Everyone knows that cigarette smoking is a major cause of many diseases in the United States. Smoking causes approximately 400,000 deaths per year and another 40,000 deaths result from second-hand smoking . Obviously, quitting smoking gives many health benefits. Nevertheless, for most people, quitting smoking and avoiding relapse is difficult.
Different treatment options are available for patients who want to stop smoking. These treatment options include group counselling, skills training, and medications, such as nicotine replacement therapy, varenicline (a prescription medication that reduces nicotine withdrawal symptoms), and bupropion, an antidepressant used to stop smoking . And then there are more natural approaches, like hypnosis.
Is hypnosis effective for smoking cessation?
Hypnosis for smoking cessation is now a widely accepted technique to help people quit smoking. Many experts believe that hypnosis acts on the underlying impulses, thereby weakening a person’s desire to smoke and strengthening the will to stop. Hypnosis to quit smoking enables a person to make a permanent change by making the goal emotional, helping the person to ignore the stimuli that triggers smoking. It also empowers a person to stop the addiction by matching subconscious negative cravings with positive options. Hypnosis for smoking cessation helps lessen the symptoms associated with withdrawal by making smoking a personal choice rather than an addictive habit.
One of the most important aspects of hypnosis’ effectiveness for smoking cessation is its ability to create healthy pattern matches to replace unhealthy pattern matches. Pattern matches are when a smoker associates the smoking with things like drinking coffee or alcohol, after eating, after a stressful experience, etc. This process of creating new healthy pattern matches allows the mind to refocus away from smoking move toward positive health .
How does hypnosis work?
By creating the relaxed and focused state of hypnosis, the hypnotherapist focuses the mind on the goal of smoking cessation and encourages permanent change through goal-oriented emotional persuasion. Through hypnosis for smoking cessation, the subconscious mind can modify its cravings and interrupt its habits with alternative activities and thought patterns .
How effective is hypnosis compared to other treatments for smoking cessation?
According to Vanderbilt University, hypnosis to quit smoking is more effective than nicotine replacement therapy because it teaches the quitter to have the power to change the unwanted behavior . Furthermore, a study published by Cochrane Library suggests that hypnosis has a greater effect on six-month quit rate compared to any other interventions .
Does hypnosis to quit smoking have any unwanted side effects?
Most medications used to treat the withdrawal symptoms associated with smoking cessation have potential negative side effects. Nicotine replacement therapy may cause sleep disruption and stomach upset. Varenicline and bupropion may cause depression, aggressiveness, and even suicidal thoughts . However, hypnosis to quit smoking does not have any unwanted side effects .
Hypnosis is an effective natural alternative treatment to quitting smoking. It helps the subconscious mind modify its craving and empowers a person to make a permanent, long-lasting change. Hypnosis for smoking cessation may be a more effective option than any method or medication without any unwanted side effects. This makes it a good alternative for people who want to finally quit smoking, permanently.
The Flourish for Life Center for Positive Health is a positive health & hypnosis center located in Apex, NC, serving Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Morrisville, Holly Springs, and other areas of the Triangle. They can be reached at 919-468-3900.
- com: Patient information: Quitting smoking (Beyond the Basics)
- Vanderbilt University Health Psychology Home Page: Hypnosis and Smoking Cessation
- Cochrane Library; Hypnotherapy for Smoking Cessation; Barnes, J. et al; October 2010
- Atlantic International University: Hypnosis in Stress Management