suggestions. Specifically, a hypnosis script for smoking cessation can really work here.
If one is ready to quit, hypnosis can help in a lot of ways.
Freud used hypnosis as a form of psychotherapy as per the psychoanalytic school of thought in psychology. Specifically, he helped patients access fears and desires in unconscious minds and allow deeper feelings to come to the surface in a session of psychotherapy. This permits the release of debilitating emotional states and recovery from hysteria or distress.
Modern health professionals have found these ideas about hypnosis to be effective. This occurs on account of the fact that the hypnotic trance is an altered state of awareness, permitting access to the subconscious mind. The desires and feelings associated with smoking can be worked through to achieve the cessation goals.
Hypnotherapists wok with people to improve their health goals. Quitting smoking is a common goal of boosting health. The benefits of being a nonsmoker include healthy skin, longer-life expectancy and reduced chances of lung cancer or heart attack.
While there are some concerns about hypnosis, these can easily be allayed by choosing a licensed and trained hypnotherapist.
Professional hypnotherapists can only help you if you really want to quit. Evidence indicates hypnosis does not work till the subject has an existing intention to achieve something.
Hypnosis focuses on existing desires to quit smoking.
The biggest myth about inducing hypnosis is that old movie clip of winging a watch in front of the eyes. Remember that hypnosis is all about focus and rapid movement is distracting. Hypnotic induction techniques silence the conscious mind. The patient undergoing hypnosis achieves a trance-based state. Therapists using hypnosis further combine words and suggestions to impact clients. Hypnotic induction can take place through administered self-hypnosis tapes or guided sessions.
Note that a hypnotic trance is not the same as falling asleep. It is a deep state of awareness that is altered. In fact, scans show more brain activity during this time, allowing the person to focus on a specific suggestion.
Psychology experts hold that trance-like states are common in everyday life. For example, being in a zone with a project and forgetting to eat lunch is one such situation. This intense focused concentration or flow is a spontaneous condition. A hypnotic trance is deeper, more focused and induced by a professional.
Therapists induce hypnotic states and pose suggestions to clients when the latter are in trance-like states. These statements permit goals for confidence, control and a life devoid of smoking. Clients can visualize specific things. These are the positive aspects of the future as a non-smoker. This is an unpleasant experience associated with present smoking habits.
Some hypnotherapists even follow standardized scripts for such tasks. However, hypnosis sessions vary considerably. Hypnosis does not share the same research-backed evidence from studies as other cessation methods though, like CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy.
Evidence for hypnosis as a means of quitting smoking is mixed, therefore. While some research demonstrates high success rates, others are modest. A review of 59 trials found hypnosis is better as against no support. Researchers did not discover hypnosis to be more effective than other forms of addiction treatments.
A study conducted by researchers suggests hypnosis helps quitters to focus on their own resources to curb cigarette cravings. Other researchers are of the opinion that high success rates are induced by hypnosis and this permits individuals to cope with addiction and withdrawal.
Psychologists like Greenleaf and Spiegel have also documented that one in four individuals cannot be hypnotized. Cigarette smoking is a tough habit to break. The health effects are well documented for smokers, but the habit itself is hard to break.
The relaxation effect induced by nicotine is hard to resist. Yet some individuals have been successful in getting over the bad habits by seeking therapy and medicines. These prove effective for some. Other ways to quit smoking is through auto or self-hypnosis.
Hypnosis is not about losing consciousness. It is simply an altered state where the mind is fully aware of what is going around the surroundings. During the awakened stage, hypnotic induction is a powerful way of getting the addicted smoker to quit smoking, tapping the power of suggestion. A self-induced state involves only self suggestions and a certain tranquil state of the mind.
This is open to suggestions which can be induced.
Encouraging oneself towards a healthier and better lifestyle leads to a lot of benefits. Realize the goals that you are wanting to achieve.
The most critical requirement is to find a place that is calm and quiet and focus on your mind. Don't get distracted by thoughts and let them flow in and flow out. The next step is to lie down or sit and relax while concentrating on your breathing. Focus on a mindset you need to achieve, forget all the worries and just let your mind enter a state of altered awareness.
Think of relaxing sounds. If one is having a problem, it is essential to count from a single number to higher numbers and be relaxed when you reach the higher digits. The tension levels should lower and the stress is eliminated. This is carried out repeatedly till one feels tranquil and the muscles relax as the mind becomes relaxed.
