With many quit smoking products advertised on television, the internet and other media outlets, it is hard for the average consumer to decide what process or aid will work best for them. When looking at the ultimate goal, which is to quit smoking for good, the most obvious choice would be one that is easy to do and truly works.
Studies have shown that hypnotherapy is an effective way to help patients quit smoking and stay quit by creating a new pattern of thoughts, attitudes, behaviors, and response to smoking in their subconscious. The client changes their thinking process around smoking and often it requires minimal additional effort on their part.
The process of using hypnotherapy involves finding a therapist with experience, specifically in helping you quit smoking and ideally with NLP training as well as hypnosis. It's this combination of NLP and hypnotherapy that is the one two punch for smoking. In this style of treatment, the patient is brought into a state of total relaxation and a feeling of safety. For the patient’s part this simply involves engaging as much as possible and listening to the therapist. Usually this procedure will be done in the therapist’s office (or online) and the patient will be asked to sit back and either follow the sound of therapists voice, sometimes focus on a particular object, or perhaps a raised point on a wall nearby.
Once your body has achieved a certain state of relaxation or focus, your conscious mind will become less alert and engaged. Once your conscious mind is relaxed, your unconscious mind and thoughts will be able to take over and become more focused to absorb what is being said. Once the unconscious mind has taken control, your mind will be in a state to receive the relevant messages and to create lasting change. Your mind will be open to things that you might otherwise have believed to be impossible or hard to change due to your conscious mind interfering. The information being fed to your subconscious will not only give you a more positive attitude, but also help with accepting the behaviors and thinking you will need to achieve your ultimate goal, which is of course to quit smoking.
Through a variety of studies done on the use of hypnosis in the cessation of smoking, there has been found to be an overall 90.6% success rate. A recent study was performed on 43 patients during the treatment study period, followed up with 39 of the patients reporting effectively quitting smoking. These 39 patients had abstained from using tobacco at the follow-up treatments which spanned 6 months to three years. (University of Washington School of Medicine, Depts. of Anesthesiology and Rehabilitation Medicine, Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2001 Jul;49(3):257-66. Barber J.)
Another study focused on hypnosis to quit smoking by separating female and male patients. In this study they had found their patients through county mental health outpatient files. Their study focused on 93 males and 93 females. The results were based on the patients using a combination of hypnosis, smoking cessation, and aversion therapy. In their results at the 3 month follow-up, 86% of the males and 87% of the females reported that they were continuing to abstain from tobacco products. (Johnson DL, Karkut RT. Adkar Associates, Inc., Bloomington, Indiana. Psychol Rep. 1994 Oct;75(2):851-7. PMID: 7862796.)
A study conducted at Texas A&M University, involved a group of thirty smokers who were on HMO plans and referred by their primary care physicians for hypnosis treatment to quit smoking. Of the thirty, twenty-one who were refereed by their doctors decided to continue the study and were treated with hypnosis for smoking cessation. Of the 21 who received treatment, 81% had reported that they had completely quit smoking and 48% were reporting abstinence with tobacco 12 months post treatment. (Texas A&M University, System Health Science Center, College of Medicine, College Station, TX USA. Int J Clin Exp Hypn. 2004 Jan;52(1):73-81. Clinical hypnosis for smoking cessation: preliminary results of a three-session intervention. Elkins GR, Rajab MH.)
As these studies show, hypnosis is an effective, long lasting way to help quit smoking for good. Although quitting smoking can be difficult for anyone (without the right support) it is important that you do it for not only your long term health, but short term health as well. Continuing to smoke can cause many cardiac problems, which can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and chronic heart disease. Smoking is also linked as one of the leading causes of cancer as well as lung diseases such as lung cancer, emphysema, and COPD. Continuing to smoke can even put you at higher risk for such things as blood clots, bone fractures, and even cataracts. The good news is that quitting smoking can greatly reduce your risks for many major illnesses and improve the overall health of your heart and lungs. If you struggle with trying to quit smoking hypnosis may be the best avenue for you.