The Edinburgh Reporter’s Mike Smith is a qualified hypnotherapist. In the latest of a series of articles on the benefits of hypnotherapy, Mike looks at what it can do to help people stop smoking.
‘What is it you do?’ asked the woman in the barber’s shop.
‘I’m a hypnotherapist’ I replied nervously as she took an extremely sharp blade to the back of my neck. ‘I can help you get rid of unwanted habits’
‘Aye? Can ye get me to stop smoking?’
‘I can certainly try’ I replied, more confident now. ‘Most of the clients who have come to see me have stopped smoking – so it does work’
I have been asked this question many times by people who are looking to stop smoking. My most recent client had been smoking for twenty years and had tried all kinds of methods in an attempt to stop. Nicotine patches, gum, even acupuncture – none of them worked. He came to me in desperation (not the first person to do so but that’s another story!)
After just one session of hypnotherapy my delighted client had stopped smoking. Six weeks on he is still proud to call himself a non-smoker – something his young daughter is delighted about.
When considering stop smoking hypnosis, the first thing one must do is make sure they are choosing to quit for themselves. Hypnosis for smoking has been found to be most effective when the person really wants to quit.
Hypnotherapy works by putting someone into a deep, relaxed state. You are not ‘put to sleep’. You are awake but it’s like being in a daydream. How many times has someone said to you ‘hey, you’re away in a dream!’ This process is done by the hypnotherapist devising a script tailored to your thoughts and is aimed at relaxing you. Thus, at the initial consultation session, you are asked what helps you to relax, what’s your favourite holiday, what would be your ideal day if you had a day to yourself. Your replies are then added to a script which the hypnotherapist will use for you and no one else.
When you are at your most relaxed this is when your subconscious mind is most receptive to suggestion. At this point, the hypnotherapist will look to change the thought patterns of the smoker. They will make suggestions such as, “I do not want a cigarette” or “the smell of cigarette smoke makes me nauseous”. The hypnotherapist may ask the individual to imagine unpleasant smells and feelings that they can associate with smoking. The person may also be taught various stop smoking hypnosis techniques so they can practice at home.
A great number of people find hypnotherapy for smoking an effective treatment. The method works to break the negative behaviours and thinking patterns associated with smoking. The thoughts and behaviours the smoker holds are often what prevents them from successfully giving up.
When a person makes the decision to stop smoking, the key aspect is to let go of the routine and change their perspective of cigarettes. Breaking an addiction like this is a challenge. Many people find changing how they think about something difficult. As hypnotherapy focuses on this change, it is fast becoming one of the most popular forms of treatment.
Benefits of quitting
It is never too late to quit smoking. Whatever age the smoker is, if they make the decision to stop, their health will benefit. However, the sooner a person quits, the faster the body can recover and the risk of developing serious health conditions will decrease. There are many benefits to stopping smoking, including:
As carbon monoxide affects how much oxygen the blood can carry, the body can find it difficult to function properly. When a person stops smoking, the carbon monoxide in the blood lowers. This allows the lungs and muscles to work the way they should. It also means more oxygen reaches the brain, boosting alertness and energy.
Improved immune system
Smoking causes the immune system to drop. This makes the body more susceptible to colds and flu. Quitting allows the immune system to remain healthy.
Longer life expectancy
If a person quits smoking by the age of 30, their life expectancy can increase by 10 years. Even if a smoker is 60 years old, quitting can still add three years to their life.
Within nine months of giving up, lung capacity is said to increase by as much as 10 per cent. This allows the body to carry out daily tasks without the loss of breath. The “smoker’s cough” should also disappear and any breathing conditions, such as asthma should be reduced.
Many smokers reach for a cigarette when in a stressful situation. The immediate hit of nicotine after withdrawal may make them feel relaxed but in the long-term, smoking increases stress levels.
Younger looking skin
Smoking prematurely ages the skin. Regular smoking can leave the skin dull, dry, and prone to wrinkles. When a person decides to stop smoking, the effect is reversed as the skin begins to receive the nutrients it needs. Over time, the appearance of the skin should dramatically improve.
The average cost of a 20-pack of cigarettes is £8.00. If a person is smoking 20 cigarettes a day for 10 years, they will have spent nearly £30,000. Quitting smoking could mean a person is £250.00 richer per month. Think about what you could do with that extra money – as well as improving your health. And think, too, about the following:
- Nearly 50 per cent of all smokers die prematurely due to smoking-related diseases.
- The life expectancy of a smoker is about 10 years less than that of a non-smoker.
- In the UK is it estimated only half of long-term smokers live past the age of 70.
- Up to 17,000 children under the age of five are admitted to hospital each year as a result of passive smoking-related illnesses.
Common fears and misconceptions
When making the decision to stop smoking, many people have some initial worries. Common fears include:
Weight gain – Nicotine is an appetite suppressant, so it is possible for a person to feel hungrier after quitting. This is not the case for everyone but it is worth preparing for. If a person is ready to stop, they could stock up on healthy foods to nibble on when feeling hungry. They can also increase their levels of physical activity.
Not having a social tool – For some people, smoking is considered a social tool that brings people together. However, the smoking ban in public in Scotland was introduced in 2006. Since then, smoking outside has become a more isolated experience. It is important for people to remember that they are able to stay inside with those who do not smoke. Quitting doesn’t have to damage a social life.
Feeling it’s not “the right time” – A common excuse and sadly it is unlikely there will ever be a “good time”. Life will always have its ups and downs. The trick is to learn to cope with them without turning to a cigarette. This is where self-hypnosis can help.
As mentioned, a person is more successful in quitting if they make the decision themselves. If they have a goal in mind, they can work towards it and stay focused. Once the commitment to change has started, a person should seek help. Stop smoking hypnosis is one approach that can help a person kick a habit. Contacting a local medical professional can let the smoker know their options.
Other ways to quit
Whether a person is considered a heavy smoker or a social smoker, the thought of quitting can be daunting. According to statistics, two in three smokers want to stop smoking. Yet many people feel they couldn’t last a day without a cigarette.
Hypnotherapy for smoking is one treatment that many people turn to and find effective. Sometimes it can work one its own, though it may complement another treatment.
If you wish to stop smoking why don’t you take the first step to overcoming this by natural methods – the strength and power of your mind – by contacting me to arrange a consultation.
Smoking cessation can be done over just one session. The cost of a session at Mind Generating Success is just £95. Set that against the cost of cigarettes over a year and it is a relative drop in the ocean. So, contact me today.
Mike Smith Hyp CS
Tel: 07521353787 (24 hours)
Source: The Hypnotherapy Directory www.hypnotherapy-directory.org.uk