Ask anyone who smokes and they will tell you that quitting is no easy task. However, it is well worth the effort. Smoking can take a real toll on your health. Not only can it dramatically increase your risk of developing cancer but it can also make other health conditions like strokes, heart attacks, and emphysema much more likely. These effects can be far-reaching, even going so far as to affect your bone density and your eyesight.
There are a lot of different products on the market that are designed to make it easier to quit. However, these products are not effective for everyone. If you have already tried a lot of different options and haven’t had the success that you want, hypnosis may be the answer. Some researchers have found that hypnosis can be beneficial for certain people when they are quitting smoking.
A Closer Look At Hypnosis
When you are hypnotized, your mind enters a deeply relaxed state where it is extremely responsive to the power of suggestion. This treatment option has proven beneficial for treating a variety of different physical and mental health conditions. A great example of this is its use in the field of pain management. Through hypnosis, patients who experience chronic pain are able to manage that pain more effectively. Other uses for hypnosis include everything from helping people lose weight to helping them overcome addictions.
The exact method by which hypnosis works is not entirely clear. Some experts attribute its benefits to the fact that your mind is relaxed. Without all of the clutter, you are better able to concentrate on the suggestions that you are given, helping them sink more deeply into your mind. The part of the mind activated during hypnosis is the subconscious. The subconscious part of our mind reasons deductively. It is a creative system.
What this means is that, once a well formed premise presented with significant emotional emphasis is accepted by the subconscious, it then begins deductively expressing itself outwardly and creatively without really questioning the logic of the original premise. The subconscious is more of an emotional system, not a logical system. When it comes to smoking, there must be a significant emotional attachment to something that can only be achieved by being a non-smoker, or something that can only be avoided by being a non-smoker; often times a bit of both is involved. A purely intellectual idea, or of course any manner of duress is typically not effective. As unusual as it may be to consider, what actually happens when one uses hypnosis to address the smoking habit, is that the individual becomes a non-smoker. It is a process. If however the process occurs very quickly, the individual will interpret it as an event rather than a process, and say that they stopped smoking. Remember the subconscious is a deductive system, and as such is not involved with the stopping of things. It is instead involved with the creating of things.
It is important to note that you never lose control during the hypnosis process. When you are hypnotized, you always know exactly what is going on around you. Additionally, a hypnotist can’t convince you to do something if you don’t want to do it. Interestingly, studies have shown that brain activity is high during periods of hypnosis, implying that the brain is actively working the whole time.
Using Hypnosis To Quit Smoking
There are a variety of hypnotic suggestions that can be used to help someone quit smoking. In many cases, the hypnotherapist will try to associate the smoking process with an unpleasant experience. For instance, they may suggest that cigarette smoke tastes like garbage or that smoking leaves an unpleasant feeling in the person’s mouth.
The hypnosis technique known as Spiegel’s method uses suggestions that support these three concepts:
*Cigarette smoke acts like a poison in the body
* Your body is essential for life
* If you want to stay alive, you need to treat your body with respect
By educating clients on self-hypnosis and giving them a list of affirmations that they can use when cravings hit, hypnotherapists can make the process of quitting easier.
Of course there are many hypnotic strategies that can be effective, and they must be considered and tailored to the individual. A cookie cutter approach is usually not as effective.
How Effective Is Hypnosis?
The effectiveness of hypnosis is hotly debated. About a quarter of the population are not easily hypnotized. That is they need to be taught the state of mind thru a series of steps, however even the percentage of the population that or easily hypnotized, the effectiveness of this treatment option can vary.
Throughout the years, there have been conflicting results from various scientific studies. In fact, there were two separate reviews done of all of the published literature on the use of hypnosis as a treatment option – one in 2010 and another in 2012. The 2010 study found that the evidence did not support using hypnosis as a treatment option. The 2012 study, on the other hand, found that hypnosis could be beneficial. Even the American Cancer Society provides somewhat conflicting information, stating that although studies have not proven that hypnosis is effective for quitting smoking, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support its use.
Some will claim that the American Medical Association (AMA) recommends the use of hypnosis as an approved therapy. In fact, however, this well-known organization has not put out an official statement regarding their position on using hypnosis as an option. Although they did have a statement on file in the past, it was retracted in the late 1980s.
At this time, most experts stress the need for additional studies before any conclusions can be drawn. However, hypnosis may still be beneficial in the fight against smoking. The key to success is to use multiple tactics to overcome this powerful addiction.
Choosing a Hypnotist
Rapport is key when doing hypnotic work. After doing your research, you should call and speak to the hypnotist. They should be willing to answer your questions, in fact perhaps even allow you to drop by their office and briefly meet them to make certain you are comfortable.
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