Does Hypnosis Really Help You Quit Smoking?
Hypnosis can be an effective method of smoking cessation for smokers who are receptive to the suggestions heard while in the hypnotic state.
Hypnosis is a tool to help one quit smoking. Working with the subconscious mind, hypnosis allows a person to receive and accept suggestions about the positive reasons he should quit smoking. After a hypnotic session, a person awakens relaxed and more prone to implementing a nonsmoking regime. Posthypnotic suggestions reinforce his desire to quit.
Hypnosis is not a magic cure for smoking. Hypnosis is an alternate mind state of deep relaxation in which a person becomes susceptible to the suggestions made by himself--called self-hypnosis--or someone else. The hypnotist relaxes the person by using an object for the person to concentrate on until they reach a deep relaxation state. The hypnotist makes suggestions about quitting smoking such as pointing out health benefits of quitting while the person is in this deep relaxation state. The hypnotist may give a posthypnotic suggestion for the person to use when he finds himself reaching for a cigarette, such as seeing a warning sign when reaching for a cigarette or feeling a burning sensation when touching one. The hypnotist then returns the person to his normal waking state. It may be necessary for a person to have additional hypnotic sessions for successful implementation of the suggestions.
Due to altered brain wave functions arising from the deep relaxation state, the person becomes more prone to taking positive suggestions on lifestyle changes he wishes to pursue. Hypnosis makes it possible for the person to realize why he wants to quit smoking. Hypnosis also provides the motivation for quitting smoking with repeat sessions that emphasize the positive points of not smoking.
There are two types of hypnosis, regular and self-hypnosis. A trained therapist may administer hypnosis. A therapist can also train a patient to hypnotize himself. One can learn hypnosis by reading books on the subject or by purchasing CDs with instructions on how to quit smoking.
Hypnosis allows a person to change her mind-set regarding a subject without interference from her conscious mind. When she awakens from the hypnotic state, she does not feel the craving for a cigarette. Later when the cravings return, the post-hypnotic suggestions her therapist provided kick in and help her refrain from smoking over time.
Hypnosis does not work for all people. In order for hypnotic suggestions to take positive effect, the person must want to act on the behavior modification. Hypnotizing someone and suggesting she quit smoking when she really does not want to will not cause her to quit smoking. When she gears her whole mind toward quitting smoking, she is most likely to succeed.