Want to try hypnosis to stop smoking? Science shows that it may be an effective tool that may help you kick the habit permanently. Many people find it almost impossible to stop smoking. So challenging, in fact, that recent research suggests it can take around 30 tries to successfully stop. I help people stop smoking in London.
Stop Smoking with Hypnosis: How Hypnosis May Help You Stop Smoking for Good
Giving up smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. Smoking is the main preventable cause of death in the United States. Smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in your body and harms almost every one of your internal organs.
Hypnosis can help you stop smoking cigarettes by addressing the psychological aspects of your addiction and looking into the underlying motivations for smoking. Stopping may be hard but it can improve your health and lower your risk of disease and untimely death, even if you’ve smoked for lots of years, it’s possible to quit in just a couple of hours.
Let’s jump into some of the dangers of smoking, discover the benefits of stopping, and discover how hypnosis can help people stop for good.
How does hypnosis help you stop smoking
The risks of cigarette smoking
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over 1.1 billion people today smoke globally. While this might appear to be a shockingly large number, and it is, the amount of people smoking is actually decreasing worldwide, with 29 million fewer smokers today than in 2000.
Smoking is incredibly harmful. Smoking cigarettes is the sole leading root cause of cancer globally, is responsible for 70% of all cases of lung cancer, and has been shown to speed up aging.
The CDC estimates that 1 in 5 deaths in the United States each year is caused by cigarette smoking. This means that smoking leads to more deaths than HIV, illegal substance use, alcohol use, automobile accidents, and firearm-related incidents combined.
Cigarette smoking has been linked to cancer in almost every part of the human body, including:
- Blood (acute myeloid leukemia)
- Colon and rectum (colorectal)
- Kidney and ureter
- Oropharynx (includes parts of the throat, tongue, soft palate, and the tonsils)
- Trachea, bronchus, and lung
- Furthermore, smoking has been shown to increase your risk of many diseases, including:
- Heart failure
- Lung diseases
Almost half of all smokers pass away prematurely due to smoking-related illnesses, and the typical life expectancy of a smoker is ten years younger than a non-smoker.
Stop smoking with hypnosis helps with the reasons why it so hard to stop smoking
Taking into consideration the health consequences of smoking, and the fact an estimated 70% of current smokers want to stop, you might wonder why more people don’t give up the habit? It’s simply because, for most people, giving up smoking is incredibly challenging.
A 2016 study in BMJ Open demonstrated that even experts can underestimate how challenging it is to stop smoking. Helpful resources, like Cancer.org, state that it may require ‘several attempts’ before you can successfully stop. However, the BMJ Open study suggests that it can actually take 30 or more tries to be able to go a year without smoking.
Smoking cessation can be difficult due to the physical symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Nicotine is the addictive chemical found in tobacco that makes people desire to smoke, even if they’ve made a decision to stop.
An animal study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Journal suggests that it is because smoking more or less tricks the brain into continuing to smoke.
When you begin smoking, the nicotine may target receptors in one of the brain’s key reward systems, the ventral tegmental area (VTA), to stimulate both pleasure and aversion. In other words, you may have hated the taste but still wanted more.
If you continue to smoke, the brain experiences signalling process changes in the brain reward system. As nicotine produces dopamine (the feel-good chemical) each time you smoke, it effectively teaches the brain to repeat the same behaviour. By this point, you are no longer repulsed by smoking and begin to hunger for it instead.
Once your brain is reliant on nicotine, it becomes less concerned with chasing after the pleasurable feelings of smoking and as an alternative concentrates on relieving ‘bad’ feelings of being without nicotine in your system.
Stopping smoking with hypnosis helps with smoking withdrawal symptoms
The more a person smokes‚ the more nicotine the body needs in order to feel ‘normal’. Whenever your body doesn’t get nicotine, a person may feel uncomfortable (make that very uncomfortable) and desire smoking.
