HOW HYPNOSIS WORKS TO HELP PEOPLE STOP SMOKING
by Mary Elizabeth Raines, CH, CI
Director, Laughing Cherub Unlimited & Academy for Professional Hypnosis Training
Adjunct Faculty: National Guild of Hypnotists
© Mary Elizabeth Raines, 2000
Hypnosis can be an astonishingly powerful tool for shifting a person into becoming a nonsmoker.
For some clients, the results are miraculous. They emerge from their hypnosis session permanently convinced in body, mind and emotions that they will never light up a cigarette again.
There is, however, a catch: the person must be fully willing to become a nonsmoker.
Sometimesa prospective hypnosis client asks, "Can you get me to quit smoking?"
Myreply is, "No, sorry. I can't. But...if you've already made the decision to stop, what hypnosis can do is reinforce that choice, and make it much easier and more comfortable for you."
Unlikethe old B-movies, a hypnotist has no special power of coercion. No one can be hypnotized to do something that goes against their will or belief system. For instance, no matter how deep a trance you enter, you could not be hypnotized into robbing a bank or imitating Elvis--or quitting smoking!--unless you inwardly agreed that you wanted to do those things.
Ifyou do not fully want to stop smoking, the greatest hypnotist on earth could not hypnotize you to do so. On the other hand, if you are absolutely determined to quit, nothing I do can prevent you from kicking the habit!
Why,then, does a person even need hypnosis?
Habitsreside largely in the subconscious. Willpower alone can't reach the subconscious. Hypnosis can.
Whohasn't had the experience of gritting their teeth, scolding themselves and using large amounts of energy trying to change a habit, whether it's smoking, overeating or some other negative pattern? Going "cold turkey" usually doesn't work, and it's painful and frustrating to boot. That is because we are only talking to the conscious mind, not the subconscious.
For success, we must first determine that we fully want to change, and then we must speak to the subconscious--and get it to listen!
Hypnosisis highly effective because it addresses the subconscious. The results can be felt immediately.
Hereare just a few of the many and marvelous benefits of hypnosis sessions for those who have made the choice to become nonsmokers:
Hypnosis strengthens motivation and reinforces the positive goal of being a nonsmoker;
Hypnosis helps to remove patterns of habit (e.g., Every time I read a book, I light up);
Hypnosis can lower and/or eliminate the level of desire for nicotine;
Hypnosisassists in relieving and/or completely eliminating withdrawal symptoms;
Hypnosisoffers constructive and healthy relaxation methods to reduce stress;
Hypnosis reinforces wellbeing and the positive feeling of success!
Weare all composed of parts. We may have a part, for instance, who maintains professional composure on the job, while another part stands in pajamas in front of the refrigerator and gobbles ice cream out of the carton at 3 a.m.
Sometimesseveral parts of us are eager to quit smoking, while other parts are not yet ready. These parts police the subconscious. They allow suggestions with which they agree to get through, but filter out the unwanted suggestions.
When utilizing hypnosis to stop smoking, some people get what I call a free ride. This occurs when all or most of their inner "parts" are in agreement. An example is a client of mine, a man in his 70s, who had been smoking daily since the age of 14. His addiction was so severe that he even interrupted his meals to light up. The morning after his first hypnosis session with me, his wife asked him if he wanted a cigarette. To her astonishment, he said, "Not at all." He had completely, easily and permanently erased all desire to smoke.
Otherclients may have to do what I call homework. Although they inevitably find that their hypnosis session has reinforced their determination and that they are physically more comfortable than they would have been if they had tried to quit cold-turkey, they still need to be vigilant and put forth conscious effort to maintain their non-smoker status. It is apparent with such clients that not all parts of them were in agreement about quitting, and they may require additional sessions.
Occasionallya client has an inner agenda to continue smoking--not enough of his or her "parts" have consented to get rid of the habit. This may be unconscious on the client's part, and repeated sessions may be required. An option is to utilize hypnosis to uncover which parts are preventing the client from quitting. Even in these cases, hypnosis creates an atmosphere which makes it easier for the client to succeed in becoming a nonsmoker within the next year, if the client chooses to do so.
Whilesome of my clients may elect to have multiple sessions, the average client requires only three hypnosis sessions for optimum success. The first session creates the opportunity to shift into the health and joy of being a nonsmoker. The second and third sessions offer opportunities to become even more physically comfortable and to learn positive relaxation techniques. Each client also receives a Laughing Cherub "booster" CD, "Get Ready to Stop Smoking for GOOD" which may be played on a daily basis to remain stress-free and comfortable as a new non-smoker.
Hypnosis as an aid to becoming a nonsmoker is a powerful, safe and effective tool. It has no side effects beyond putting the money you used to spend on cigarettes back in your pocket, restoring health to your body, and allowing you to feel absolutely terrific!
© Mary Elizabeth Raines, 2000
May not be copied or reproduced in whole or in part without author's permission
"I still cannot believe what a difference you and hypnosis have made in my life. It is almost  years and I am still smoke free! Unbelievable! I have never had a craving, never seriously even considered having a cigarette, and it's as if I was never actually a smoker."
Emergency Room Receptionist
"You saved my life! I would never have survived my operation if you hadn't helped me stop smoking."
Feature Articles and CDs/MP3s by Mary Elizabeth Raines
Past-life Regression CD
Why Hypnotists Suck
Accessing Your Intuition with Self-hypnosis
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