The History of Treating Smoking with Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy has been increasing as a psychological therapy in Australia since the 1940s. Hypnosis first gained formal approval in both Britain and the United States in the late 1950’s.  The American Medical Association  professionally recognized and publicly acknowledged hypnotherapy as a valid  procedure in 1958.  Today it is valued as helpful therapy to assist patients who have often tried and failed to conquer several issues, including the most requested:

Dr. Herbert Spiegel was among the first to achieve cessation of smoking in hypnotic strategy in 1970, and his therapy, “Spiegel technique”, still involves the patient’s concentration in three easy to learn steps:

  1. Smoking is poisonous to your body.
  2. You need your body if you want to live.
  3. If you want to live, you need to respect and protect your body.

Today’s hypnotherapist often suggest the patient associate cigarettes with unpleasant tastes, odours, or sensations or feeling, to help with removing the desire to smoke cigarettes. The professional might also suggest to the patient that they have lost the desire to smoke and can easily cope with any nicotine withdrawal symptoms as a confirmed non-smoker. In fact many patients report no withdrawal symptoms at all after hypnosis.

Hypnotherapy Combined With Other Therapies

If you have attempted to achieve relief from nicotine addiction or chronic emotional issues by many other sources, you know the exasperation of defeat. Ask any smoker or heavy person if they ever tried to stop smoking or overeating and they will answer, “Many times!” Hypnotherapy is very often the last attempt, because it works with such high success rates.  It has proven successful as a combination therapy  with other techniques such as NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), and in many other areas to name a few:

Hypnotherapy is not dangerous.  No hypnotherapist would make you do anything you do not want to do. It also does not involve any medications, which appeals to smokers choosing to avoid medication and nicotine patches.

Uses for Daily Life Issues

The trained and certified professional hypnotherapist can be of great value in helping you get lasting drive to pursue your goals both personal and professional.  Phobias, chronic anxiety and depression can also often be mastered through hypnotherapy with dedication and a qualified and experienced professional.  Even chronic pain can be reduced in many cases with the use of hypnotherapy.

While addiction to nicotine and food addictions have successfully been removed in hypnosis treatment, the physical addictions of alcohol and hard drugs can also benefit from the support of a hypnotherapist.

The success rate for using hypnosis to treat various phobias and neuroses is considered one of the therapies strongest features.  However, the treatment is not recommended for the more extreme mental or emotional illnesses consisting of psychosis, hallucinations or delusional behaviour.

Negative Criticism

Previously, the hypnotherapy industry has been criticized for a lack of hard evidence however over the past 30 years, well over 400 studies have been conducted on the validity of Hypnotherapy for the treatment for a wide range of conditions from weight loss to pain reduction.  Evidence continues to mount that lines up with patient experiences making hypnotherapy a very credible option for a wide range of issues.


Hypnotherapy has come a long way in the last 60 – 70 years and is used across the world in many fields, both the medical and psychological. Now also incorporating  other therapies into treatment programs for patients such as NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). With this combination of techniques enhancing treatments and providing even higher success rates for patients.  Once a Vaudevillian entertainment and source of participant ridicule in parlor games, the practice of medical hypnosis is alive and growing around the globe. Patients in the greater Melbourne area are privileged to have a dedicated professional hypnotherapist able to help you fight your personal conflicts and nicotine or food addiction to victory. Contact our office today to discuss your needs and how we can help you fill them all.


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