Withdrawal symptoms can begin in as little as a few minutes from your last cigarette. Many people experience severe physical signs and symptoms of nicotine withdrawal when they stop smoking. These include:
- Cravings for nicotine
- Feeling sick
- Stomach pain
- Aches and pains
Nicotine withdrawal may possibly also cause psychological and sleep problems including:
- Becoming easily irritated
- Trouble concentrating
- Sleep problems
If you’re looking to stop smoking and want to prevent some of the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, then hypnosis may be beneficial. Hypnosis has been proven to both help people stop smoking and overcome the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.
Benefits of stopping smoking
Whatever your age, your health will benefit from stopping smoking cigarettes. However, the sooner you stop, the faster your entire body can recover and your likelihood of really serious health problems will decrease.
The benefits of stopping smoking include things like:
Reduced likelihood of disease or early death: stopping smoking can improve your overall health, improve quality of life, and give years back to your life that you could otherwise lose from an early death.
Higher energy levels: deadly carbon monoxide levels in the blood are higher in those who smoke, reducing the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream and making it difficult to function. But carbon monoxide levels decrease when a person stops smoking cigarettes, allowing the lungs and muscles to perform normally. The higher oxygen levels also benefit the brain, boosting alertness.
More youthful complexion: smoking accelerates the aging of the skin. A smoking habit can leave the skin lifeless, dried up, and susceptible to lines and wrinkles, but stopping smoking can reverse these kinds of effects and allow the skin to receive the nutrients and vitamins it needs. Over time, the appearance of the skin should likewise improve.
Better respiration: your lung capacity can increase by as much as 10% within one year of stopping smoking. This lets you carry out more daily tasks without becoming out of breath. You might also eventually get rid of your ‘smoker’s cough’, and any breathing conditions, such as asthma, should improve.
Much less stress and anxiety: although an immediate hit of nicotine may be relaxing. After nicotine withdrawal, smoking has been shown to increase stress and anxiety levels in the long term. Stopping smoking, even though challenging in the beginning, may decrease stress levels over time.
Financial benefits: the typical cost of a pack of cigarettes in the UK is £12, which could add up over time. A pack-a-day addiction will cost you around £360 per month or £4,320 each year. Stopping smoking could save as much as £43,200 over ten years.
What is stop smoking with hypnosis like?
Hypnosis integrates hypnosis with suggestions and psychological therapy to allow a person to achieve greater control over the body and mind. Hypnosis is often described as entering a focused and absorbed state of attention, in which you become more receptive to new concepts. It’s a natural process that feels much like when you become absorbed in an activity, like driving a car down a road or reading a very good book.
Clinical hypnosis has been used to treat a range of medical conditions including:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Anxiety disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Alcohol addiction
- Smoking addiction
Using hypnosis to stop smoking
Hypnosis is a well-established practice in treatment that has been proven as an effective option for people wanting to stop smoking.
While many smokers use nicotine replacement therapy products, such as patches, gum, or inhalers, to manage the physical withdrawal signs and symptoms connected with cigarette craving, hypnosis functions by breaking the addiction from within the mind.
Instead of replacing and slowly reducing the amount of addictive chemical substances in your system, hypnosis works by breaking the negative behaviours and thought patterns related to smoking–such as smoking to relieve anxiety.
Hypnosis treatment could also focus on the unconscious motives for smoking. These might include the need to decrease boredom, stress, loneliness, or the desire to be accepted by other people. It may also focus on some of the unconscious smoking causes, such as driving, pouring a drink, or completing a meal, and help break these associations.
During the hypnosis session, hypnotherapist may repeat suggestions which offer alternative behaviours to cigarette smoking. Clients may also be asked to imagine unpleasant experiences of smoking. For example, the hypnotherapist may suggest that cigarette smoke smells nasty or that smoking will lead to trouble breathing.
A popular approach to smoking hypnosis called the Spiegel method concentrates on three main ideas:
- Smoking is a poison
- The body is entitled to protection from smoke
- There are advantages to life as a non-smoker
This technique is supposed to work by acting on a smoker’s underlying impulses to lessen the desire to smoke, enhance your ability to stop, and improve their capacity to focus on their treatment by improving focus.
