Health + Fitness

The Validity of Hypnosis As a Smoking Cessation Technique

Smoking is a difficult habit to quit because it involves a physical and mental addiction to tobacco, a substance available in every corner store. Though the number of smokers in the country is decreasing, it is still a very common habit and that makes it all the more difficult to resist temptation and quit.

For many smokers, common methods of quitting like nicotine replacement therapy and just stopping outright just don’t work. For that reason, many smokers are turning to hypnosis as a way of aiding their quitting; but does hypnosis really work?

What Is Hypnosis?

Hypnotherapy involves seeing a practitioner of hypnosis for therapy sessions that involve being put into a trance state of relaxation. In a trance state people are still aware of the environment that surrounds them, but they are more susceptible to suggestion and dealing with feelings and emotions that they may have trouble understanding or acknowledging in a regular state of consciousness.

Practitioners use this state as a means of understanding behaviors and using conditioning to encourage abandoning harmful practices. Hypnosis has been used to help people deal with various types of addictions, as well as to assist in recovery from trauma and has a very high success rate when practiced properly.

What Does Hypnotherapy For Smokers Involve?

When a client goes to see a hypnotherapy practitioner for assistance with quitting smoking, the practitioner usually tries to assist their client in associating smoking with negative experiences and feelings. For example, they may have their client focus on the way their mouth feels after smoking and the effects of dehydration that occur as a direct result of smoking.

This negative association, when formed and solidified in a client’s mind, directly affects the way that the client thinks of smoking when they have a craving for a cigarette. Furthermore, creating negative associations with the smell of tobacco smoke can even cause clients to feel ill when they do give in to cravings and attempt to smoke. With time, effort and regular hypnotherapy sessions, many clients are able to give up smoking successfully.

But Does It Really Work?

Like any other type of therapy, hypnotherapy does not have a 100% success rate because various factors influence a person’s ability to be receptive to the treatment. However, there are many former smokers that credit hypnotherapy as the reason for their success.

Finding The Right Practitioner

Once a smoker has decided that they would like to quit using hypnotherapy, they need to find the right practitioner to oversee their therapy. There are a lot of different organizations out there that offer hypnotherapy that is ineffective, so it is important to know how to differentiate between good practitioners, bad ones and scammers.

When considering becoming a client of a practitioner, people should always ask what method of hypnotherapy the practitioner uses, what their success rate is and how long their treatment cycle usually lasts. Watch out for vague responses such as ‘traditional hypnotherapy’ (which doesn’t have good long term outcomes), success rates that seem unrealistic (vague, or unreasonably high) and short treatment cycles, as long-term treatments have a much higher rate of success.

Be wary of practitioners that seem upset about being asked these questions or try to avoid answering them, as any respectable practitioner respects their clients need to be well informed and will have nothing to hide. Don’t be afraid to take some time to research a practitioner’s method or anything else about the hypnotherapy process before making a decision. The more informed a client is, the better equipped they will be in finding a good practitioner and successfully quitting smoking.

Drew Hendricks

Drew Hendricks is a tech, social media and environmental addict. He's written for many major publishers such as National Geographic and Technorati.

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