Hypnotherapy to Quit Smoking – Is It Even an Option?


quit smoking options
SvetaZi/Shutterstock

It seems like there are a million ways to quit smoking, with some of them working better than others for some people. From patches to pills to counseling programs, there is no limit to the methods you could try to stop smoking.

But even if it worked for someone else, you may not have the same success. You might have to try something more radical. Perhaps you have heard of hypnotherapy being used to help people stop smoking. Maybe you put no stock in such a method or you just aren’t; sure what it involves or if it will work.

Read on to find out more about this smoking cessation method and if it is right for you.

What Is Hypnosis Therapy

Hypnosis therapy is a method of treatment where the patient is put into a trance-like state that is almost like being asleep. They are given suggestions by the hypnotherapist. These suggestions are intended to become subliminal messages. They may not be something that the subject is aware of, but they are there at the fringes of their mind, influencing them and helping them to make specific choices.

Hypnotic suggestions work on the part of the brain that generates automatic thoughts.  When you see something, your mind may generate an automatic reaction based on past experiences or deep-rooted tendencies. Those automatic thoughts are directly affected by hypnosis, or at least that is the goal of this type of therapy.

How It Works with Smoking

The basic principle of hypnosis treatment for addiction is to bring those unhealthy thoughts to the surface and to replace them with more positive thoughts that encourage the smoker to cease leaning on something so dangerous to one’s health. Patients may be asked, under hypnosis, to share what they know that the unpleasant outcomes of smoking could be. The idea is to make the patient understand the three critical principles of quitting.

  1. Smoking poisons the human body
  2. The body is needed to live
  3. Protect your body to the extent that you would prefer to live

In many cases, a hypnotherapist will also teach the individual the art of self-hypnosis. This type of therapy can include everything from audio, video and even journaling therapy. There are even hypnosis sessions to quit smoking free online sessions available on YouTube. Check out part one of this smoking cessation video.

When you apply hypnotherapy to quitting smoking, you introduce suggestions that smoking is bad, that it is not something you want to do and that any association with smoking is to be avoided.

The goal is to assign negative thoughts to the notion of smoking and everything related to it. The hypnotherapist will implant a suggestion in your mind telling you that smoking is not something that you are interested in. The therapist will try to connect this notion with anything that is related to smoking- cigarettes, smoke, pipes, etc.

The goal is to make this suggestion pop up every time you see someone smoke or you think about smoking. That way, your mind will be working against the nicotine addiction instead of assisting it.

For hypnotherapy designed to help people quit smoking, the process will usually take several sessions. The initial sessions are used to implant the idea that smoking is harmful and to be avoided. This begins the work and starts to change the perceptions that have taken root in the patient’s mind. Over time, the suggestions will become stronger. This is because the session will become more forceful in driving home the idea that smoking is not something that you want to do and also because the hypnotherapy will begin to work on the brain and change its automatic thoughts.

New associations will be formed, and soon the mind will begin to see smoking in a negative light, regardless of past conceptions.

It Is a Good Choice?

Hypnosis won’t cause you to stop smoking right away. All it really does is to reduce and eventually eliminate your cravings. After repeated sessions, you will no longer feel the need to smoke as often. After that, it becomes quite easy to stop smoking on your own.

But for those wondering if it really works, studies have shown that it is actually one of the most successful ways to stop smoking. Many of the people who have tried it have managed to quit smoking within months, making for a great success rate for the method.

But it is a relatively new way to stop smoking, and that puts it under some scrutiny. Many people are worried about any side effects or if it will really work for them. The fact is that hypnotherapy uses natural processes to create suggestions. No drugs or chemicals are used at all, and most people respond well to it.

Because people’s minds work differently, not everyone will have success with this method. But if you have struggled with other smoking cessation methods in the past, this may just what you are looking for.

It is recommended that I you truly want to stop smoking that you combine a few different cessation methods. Using a patch can reduce your nicotine dependence, making it easier for other smoking cessation practices to work more effectively. And in many cases, all it takes is for a single hypnotherapy session to get people started on the path to eventually quitting.


Like it? Share with your friends!

39951
Jeffrey Buckley
Jeffrey Buckley daily works hand in hand with medical students. He's keen on mental health and behaviorist anthropology. Vaping became the source of his research in 2013. Today Jeffrey is one of the top vaping-specialists. He pleasantly reveals scientific issues of vapers and smokers life.
One Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Though it is nice to see that the author is giving a “green light” to the use of hypnosis to quit smoking, it is obvious that he has never actually participated in or spoken to a hypnotherapist or a client of a stop smoking hypnotherapy session. His description of the “hypnotherapy process” is from a very long time ago (pre-1980) and is not at all a representation of modern hypnotherapy.

    Nearly every stop smoking hypnotherapist that is actually good will tell you that one or two sessions is all that is required. Though cravings are rare, there may be a very short lived period of craving (usually on day 2). But, when armed with a pattern interrupt technique, clients can handle those in seconds without issue.

    The statement that it is a “relatively new method to way to stop smoking” shows that his “research” is lacking any real effort. Of every method currently available (other than ‘cold-turkey’), hypnosis is the among the OLDEST and most effective (he did mention it was effective).

    Recommending the patch also shows his research is lacking any depth. Nicotine leaves your system in 72 hours, so using NRT is like pulling a bandage off slowly and just prolongs your detoxification from it.

    Most independent studies (i.e. not paid for by pharmaceutical companies) show that nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is less than 8% effective for getting people to quit for longer than 12 months, where as hypnotherapy is greater than 80% successful.

    The author is correct about several things, which I am glad he reported.
    1) Hypnosis does not have side effects.
    2) Can work in a single session
    3) Studies have shown that it is actually one of the most successful ways to stop smoking
    4) It doesn’t work for everyone – This is because if you truly don’t want to give them up, no amount of hypnosis will keep you a non-smoker for long. I actually turn clients away until they have a strong enough ‘Why’.

    Thanks for your article. It just needed some clarifications.

You may also like

DON'T MISS