Smoking Cessation Hypnotherapy

21 January 2022

Smoking Cessation Hypnotherapy

Smoking is a deep-seated habit that, although viewed by smokers as a stress-reliever, does much more harm than good. It may well make you feel calmer and less anxious, but the damage it does to your organs is dramatic and often deadly.

Giving up smoking is one of the best things that you can do for your physical wellbeing. Making the decision to quit is simple, but the path to smoking cessation isn’t easy.

Many smokers turn to nicotine replacement therapy for support during their cessation journey. These products come in many forms - patches, gum, sprays, lozenges or inhalers – and your body absorbs small amounts of nicotine from them, effectively weaning you off nicotine. Although NRT is known to have some success, it doesn’t address the underlying reasons for smoking, and it’s often not long before the now non-smoker turns back to this habit.... Enter hypnotherapy.

How Does Hypnotherapy Work?

Hypnotherapy is a form of treatment that uses hypnosis to get to the root of a physical or psychological problem, such as managing pain, losing weight or smoking. Your therapist guides you into a deeply relaxed state during which you remain in control and fully aware of your surroundings.

While in a hypnotic state you experience a heightened awareness and your mind is free to explore suggestions and ideas offered by your therapist. The goal in hypnotherapy for smoking cessation is to change your mind-set about smoking, reducing your desire to smoke and increasing your self-control until ultimately you break the habit altogether. Your therapist may use several ways to lessen your dependence on nicotine.

  • Use of verbal cues
  • Mental imagery
  • Explore past experiences to get to the root of the problem that made you light up initially
  • Offer positive reinforcement for not smoking
  • Plant negative connotations linked to smoking

At the end of your hypnotherapy sessions, these suggestions and ideas should pop into your head every time you get the craving for a cigarette. NRT addresses the nicotine craving. Hypnotherapy gets to the root of where it all began and why, addressing the psychological aspects as well as the physical.

What Are The Benefits of Smoking Cessation?

If you’re not already considering hypnotherapy to help kick your smoking habit, take a look through the following list of the benefits of this complementary treatment.

Your breathing becomes easier

Your lung capacity improves over time, making it easier for you to breathe. Younger smokers may only notice an improvement during exercise, but older smokers will see a difference in everyday activities. You will also notice that you cough less after stopping smoking.

Your energy level improves

Blood circulation improves within a few weeks of smoking cessation. Oxygen is able to reach your tissues and organs more effectively, making any physical activity much easier. Additionally, the increase in oxygen gives you the stamina to perform better and lessens fatigue.

You will experience less stress

Your body experiences withdrawal due to the lack of nicotine when the effect of a cigarette wears off. This creates feelings of stress which are easily misconstrued as general stress, but are in fact symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. When another cigarette eases these feelings, it’s easy to be misled into believing that smoking lessens stress.

Fertility improves

Smoking cessation improves reproduction in both men and women. In women, the lining of the uterus is healthier which reduces the risk of miscarriage, while men who don’t smoke have more potent sperm.

Taste and smell improve

Without the cigarette toxins invading your mouth and nose, these important senses have a chance to recover. Your taste and smell become sharper and you can identify flavours and scents that were previously dulled by chemicals.

You’ll notice physical improvements

Smoking deprives the skin of nutrients and aggravates the aging process, leading to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. By stopping smoking, you can slow this process down to age-appropriate levels as you allow your skin to absorb more nutrients and oxygen. Smokers also experience discolouration on their teeth and, in some instances, are more prone to gum disease. Smoking cessation allows your gums to become healthier and halts teeth discolouration in its tracks.

Symptoms of Smoking Withdrawal

Whether you choose hypnotherapy as your method to stop smoking or not, you are likely to experience some symptoms of withdrawal during cessation. If you’re a heavy smoker these symptoms may be worse than if you’re a casual or social smoker.

Regardless, your body has come to rely on the effects of nicotine, and removing that craving will affect you in one or more of the following ways:

  • Increased appetite leading to weight gain
  • Nicotine cravings
  • Coughing
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Constipation
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Irritability

During hypnotherapy, you’ll likely learn coping mechanisms that you can apply to some symptoms. You’ll also be able to break the associations between smoking and some triggers, resulting in a more positive action when you come up against those triggers during withdrawal. Most symptoms work themselves out of your system within a few weeks at which point you must draw on the tools learnt during hypnotherapy to cope with lingering cravings and stubborn triggers.

Conclusion

Smoking cessation is a tough journey, and not always successful. Studies show that most smokers go through the cessation process on several occasions only to be drawn back to the habit after a few months. Hypnotherapy as a complementary treatment targets your deeper reasons for smoking as well as addressing the triggers that cause you to light up. Its success as a cessation method is never guaranteed, but with a 100% buy-in and openness to hypnosis, you give yourself the best chance of kicking your smoking habit.

 

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