Quit Smoking and Control Cravings: Hypnotherapy Can Help!

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Most people are fully aware of the many dangers associated with smoking cigarettes: various forms of cancer, heart disease, emphysema and indigestion are major problems caused by tobacco smoke. However, many people are afraid to quit smoking, not because they don’t want to heal their bodies, but because they are afraid it will be too hard.

According to a study conducted at Tel Aviv University, smoking is less a nicotine addiction and more a psychosocial habit. This means that smoking is habituated because it is attached to certain emotions, activities and memories. Over time, the habit is strengthened as smokers learn to associate cigarettes with socializing, stress release or rewards. The more a smoker smokes, the more deeply ingrained the habit.

When people quit smoking they often complain that they suffer from intense cigarette cravings. Those who promote the idea that smoking is a physical addiction to nicotine claim that the cravings will subside once the body has rid itself of the nicotine’s influence; that is, the cravings will stop after about 2 or 3 days. But anyone who has tried to quit smoking knows that the cravings outlast the nicotine’s lifespan in the blood stream. And scientists know it too. According to research conducted at Duke University Medical Center, only about 5% of smokers are successfully able to quit smoking, and nearly 75% return to the habit within a year. Additionally, the research showed that an ex -smoker just seeing someone smoking kicks their craving mechanisms into high gear. Thus, if smoking was purely a nicotine addiction, relapse rates wouldn’t be so astronomically high and the mere image of smoking wouldn’t entice ex-smokers to return to their old tobacco comforts. There is something deeper to the problem: the psychosocial habit.

The reason many people crave cigarettes after they have quit smoking is because they have not addressed smoking as a psychosocial habit. They have not learned to reshape their thought processes, emotions and attitudes towards smoking. They do not learn to unlearn the positive feelings they have towards cigarettes. They hold on to them and often return to tobacco in times of stress, fear and depression.  The cliché “old habits die hard” exists for a reason: the brain habituates and without the conscious effort to unlearn bad habits and relearn new ones, the brain doesn’t change and the habits remain the same.

The good news is that the brain can change; the brain can heal itself, but it requires will power, dedication and very often the help of a therapist. This is where hypnotherapy comes in to play an important role in helping people quit smoking and then control their cravings. Hypnotherapists help their patients unlearn negative thought patterns and relearn new, positive ones. They help people create the mind, habits and life that they want. Hypnotherapy both helps people quit smoking and control cravings; once the underlying psychological need for the cigarette has been destroyed, the cigarette is no longer an object of desire and the smoker is freed from the bonds of tobacco smoke.

Customer Testimonials

I am so glad I came too see Maureen to become a non smoker with hypnosis because it was extremely helpful, easy and well presented. Best of all I am now a non smoker after many years smoking and having tried everything else.
Therese Williams
Quit Smoking and Control Cravings: Hypnotherapy Can Help! was last modified: March 16th, 2013 by Maureen

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