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  • Writer's pictureLeanne Varley

Hypnotherapy helps Smoking Cessation

Nicotine is highly addictive

Smoking is bad for your health and the evidence why a smoker should quit is overwhelming. Tobacco cravings or urges to smoke can be powerful. This is attributed to the highly addictive nature of tobacco. Nicotine is one of the chemical substances found in tobacco and acts at the level of the brain to stimulate the nicotine acetylcholine receptors to release the pleasure or feel good hormones.

Efforts to Quit

If you have tried to quit smoking or support a friend, relative or co-worker who is trying to quit the habit, you know how challenging it is. Some smokers have successfully quit but struggle with the cravings for cigarettes. The very unpleasant side effects of nicotine withdrawal include weight gain, anxiety, irritability, depression, insomnia and inability to focus. Overcoming the tobacco craving oftentimes requires professional help, a commitment to a plan to beat the cravings and the caring support of friends, family and co-workers. A multi-prong approach which includes:

  1. Therapy (hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis)

  2. Healthy eating

  3. Exercise (Try out a new sport or workout routine)

  4. Nicotine replacement plan

  5. Alternative treatments (such as acupuncture, meditation and visualization)

Hypnosis for Smoking cessation and cravings

Hypnosis is a state of altered consciousness or awareness during which one has a relaxed focus or a trance-like state.

During this state it is possible and effective for the hypnotist to suggest changes the individual is ready to effect in his or her life. This has been useful for weight loss, smoking cessation and other addictions. The therapist will explore the reasons that lead you to smoke and the triggers which prompt you to light-up.

Common triggers are:

  • Places such as pubs and bars.

  • Taking a break at work as this is usually associated with a coffee break or a break to light-up.

  • After a meal or having a cup of coffee.

  • Long distance driving.

  • Stressful situations, anxiety/nervousness will cause a smoker to light up as a means of calming down.

  • After sexual intercourse.

  • After stressful encounters.

  • Being in the company of a smoker who lights up.

The hypnotherapy session

During the session the therapist will establish that you are ready to quit the smoking habit. The voluntary declaration is important for the hypnotic session to be successful.

When you are in the trace-like state the therapist will suggest to you the reasons for quitting whether it is health or other compelling reasons. This will become your affirmation whenever you have the urge to smoke.

Tips to help you overcome the urge to smoke:

  • Affirm as you did while under hypnosis the compelling reasons why smoking is bad for your health

  • Distract yourself with an activity which will keep you busy for at least 15 minutes.

  • Get active by walking, jogging, engaging in (yoga, tai chi, aerobics) until the urge to smoke subsides.

  • Chewing gum or eating a healthy snack works for some recovering smokers.

  • Inhale through one nostril and exhale slowly through the next. Do this action 10 times or until the urge to smoke passes.

It is empowering when the smoker or recovering smoker can overcome the urge to smoke by applying hypnosis and the other tips mentioned.

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