Giving up smoking can be a tough proposition, but it's good for your health. If you try other methods to stop smoking, self-hypnosis is a perfect option. While some individuals respond to hypnotic suggestions, others do not. Hypnosis for smoking session helps in relaxing, managing anxiety and eliminating the urge to smoke for good.
Understanding the way hypnosis works is essential. Unlike the misconceptions about hypnosis, the truth is neither do you remain unconscious nor can you be forced against your will while hypnotized.
Hypnosis encourages a sense of relaxation. This is achieved through visualization and deep breathing exercises. Trained hypnotherapists can help by relaxing your mind through soft and slow instructions. If you are attempting auto-suggestion, opt for a soundtrack or CD with relaxing noises.
Once relaxation sets in, hypnotherapists offer suggestions and statements for changing the behavior. The hypnotic state makes one receptive to embracing recommendations and suggestions. Hypnosis also helps in achieving focus. While a hypnotic state sets in, focusing on how you need to succeed is important. This focus can help in accepting suggestions and preparing one for work goals.
Explore the mental states. Remember that hypnosis cannot make an individual do something they do not want to. It is not a silver bullet that is guaranteed to never make you smoke again. But this form of therapy can help in changing, focusing and concentrating behaviors. Hypnosis is best for those prone to suggestibility. In case a personality is resistant to new changes or ideas or suspending disbelief, hypnosis is not advisable. This is because hypnotherapy relies on the belief that smoking is bad and the required treatment will work. Hypnosis can help in making changes you are mentally prepared to undertake. Self-hypnosis is all about quitting smoking.
Finding a private, quiet space to practice self-hypnosis is essential. If you're planning on guided or hypnotherapy sessions even, it should ideally be free of distractions. Feeling relaxed and comfortable in this location is important. Avoid lying on the bed, as one can end up falling asleep rather than entering a state of the hypnotic trance. A chair or recliner is a better bet to induce feelings of wakefulness as well as relaxation.
Creating affirmations for oneself is important, too. Hypnosis is most effective if suggestions are in the form of direct responses, rather than long-winded or abstract questions. The hypnotist generally focuses on affirmative suggestions to reinforce the positive effects of not smoking. For those attempting autohypnosis, this is equally important.
It is important to keep reasonable affirmations. Considering something positive rather than negative is important. Affirmations phrased in present are not as helpful as keeping attention on what is taking place at present. It is important to accept that self-hypnosis takes time. Most individuals are not skilled at this. In the event that this technique does work out, it is important to practice self-hypnosis. It is important to remain patient and keep trying.
Another moot point is committing to consistency. While some individuals stop smoking even after a single hypnotherapy session, others take more suggestions, affirmations, and sessions to actually benefit. This is more so if self-hypnosis is practiced. One needs to practice and experiment before effectively using it.
Understanding when to consult a professional is critical. While many individuals have found self-hypnosis useful for quitting smoking. But it may not work well for all. Sometimes, seeing a clinical hypnotherapist can help even in the event that self-hypnosis has not worked for one.
The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis also maintains a data of certified professionals whom you can reach out to.
Preparing oneself for self-hypnosis is essential. Sit and make yourself relaxed in a quiet room or space. The same holds true for guided hypnotherapist sessions. Other precautions to discover are wearing comfortable clothes, not eating a heavy meal and scheduling self-hypnosis at the same time when you are alone and relaxed. Focusing attention on particular areas of the room without distracting details are essential. Take slow, deep, long breaths and try to relax.
Whether you're self hypnotizing or undergoing guided hypnosis, it is essential to close your eyes and relax. Take deep breaths. Relaxing the body leads to tension dispelling and allows the body to become loose and heavy. Breathe deeply and focus on chest, diaphragm and lung movement.
If there is an issue in relaxing, focus on positive thoughts and not on relaxing. Instead of pressurizing yourself to relax, continue deep breathing. For auto-hypnosis, you need to repeat the affirmations to oneself. Use a soft tone to repeat your affirmations. Don't be angry or harsh towards yourself. Hypnosis can work if one is positive about the process.
Visualizing the image representing the goal is important. The image should represent your objective and be positive. Visualize yourself running a marathon or long run, and winning or friends and loved ones being appreciative of your efforts to kick the habit.
Focus on the visualization and repeat these affirmations. This needs to be continued for about thirty seconds.
Once the affirmations are over, you need to come out of the relaxed state. You will feel light, energetic and in control. Count from one to five and then stretch and take a couple of deep breaths.
