Smoker’s account of quitting

I see many smokers who are struggling to quit. Initially we talk about their smoking history, past attempts to quit and any health concerns for themselves or if they know someone whose health was compromised by smoking.

Smokers are very quick to say they hate smoking; they hate the smell, the cost and don’t like the fact that they have to go ‘somewhere else’ to smoke.

A recent client said she was at a family function and a couple of cousins were also smokers. The routine was for them to step outside and chat while they smoked.

The client had already come for her first of two office visits and had been listening to MP3 of her session daily at home. While recounting this particular smoke break story, she said it was very different from previous times. ‘We were standing in the cold next to the chimney to the back side of the house. I remember feeling so stupid because I was freezing to death and isolated from the rest of my family just to smoke.’

She spoke at length about how, in the past week, she became much more aware of the absurdity and certainly the health risk of smoking. I reminded her how hypnotherapy enhances mindfulness, we become very careful thinkers and impulsivity fades. This was likely why she saw this situation in a new light.

I asked her why she ever smoked in the first place, what was the upside? If she was so eager to condemn the cost, stink and health risk what could she possibly be getting from smoking.

She said ‘I guess I just want to smoke.’ To that I asked her to drill down into the ‘want’ a little more. Could she logically want something that checked off the cost, stink and health boxes? She paused and then responded with an emphatic ‘of course not’.

I asked if it made sense that the ‘want’ was just a habit that had taken on a life of its own out of simple repetition? That made sense to her.

Then I asked if it also made sense that by continuing to repeat the relaxing process that reinforced a comfortable smoke-free transition could fix the problem? She just smiled and nodded. After our chat we did her hypnotherapy session and she left the office feeling very focused and confident.

I routinely engage in these types of conversations with clients prior to initiating a hypnotherapy session because it helps them sort through all the details on a subconscious level. Once the session is concluded clients typically are much more focused and confident about moving forward to healthy change.

By: Paul Gustafson

E-cigarettes will not help you quit smoking

Don’t believe the packaging or the slick adverts, e-cigarettes are not the solution to your smoking problem. In fact, a new study goes so far as to say quite the opposite – they are a gateway to further nicotine addiction. There are, however, potential solutions out there which can replace both patches and e-cigarettes by building your mental fortitude and resilience to overcome cravings and live a healthier life.

The theory is simple. Electronic cigarette producers and proponents suggest that these are ideal devices for slowly weaning yourself off nicotine. Smokers still get a fix, but with reduced health risks and reduced amounts of nicotine. This, however, requires a huge amount of willpower and discipline to slowly cut intake until the smoker is able to quit entirely.

 Reality of E-Cigarettes

According to a study tracking cancer patients trying to quit smoking noted by Medical News Today, e-cigarette users were more nicotine dependent than nonusers. The report, while suspect to some, has been used to encourage oncologists to not recommend e-cigarettes or vapes to patients. UK Professors, Peter Hajek and Robert West have disagreed with the study’s findings due to a high dropout rate of participants.

However, other studies have shown e-cigarettes to be harmful. The FDA is working to regulate e-cigarettes after medical studies determined that even though so-called vapes produce a nicotine vapor, smokers still inhale harmful substances and potential carcinogens. If we go back to the original, controversial study, one thing it does prove is that those who enroll in a 6-12 month cessation plan usually fail; especially if it involves nicotine replacement products such as patches and e-cigarettes.

Hypnotherapy is More Effective Than E-Cigarettes

What should be taken from these studies is that any kind of nicotine is addictive and potentially harmful. Those looking to quit smoking, no matter their health, should look for nicotine-free solutions. Psychological counseling is one option and another is smoking cessation through hypnosis.

Hypnosis works through altering a person’s state of awareness so they appear to be in a trance or even asleep. By influencing a person’s thought process and awareness, hypnotherapy is able to reduce pain, help with weight issues, and quit smoking. If you have tried many alternatives or want a nicotine free way to quit the habit, get in touch – it might change your life!

By: Phoebe Parlade

Research supports stop smoking hypnosis

90.6% Success Rate Using Hypnosis Of 43 consecutive patients undergoing this treatment protocol, 39 reported remaining abstinent at follow-up (6 months to 3 years post-treatment). This represents a 90.6% success rate using hypnosis. Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2001 Jul;49(3):257-66. Barber J.

95% Success Rate Using Hypnosis with NLP A comparison of hypnosis to quit smoking and hypnosis combined with NLP reported a 95% success rate using hypnosis combined with NLP and 51% using hypnosis alone. Smoke Free International

90% Success Rate with Hypnosis Authors report a success rate in smoking abstinence of over 90% with hypnosis. MMW Fortschr Med. 2004 May 13;146(20):16.

87% Reported Abstinence Using Hypnosis A field study of 93 male and 93 female CMHC outpatients examined the facilitation of smoking cessation by using hypnosis. At 3-mo. follow-up, 86% of men and 87% of women reported continued abstinence using hypnosis. Psychol Rep. 1994 Oct;75(2):851-7. PMID: 7862796

81% Reported They Had Stopped Smoking Thirty smokers enrolled in an HMO were referred by their primary physician for treatment. Twenty-one patients returned after an initial consultation and received hypnosis for smoking cessation. At the end of treatment, 81% of those patients reported that they had stopped smoking, and 48% reported abstinence at 12 months post-treatment. Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2004 Jan;52(1):73-81.

Hypnosis Patients Twice As Likely To Quit Study of 71 smokers showed that after a two-year follow up, patients that quit with hypnosis were twice as likely to still be smoke-free than those who quit on their own. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 2005; 37:3, pages 245-250.

Noticing the smoking stink

My smoking clients come for two office visits and a small percentage continue to smoke between visits, and those who do frequently comment on how horrible cigarettes taste.  Something they were never aware of becomes painfully obvious to the extent that many are embarrassed.

The subconscious mind, in its infinite wisdom, makes it easy for smokers to quit by changing how cigarette smoke smells.  Because quitting is something that they want to do, hypnosis guides the subconscious to make the transition comfortable.  Who would wonder do something that tastes so bad?

Clients become more aware of the stink of cigarette smoke on their clothing, in their hair, and in their automobiles.  In a matter of days they transition from not noticing the smell at all, to being repulsed by every aspect of smoking.

Hypnosis also enhances the individuals overall mindfulness.  Clients listen to sessions daily, and as a result they become much more aware of the health risks associated with smoking.  Prior to hypnosis they intellectually knew how unhealthy smoking is but after hypnosis that knowledge is taken to a much deeper level.  They go from knowing it to feeling it.

By: Paul Gustafson RN CH