Can We Really Turn to Hypnosis to Quit Smoking?
At around 15 percent, Australia is one of the countries with the lowest smoking rates. Regardless, that is still a significant amount and we can only begin to imagine how many from that group are struggling to quit. Most tobacco consumers are having a difficult time kicking the habit due to nicotine, the primary substance in tobacco. Nicotine is classified as the 5th most addictive substance on earth.
What does Nicotine Addiction Feel Like?
While nicotine is not necessarily the most hazardous substance in smoked tobacco, it is the chemical which causes the dependence. At first, nicotine ingestion can make the smoker feel nauseous and light-headed, but after the tolerance has built up—which doesn’t take much time, the pleasurable effects start to kick in.
Nicotine stimulates the nervous system and signals the body’s chemical messengers that affect the brain and other body parts. Nicotine induces the release of epinephrine which increases blood pressure and heart rate. Nicotine also activates the release of dopamine, the “happy hormone,” and is the source of the pleasurable sensation from smoking. This includes a slight buzz, a sense of relaxation and tension relief.
The pleasurable and relaxing sensation is what triggers the brain to constantly seek the stimulus and makes quitting difficult. Once the habit is formed, daily tasks become difficult without the nicotine buzz. People tend to associate certain situations as triggers, making it hard to move on with an activity without having a smoke first. This is when the habit has turned into psychological dependence.
What is it Like to Quit Smoking?
- 20 minutes after quitting: Nicotine elevates blood pressure and increases the heart rate. The heart rate will begin to return to normal levels within 20 minutes of your last cigarette.
- 8 to 12 hours after quitting: Blood carbon monoxide level decreases. Carbon monoxide is the same hazardous gas that comes from car exhausts. It can cause your heart rate to increase and shortness of breath. Within 8 to 12 hours, the carbon monoxide concentration in your blood returns to normal, and your blood oxygen increases.
- 48 hours after quitting: The ability to smell and taste improves. The nerve endings damaged by smoking begin to regrow, improving one’s sense of smell and taste.
- 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: The risk of heart attacks drop significantly. Increased circulation, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and improved oxygen levels and lung function all reduce the risk of a heart attack.
- 1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing, shortness of breath, and sinus congestion will drop off.
- 1 year after quitting: The risk of heart disease will be halved.
- 5 years after quitting: The risk of stroke decreases. Depending on how much and how long one has smoked and their overall health, the risk of stroke will be similar to someone who’s never smoked.
- 10 years after quitting: The risk of lung cancer falls to that of someone who’s never smoked. The risk of dying from lung cancer will be that of a person who’s never smoked.
- 15 years after quitting: The risk of heart disease is the same as someone who’s never smoked. After quitting, one’ll have lower cholesterol, thinner blood, which reduces the risk of blood clots, and lower blood pressure.
What is Clinical Hypnotherapy?
The practice of clinical hypnotherapy aims to help individuals make use of a deep state of relaxation and enhanced focus to address personal issues and work towards self-improvement.
Through particular communication techniques, a professional clinical hypnotherapist can narrow their client’s focus towards a specific subject or idea. By temporarily blocking out internal and external spurs, the hypnotherapist can encourage a relaxed, comfortable, and almost trance-like state towards their clients.
From there, the therapist can offer suggestions to aid their client in articulating relevant internal processes, such as feelings and memories, that can hopefully lead to predetermined conclusions.
Can Hypnosis Really Help You Quit Smoking?
Hypnotherapy for Smoking Cessation recognises that smoking is not just a single habit but can manifest as six separate addictions:
- Physical Nicotine Addiction
- Habit and Association
- Stress and Tension
- Boredom and Stimulation
- Fatigue and Frustration
- Relaxation and Enjoyment
This is one of the reasons why people find it so hard to quit. When you finally think you’re overcoming one addiction, the others pull you back in.
A well-rounded hypnotherapy program can address all six addictions effectively, from identifying and discussing possible triggers to ingraining new, healthier habits. Hypnotherapy to help quit smoking can make you realise that the power of change can come from you and help you channel that power to a healthier, smoke-free life.