When the subject of hypnosis comes up in relation to quitting smoking I know many people who are sceptical. In all the years that I was trying to stop smoking I never hesitated in trying everything and anything. I suppose I figured I had nothing to lose.
Not everyone is like that though and I am always fascinated by people who are so extremely cautious about trying any of the natural therapies because they are exactly that; natural.
The medical definition of hypnosis is that it is a passive, trancelike state that resembles normal sleep and during which perception and memory are altered. This alteration of perception and memory means that the subject is responsive to suggestion. It doesn't work on everyone because some people are incapable of relaxing enough to become passive.
There is no need to pay a fortune for this therapy - many hypnotists offer services that are very reasonable.
One lady I spoke to had answered an advertisement in her local paper stating that "stop smoking hypnosis" was being offered at her local health clinic by a reputable hypnotist who had recorded great results. When she got there she found out she had to pay hundreds of dollars up front for all the sessions - there was no way she could afford it.
I visited a hypnotist in the hopes that I could quit and he told me that even after the first session I would not feel like smoking, unfortunately that wasn't the case. His advertisement bragged:
"Hypnosis stop smoking courses" - "You just smoked your last cigarette!"
I think the stubbornness me just wanted to prove him wrong! But, the session did make me feel relaxed and happy -which is great! I am not complaining about that, but I still walked out of his office and lit up a cigarette!
When I tried hypnosis it was several years ago and things have changed a lot since then. Firstly, I had to go to an office every week for an appointment. There were no therapists in my area so I had to travel a long way to get there and by the time I drove all the way home the benefits had all but worn off. Plus, a week is a long time when you are suffering from nicotine withdrawal but these days things are a bit different because you can listen to sessions on an Mp3 player which means you don't have to go it alone in-between sessions. You are walking around with help at your fingertips.
All hypno-therapists or hypnotists work in slightly different ways; some focus on image building which means you visualise yourself as a non-smoker. My therapist got me to imagine myself all in white with shiny, fresh smelling hair, glowing clear skin, gleaming white teeth and loads of energy because my lungs were full of beautiful fresh air.
As I said before - I walked out of the session and lit up a cigarette but I had a renewed sense of confidence and that is never a bad thing!
Friends of mine who have used Zyban or Champix have also used hypnotherapy more as a relaxation therapy and an encouragement to stick with it.
A nurse that I work with was trying to quit smoking and, like me tried many of the nicotine replacement therapies available on the market. She tried hypnotherapy but not stop smoking hypnosis, instead she used it as a way to stop herself from putting on weight and to deal with anxiety. Her hypno-therapist provided her with a series of sessions she could listen to on her iPod which provided her with anxiety help and thoughts of healthier living concerned not only with smoking but also her eating habits. It worked for her and I am pleased to say she did quit and without putting on a heap of weight and I noticed along the way that she didn't seem to be miserable and frustrated the way a lot of smokers are when they are trying to quit.
If you are considering hypnosis to quit smoking shop around and keep in mind all that I have said on the subject of quitting - there is no easy way! It is hard - we all know that it just means you have to find the method that works for you. The thing about hypnosis though is that it is completely harmless when performed by a fully credentialed hypnotist so it might be worth giving it a try.
If you want to try hypnotherapy but want the flexibility of being able to listen to sessions at your leisure there is a British Hypnotherapist who offers a series of therapy sessions and he will also include a session to eliminate stress and anxiety - what a bonus! If you want to give it a go his name is Jon Rhodes, clicking on his name will take you to his site. His therapy sessions don't cost a fortune and I have heard some good things about the results. Good Luck!