Hypnosis to Stop Smoking
Every smoker "knows" the reasons he or she should quit smoking. The U.S. Surgeon General and numerous TV documentaries and public service ads relate the dangers of smoking: shorter life span, increased susceptibility to disease including cancers, lung damage, heart disease and nervous system disorders. In addition to the risk to the smoker, study after study have demonstrated the danger to those around the smoker. Smoking is expensive, dirty and smelly. Every smoker already "knows" that.
So why do smokers cling to the habit, even as society and those around them discourage it? Smoking is one of the most difficult habits to break, and not only because of physical addictions to nicotine. In fact, if chemical addiction was the whole problem, the nicotine patch and inhaler would have a 100% success rate.
In fact, cigarette addiction is part physical, part habit, and part co-habit. The last one of these, co-habits, is the most difficult aspect: smoking frequently accompanies other relaxing activities, such as coffee breaks or after meals, and stressful events such as job stress or family stress. All of these serve as triggers to smoking, and make it that much more difficult to quit.
Hypnosis and Smoking
Breaking a smoking habit is one of the most frequent uses of hypnosis, and one of the areas of greatest success in hypnosis practice. Hypnosis is particularly helpful in breaking the linkage between lighting up and non-smoking activities and events.
More important, however, is the deep work to help you create an image of yourself as a non-smoker. You may have caught yourself saying "Oh, it's just so hard to quit," or "I can't quit, I need a cigarette just to clear my head sometimes." Such statements are derived from the inner vision you have of yourself. As long as you see yourself as a smoker, quitting will be about as hard as you think it will be. Hypnosis is a powerful technique to access the deepest images of yourself, and reshape them into the person you want to become.
Types of Hypnosis for Smoking Cessation
Hypnosis sessions to stop smoking come in three types: in-person sessions with a hypnotherapist, recorded hypnotherapy sessions, and self-hypnosis.
Of these, in-person sessions with a hypnotherapist have the greatest success. A hypnotist or hypnotherapist will work with clients to determine individual triggers, the desire the quit and to define goals. From this, a customized session can be designed that specifically addresses the client, maximizing the effect. Some hypnotists offer single-session stop-smoking sessions, but most offer comprehensive stop-smoking hypnosis programs lasting from three to ten sessions.
There are many recorded stop-smoking hypnosis sessions on CD and MP3. These are general in nature, and while effective for most people, clients may need to work with the recordings over a longer period to gain the greatest effect.
Self-hypnosis to stop smoking is a popular choice. Several books and instructional videos teach self-hypnosis and assist in creating appropriate suggestions/affirmations. While self-hypnosis is relatively easy to learn, achieving a suitable level of hypnosis takes considerable practice for most people. For those with some background in self-hypnosis, this can be an effective approach. For those new to self-hypnosis, in-person or recorded sessions are likely to more successful.