Smoking is a die hard habit and many people eventually die of the same. It remains one of the most common causes of cancer and lung diseases, which eventually lead to death. The irony is that almost all smokers know the harmful effects, but find it hard to quit.
With a firm determination, there are people who quit, but then the relapse rate is quite high too.
- Many believe that quitting requires a behavioural change. From peer pressure to a lifestyle habit, smoking is a social phenomenon. There are various methods to help quit smoking like quitting cold turkey and nicotine substitutes. Hypnosis is also gaining popularity as a method to help quit smoking. Research has shown an encouraging success rate in the range of 30 to 40% in cases where the desire and commitment to quit are high. This of course is with people who have strong will and are able to be hypnotized.
- Hypnosis or hypnotherapy is a psychological technique used as supplemental therapy in a lot of cases, such as weight loss, depression, speech disorders, pain management, de-addiction; the list can be quite long. It puts the person undergoing therapy into a deep sleep or trance, where they get in touch with themselves and find answers to a lot of questions. It is believed that while hypnosis puts a person to sleep, it also induces a higher level of cognition and a higher level of neurological activity.
- During the actual session, the smoker is asked to imagine the numerous ill effects of smoking and the need to reduce its harmful effects on the body. This improves the willpower to quit smoking and reduces the desire. They are also advised of the benefits of quitting smoking, including longevity of life and better quality of life. The person is told that quitting smoking before 50 years of age gives a 50% chance of increasing the lifespan by 15 years. Now that is quite motivating for a lot of smokers to give up the habit.
- It generally takes about 4 full sessions of hypnotherapy to reach a level where the patient is ready to kick the habits. Also, self hypnosis can be taught where the person can go into hypnosis on his own and enforce smoking cessation. There are even self hypnosis tapes that are available for aid.
However, a word of caution here, hypnosis is not for everybody as not everybody can be hypnotized easily and there has to be a strong belief that it will benefit, only then can smoking cessation be tried with hypnosis. It is still in the testing phase and is to be medically proven as a way to quit smoking.
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