When you are faced with this process in a constant way, it pays to practice this form of self-hypnosis each day. Practice a few times a week at least.
It is important to remain patient. Some difficulty may be experienced with self-hypnosis techniques and methods. Self-hypnosis may not work in a way that stops smoking unless it's done correctly. Instead, if you are accepting and positive, instead of being negative, the results can be amazing.
Induce self suggestions. Think of the benefits and advantages of managing a smoke-free life. From a drop in blood pressure levels to the normalization of the heart rate, oxygen levels in the blood rising and lower risk of stroke, COPD, emphysema, and heart attack. Work on making your subconscious mind to accept these suggestions. Let go and feel free and relaxed.
After accepting the auto-suggestions, emerge out of a calm mind slowly. Count from 1 to help you return. Start with a session of self-hypnosis and be determined when you face the challenges.
Other steps you can take is keeping yourself busy to divert the urges. Eating and drinking healthy is important. Opting for yoga or massage is equally crucial. Relax, and avoid alcohol and other addictions. For those feeling the need to smoke post meals, chewing candy or gum or even brushing the teeth is essential. Most smokers seek to give up cigarettes. But only between 40 to 80 percent in most study samples actually want to quit. Surprisingly, 80% of smokers try to quit without opting for long-term help.
But the cold turkey method has low success rates at 7 to 8 percent in the long run. For smokers seeking an option to NRT and smoking cessation medicines, hypnotherapy is beneficial. There is a finding that 1 in 4 smokers are interested in quitting by using hypnosis.
Given the heterogeneity in research, the effect of hypnosis on smoking cessation is not clear. Several reviews and meta-analytic studies on hypnotherapy for smoking, however, do support the contention that hypnosis works for many looking to quit smoking.
People undergo hypnosis to address all kinds of issues from addiction to emotional stress.
The concept of hypnosis started in the 1840s, when Scot surgeon James Braid build upon the idea of what is known as nervous sleep or induction of abstraction or mental concentration, in that spontaneous abstraction or reverie follows. The mind is engrossed with a single idea or chain of thought to render the individual unconscious or indifferently conscious to impressions.
The hypnotist works to enable smokers to quit, something they are capable of doing when guided in the right direction.
While there are numerous studies of hypnosis, and many approaches and styles, an emphasis on relaxation and focusing on a desire to change within individuals characterize hypnosis. It's all about relating emotions through language and visual cues. American Association of Professional Hypnotherapists explains a state of relaxed focus as the hypnotic trance and how sleepers also enter this state before nodding off or waking up.
Hypnosis is characterized by 4 major aspects. First is the highly focused attention. This is focused on the problem at hand that is, smoking cigarettes. Secondly, there is dissociation from the immediate physical environment. Another element is suggestibility. As persons become responsive to suggestions, there is also a sense of involuntariness, which is wrong. Actually, you are aware of the suggestions towards smoking and governed by recommendations.
Hypnosis for smoking cessation focuses on positive results of quitting or negative association with smoking taking root deep in the recesses of the mind.
CDC reports 480K deaths per year in the US due to smoking, The US Department of Health & Human Services released a clinical practice guideline that found those using nicotine patch, nicotine gum and individual counseling were benefiting from treatment. But the officials did not take a stand on hypnosis so far.
As far as whether hypnosis still works, the jury is out on that, as far as research is concerned.
Myths And Hypnosis
There are several myths surrounding hypnosis. One of these is that the hypnotherapist can make you go against your will and you lose control of what happens. The truth is that you have increased focus, but no loss of free will. Another big myth (based on the Dick van Dyke episode) is that hypnosis means handing your locus of control to someone else. A hypnotist serves as a tour guide on the inward journey, but the one behind the wheel is always you.
Another big falsehood is that you develop amnesia for the duration you are hypnotized. The real fact is that you recall just about everything you said and did while under hypnosis. Another (and perhaps the most enduring myth) is that anyone can be hypnotized. Estimates show that only about a quarter of the population possesses this capacity. There are some people who can’t be put in this state and for them atlas, hypnosis is not the way to a cigarette-free life.
Smoking is a lethal and dangerous habit. You should try everything that could possibly work for you, to stave it off. Given the ill effects on your health, and the fact that smoking thrills but kills, it is important to give yourself a chance to combat this and for some, hypnosis could well be that silver bullet for a golden opportunity to quit cigarettes.