Up until this post I have concentrated on one particular problem presented by my patients, that was because the largest demand for my help was from men suffering from erectile dysfunction it remains so at the time of writing this blog. However, there are many more requests for help in understanding more general problems such, eating disorders, smoking and distress in particular. Therefore, today I am addressing the subject of stopping smoking and discussing what we can do about it.
All the major medical advice agrees that the main element in tobacco that causes addiction is nicotine and it does this by messing with your brain. Shocking, don’t you think? It’s not your fault when you first started smoking you didn’t know it would be so additive, did you? So, we can agree the effect of smoking has in fact become a largely psychological problem. In short what it has done to us is to change our behaviour. Then it follows that unless we change our behaviour, we will not be able to give up smoking. Its, worth noting that the forgoing applies to many other addictions such as Cannabis, heroin, and many other narcotics and yes even Vaping. Years ago a work colleague I knew wanted to stop smoking and upon someone’s unwise advice tried to give up smoking by replacing every cigarette he wanted with a well-known brand of peppermint (you probably know which one, it’s the one with the hole in the middle) Well after a day or two he had stopped smoking but could be seen with a mint in his mouth. And this is then funny part, but also true, the next time I saw him around a fortnight later, he could be seen to always have a mint in his mouth through which he was puffing away on a cigarette. Which just goes to prove, it is all too easy to give up one addiction for another or even get two or more addictions at the same time.
So, what is the best way to start your journey towards Nicotine free life? Well, the first thing to do is to think very carefully when, why and where you usually smoke? If you are doing this on your own, I suggest the very best you can do is to write down every occasion you can remember smoking in the last week or two. Then against each entry add why you think you did smoke at that time. And finally. You need to add to your journal where you were on each occasion. If you feel that you cannot remember these items reliably then you next best option is to Start at the beginning and record your actions, reasons and locations over the coming seven days or better still fourteen days. From this activity you will get a good idea of what drives you to smoke. It’s surprising that we don’t readily recognise our own actions during the normal day to day usually busy lives we all have.
The reason I have written all this about recalling or recording your activities is because I know from past experience that it not at all easy to do and there is a much more reliable way to recall your behaviour and feelings over periods of many years. What is this alternative way of recalling memories? It is a hypnotic technique called regression. If you want to attempt this yourself it is possible but requires some special tuition, your best strategy would be to have a few sessions with an experience hypnotherapist to first learn how to self-hypnotise yourself and then advance to regression and accessing your subconscious mind.
The main reason people who smoke say they do so, is because it provides a lessening of stress, a feeling of calmer thoughts, and for relaxation.
The form of hypnosis we use in clinical therapy sessions is in fact an advanced form of relaxation and its patient led, so clients are always in full control.
When the patient is in a very relaxed state it is possible for the therapist to communicate directly with the subject’s subconscious mind. Suggestions can be given to enable the patient to regress back in time to where it is suspected the cause of their condition might lay. This is a very normal technique used be therapists and can repeated as often as necessary. Thus, both patient and therapist will gain a complete history of how and when the person started smoking and what compels them to continue to do so. During their time with the therapist the patient is taught to hypnotise themselves and so be able to continue their treatment between and after sessions.
Armed with the knowledge about the patient’s reasons for smoking, where, what and when there are triggers to urge lighting a cigarette, the therapist will formulate a script for each particular patient featuring these issues and during a hypnotic session will suggest ways of countering them.
The session is recorded, and a copy given to the patient who can then continue treatment further if they feel it is necessary.
Thus, Stop Smoking, No new habits, and importantly NO side effects. Just think of the money you could save, and the number of years of life expectancy you would gain, if you stopped smoking, surely it would be worth your serious consideration if nothing else.
Thank you for visiting.
Alan L Smith
Your comments and observations are most welcome please feel free to add your thoughts. Thank you