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Does Hypnosis Help with Smoking?


By Columnist Ernest McLeod – Certified Hypnotherapist:

Smoking is a habit that hypnosis can cure
Photo Credit: Centophobia, 2009 – Smoking can be Cured with Hypnosis –

There are many methods available to quit smoking. Some of these treatments curiously use nicotine. Although, studies have shown that hypnosis is the most successful way of quitting after going “Cold Turkey”. To understand why these two methods are the most successful we need delve into the perceived “addiction” of smoking.

Smoking and Addiction

The analysis of addiction could fill a whole book. So, for simplification, let’s break it down into two types of dependency. The first being physiological, or a dependency of the body receiving a particular substance. Secondly, psychological addiction, where it’s the mind that “needs” to be fed a particular substance.

Smoking and Physiological Addiction

Let’s take a closer look at whether there is a physiological addiction to smoking. Surprisingly most clients who see me to become smoke-free have believed they have a nicotine addiction. Nicotine is but one of the many chemicals in cigarettes. The first thing to note here is that after a period of 24 hours of not smoking, little nicotine remains in the body. In other words, if a smoker can last more than 24 hours without smoking, there is no nicotine left in the body to cause a dependency.

Of course, withdrawal from nicotine is one part of physiological addiction. The other part is the side effects someone experiences when they are physiologically dependent on substance, which they can no longer able to satisfy. Often, the longer the person goes without, the stronger the withdrawal symptoms will become. Many smokers will feel they are suffering more specific symptoms, but research suggests that cigarettes are not physiological addictive. In most cases, a smoker has a psychological addiction.

Smoking and Psychological Addiction

What else do we call something that we do over and over and again? A habit. Habits are pretty strong, aren’t they? Have you ever gone without something that you normally do in your daily routine? And it’s been on your mind all the time, like a nagging thought in the back of your mind?

We build our life around our habits, don’t we? For example, we get up every morning, we get dressed, and we brush our teeth. Another excellent example is someone who wants to improve their health may start going to the gym. After they’ve done this daily for months, not going to the gym may disrupt their daily routine. They may then feel cranky or lethargic because they’ve missed a gym session. I’m sure you can think of many other examples.

Could we conclude that if smoking is a habit, then smoking is a choice? A decision that a person is making to do many times a day.

Hypnosis and Smoking

With smoking being a habit, hypnosis can then come into play. The reason hypnosis is very helpful to quit smoking is that it is such a powerful tool when it comes to making new choices. Making new choices stronger, and old choices weaker. Think of it as a way to rapidly gain a new habit; a habit of being a non-smoker. Just remember that it takes time to establish this new pattern, and there may still be traces of the old habit. But these become weaker every hour. Of course, the transition period varies from person to person.

Some of my clients have completed their transition during their first session. Others after a day or two, and some need a week or more. However, after realising that they are in a transition phase, the new smoke-free habit becomes stronger and helps them to let go of the old habit and quit smoking.

About Our Hypnotherapy News and Review Columnist Ernest McLeod
Ernest McLeod Headshot 1Ernest McLeod is the owner of The Hypno Coach, established in 2012, and has practiced Hypnotherapy in Adelaide since 2011. Ernest is a certified hypnotherapist and studies include Hypnotherapy through ASA and ICHP Australia as well as Psychotherapy. He also holds Certified Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Certified Practitioner of Time Line Therapy with the American Board of Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

Ernest’s wealth of life experience includes growing up in Austria, close to Vienna. Moving to Adelaide in 1991 with his parents. His mum being South Australian. With his father working for the United Nations in Vienna, Ernest grew-up exposed to many cultures. After graduating from college Ernest began a career as Software Developer which spanned nearly 20-years. Having also established himself as an internationally awarded fashion photographer, Ernest moved into hypnotherapy. Something that had fascinated Ernest since early childhood.

Ernest McLeod Logo

Disclaimer: The information published in this column is the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion are not substitutes for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have about any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

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