How does hypnosis work for stopping smoking?
Although science can’t confirm exactly how hypnosis helps with smoking cessation at present, there are several hypotheses to explain exactly why hypnosis may be useful:
Hypnosis may make positive changes to ‘smoking mindset’: Hypnosis may help you develop a new attitude towards smoking. The hypnotherapist’s suggestions may enable you to deal with and accept the danger of cigarette smoking and no longer view it as something you actually enjoy. The suggestions may be uncomfortable initially but they can help you stop smoking and conquer cravings.
Hypnosis may help you to break the habit. A crucial aspect of hypnosis is letting go of old routines and challenging smoking habits. Hypnosis helps you to break the negative behaviours and thought habits connected with smoking, such as smoking to relieve anxiety.
Hypnosis may help and support your stop attempts long term. The benefits of hypnosis stretch out beyond the session itself. By means of hypnosis, you can learn to hypnotize yourself (also known as self-hypnosis), whereby certain phrases or words may assist you to overcome the urge to smoke.
Other studies have suggested that the success of stopting smoking is caused by the relaxation effects of hypnosis, which might help along with nicotine withdrawal.
The science behind using hypnosis to stop smoking
A number of studies have shown the effectiveness of hypnosis for treating smoking addiction. However, research into hypnosis regarding smoking cessation is limited, so currently there’s not enough evidence to validate the benefits of hypnosis for smoking cessation definitively.
That being said, a number of studies within the past ten years have supported the use of hypnosis to help people stop smoking. Some examples are:
A 2014 randomized controlled trial of 160 cigarette smokers with serious lung diseases. This study compared the effectiveness of hypnosis, nicotine therapy or a combination of both treatment options, and found that those receiving hypnosis were more likely to be non-smokers three months and six months after being interviewed.
Stop Smoking Hypnosis
Additionally, a meta-study from 2012 suggested that hypnosis might be effective in helping smokers stop smoking. However, the review suggested additional evidence is needed to determine whether hypnosis is far more effective than other therapy options.
Finally, a 2019 meta-study of 14 studies on the effectiveness of hypnosis for smoking cessation found that hypnosis was equally effective compared with behavioural interventions.
Benefits of trying hypnosis to stop smoking
If you’re interested in addressing your underlying motivations for smoking, or want to consider your addiction from a psychological perspective, then hypnosis may be a very good option. There are lots of benefits of using hypnosis as a stop smoking aid, for example:
Hypnosis is exceptionally safe and sound: A large review of five studies demonstrated that hypnosis is a safe and effective practice for many clinical problems. While hypnosis is very safe, it is not advised for individuals with psychotic symptoms, for example hallucinations.
Hypnosis is significantly less expensive than alternative therapy sessions: hypnosis sessions are usually generally much less expensive than counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Additionally, at-home hypnosis sessions, accessed by means of apps on your phone, are less expensive than in-person hypnosis sessions.
Hypnosis is less than nicotine replacement therapy (NRT): the average cost, in the US, of a stop attempt with NRT is around $185. Research reveals that people make around 30 attempts before stopping, meaning it can cost over $5500 to stop with NRT. Hypnosis generally costs between £70 and £200 per in-person session, with some people only needing one or two sessions to really feel the effects.
Hypnosis can be blended with other methods: Hypnosis can safely be combined with other approaches of stopping, like nicotine replacement therapy (gums, patches, and inhalers) if you want to work on your behaviour but wean yourself off the physical nicotine dependency.
Stopping smoking can be incredibly challenging. Though the many dangers of smoking cigarettes are proven by scientific research, cigarettes are very addictive. Many people will require much more than willpower to break the addiction. Hypnosis can help you to stop smoking as a stand-alone approach or combined with other methods, such as nicotine replacement therapy. Hypnosis works by focusing on the physiological triggers and getting individuals to picture the many unpleasant effects associated with smoking. Breaking an addiction can always be difficult, particularly if it is a lifelong pattern, but hypnosis may enable you to stop smoking cigarettes permanently.