Hypnosis for Quitting Smoking

Smoking is a bad habit and dangerous to your health. It’s leading to many diseases for example cancer, increasing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, lung disease and other health problems including mortality. According to the US Department of Human Health and Service, most of the smokers have an awareness about the smoking consequences and 80% of current smokers express their desire to stop smoking but most of them are unlikely to be successful without proper guidance. Quitting Smoking can be a real challenge for some people and require professional help to overcome the situation. Smoking cessation significantly helps someone who attempts to quickly smoke with the assistance of medical consultations. Hypnosis or hypnotherapy is a modern terminology widely known among psychiatrists and has been recognized as a therapeutic tool over the years. It is a powerful technique to change behavior patterns and works by altering the state of awareness by putting someone asleep. Clinical hypnosis is the practice by the healthcare professionals to treat physical and psychological problems among patients for example to control the pain, addiction problems, speech, mood and mental disorder.

During hypnosis sessions for smoking cessation, the hypnotherapist often used the frequent ask questions method through affirmations technique. Hypnosis works by inducing deep concentration and thus altering the perceptions of the smoking individual. The impulse will be sent to the brain to weaken the person’s desire to smoke, strengthen the will to stop and improve their ability to focus. This approach focuses on 3 main points developed by Spiegel in 1964. According to this method  the smoker is being told 1) smoking is poison 2) the body has the right to be protected 3) advantages in life as a nonsmoker. The hypnotherapist will ask the smokers to adhere to these questions and train them for self-hypnosis to prevent them from relapsing in the future if they were to start smoking again once they have successfully stopped.

A research published in International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis has reported intensive hypnosis sessions are effective in achieving smoking cessation. The rate of smoking cessation among 20 subjects has been evaluated at the end of treatment after they were given one week’s time to quit smoking. After 26 weeks, the studies show the rate of smoking recession has improved by up to 40% as confirmed by carbon monoxide measurement values. This rate of smoking cessation is said to be higher than that achieved through pharmacological treatment. Modern research has shown that all people can be hypnotized. When you are in a state of hypnosis, the hypnotherapist will help you to shut off your conscious mind so the subconscious mind will take over. It is said you are more likely to make a permanent change in lives and can achieve your desired goals by changing the program in your subconscious mind. It is designed to believe what it’s being told through visualization and can only be trained with hypnosis and repetition techniques.

According to Holroyd studies in 1980, the likelihood of success rate for hypnosis depends on several factors for example, multiple sessions, individual hypnotic suggestions, individual commitment to follow up the sessions, and personal relationship between patients and hypnotherapists. Many people believe hypnosis can help them with the relaxation of the mind, it is somewhat true, but there is a debate on how effective this treatment works. The intensity and success rate vary from one person to another person. A present study has shown hypnosis has several limitations including lack of hypnotizability measurement, hypnotherapist skills, patient requirements, for example genetic background, demographic, habit, age, gender also should also be taken into account to prevent ambiguity of the data. A thorough research and clinical studies should be conducted to ensure hypnosis really works to help the smokers to stop smoking. Even though this method is quite controversial and polemica, anyhow it is still preferable by medical practitioners as compared to other methods because it is safe. However, it is always good to combine this with other techniques to get the optimum results.

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