Smoking is an addiction that affects 46 million people in the United States. It is associated with health problems such as lung cancer, emphysema, and heart disease. In addition to the dangers it represents for the smoker, cigarette smoke is also harmful to non-smokers who inadvertently inhale it. Although the desire to quit may be present, the actual act of doing so is often difficult to accomplish. There are numerous methods, however, that people employ in their efforts to kick the habit, one of which is hypnosis.
Hypnosis, or hypnotherapy, is the process of going into a trance-like state, or a deep state of relaxation. While in this state, the person is more focused and open to ideas. This does not, however, mean that the person can be made to do things that he or she would not normally do. While under hypnosis the individual responds to ideas of his or her own free will. Typically a hypnosis session will last up to an hour. During that time the therapist will ask the patient to imagine the unpleasant aspects of smoking, such as what it does to the body. The therapist may also make suggestions on alternatives to smoking such as electronic cigarettes, or ways that the person can reduce the craving for cigarettes. Many hypnotherapists will also teach their patients how to self-hypnotize.
By quitting smoking a person is lowering his or her chances of developing health problems such as cancer. Typically the benefits will begin to manifest within a short period of time as a person will begin to breathe and feel better. Although hypnosis isn't for everyone, many have found it to be a useful tool in quitting smoking. It is important, however, to realize that it isn't the perfect or only solution. Often it is used with other methods to help people quit, such as chewing gum or wearing a patch. One of the keys to hypnosis is to have a true desire to quit and a receptive mind.
For more information about using hypnosis to quit smoking, please read the following links.
Hypnosis for Quitting Smoking: WebMD discusses hypnosis as a method of smoking cessation. The article defines hypnosis and then explains how it works for smokers.
Hypnosis & Smoking Cessation: This article appears on the Vanderbilt University Health Psychology page. It reviews what hypnosis is and how it helps with smoking cessation.
Hypnosis: Helps Treat Pain, Other Conditions: This article appears as a Health Encyclopedia page on the website for the University of Rochester Medical Center. The page discusses hypnosis and its uses – including as a tool to quit smoking. The article explains how it works and how it is not a stand-alone therapy.
Therapist Uses Hypnosis to Help: This PDF document is an interview with a medical hypnotherapist who uses hypnosis to treat people who smoke. She discusses how hypnotherapy helps people quit, how long sessions take, and misconceptions about hypnosis.
How Can I Stop Smoking?:This article briefly touches on hypnosis as a step to quit smoking. The success rate is reviewed and additional methods to use alongside hypnosis.
Quit Smoking Using Hypnotherapy: This is an article written by a certified hypnotherapist about using hypnosis for smoking cessation. The article reviews why people smoke and how hypnosis can help change habits that lead to smoking.
Mayo Clinic: Hypnosis – What You Can Expect: This is part of the hypnosis section on the Mayo Clinic website. It explains what occurs during a hynosis session. Links to other topics in the hypnosis section include “Why It's Done,” and “How You Prepare.”
Health Effects of Smoking: This article appears on the University of Montana Curry Health Center website. It lists the areas of the body that are affected by cigarette smoking and explains how they are affected.
Tobacco Use and Its Health Effects Amongst College Students: The article discusses smoking as America's leading cause of preventable death and it outlines how it affects the systems of the body. Although the article is focused toward college students, the information applies to non-students as well.
Benefits of Quitting: This article lists benefits that people experience when they quit smoking. It also reviews the realities associated with quitting.