Should You Use Hypnosis to Quit Smoking?
Everyone knows that smoking tobacco has a devastating effect on your overall health. However, knowing that smoking is bad for you doesn’t make quitting any easier. Sometimes, the habit becomes so ingrained in you that it becomes seemingly impossible to tackle this problem by yourself.
Because of this, many individuals are turning to alternative therapeutic techniques to help them quit this bad habit.
One of these techniques is hypnotherapy. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the pros and cons of using hypnosis and explore whether it stands as a viable solution for those looking to quit smoking without medication.
When people hear hypnotherapy, they might associate the discipline with the hypnotists that they see at entertainment shows. While it might seem a little inane, it’s important to distinguish between hypnosis in entertainment and hypnosis in therapy.
The hypnosis that you see on stage during magic performances involves pretending to take control of a person’s mind and making them do certain activities. Hypnotherapy on the other hand is a treatment option that aims to bring a person into a meditative, trance-like state so that they may be more open to suggestions and change. It seeks to alter behaviour, emotions, and perceptions. It does not involve taking control of someone’s mind in any way shape or form.
When applied to smoking cessation, the primary goal of hypnotherapy is to influence the subconscious mind, targeting the root causes of the addiction and reducing the cravings that drive the habit.
To figure out if hypnosis is right for you, it’s important to look at the pros and cons of the treatment.
Pros of Hypnosis
- Drug-Free Approach
One of the significant advantages of hypnotherapy is its drug-free nature. Unlike medication-based approaches, hypnosis solely focuses on the psychological aspect of smoking, making it an appealing option for those who prefer non-pharmacological methods. With hypnosis, you won’t have to be too concerned about side-effects, allergies and so on.
- Potential Long-Lasting Results
Hypnosis aims to create lasting behavioural changes by addressing the underlying issues fuelling the addiction. This means that, if it’s successful, it could offer a potentially enduring solution. In theory, unlike medication-based solutions, the positive effects won’t just stop when the treatment ceases.
Cons of Hypnosis for Smoking Cessation
- Ineffectiveness Without Support
One of the cons of hypnosis is that it may not be as effective when used in isolation. Studies suggest that its success often hinges on complementing it with counselling, support groups, or other forms of professional guidance. Because of this, you may have to invest in other forms of treatment for the best possible results.
- Unscientific Nature
While some individuals swear by the effectiveness of hypnosis, the evidence that supports it is mostly anecdotal. The lack of empirical evidence and standardised protocols may make it a less reliable option for some individuals.
Success Rate of Hypnosis
The success rate of hypnosis varies, with multiple studies providing mixed results. According to a Healthline article on hypnosis for smoking cessation, the success rates reported in different studies ranged from 20% to 45%.
The variation in success rates emphasises the need for a comprehensive approach and the consideration of individual differences in response to hypnotherapy.
According to one study, a multimodal approach that includes behavioural therapy, counselling, and pharmacotherapy tends to be more effective than relying on a single method.
With that in mind, we’re going to try and give you a few tips on how to make your quitting journey a little bit easier.
Tips for Quitting Smoking
- Seek Professional Help
One of the best ways to get started on your journey to a smoke-free life is to consult a healthcare professional. Your GP or nurse or pharmacist can provide you with personalised guidance and support tailored to your specific needs.
In Australia, there are also various organisations that provide support lines or chatting systems for those struggling with their smoking habits.
- Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
NRT, such as nicotine patches or gum, can help manage withdrawal symptoms and gradually reduce nicotine dependence. However, it’s important to keep in mind that treatment options like nicotine gum might have adverse side effects for certain individuals.
Make sure to consult a healthcare professional to make sure that NRT is right for you.
- Explore Behavioural Therapies
Besides hypnosis, you should also try other types of behavioural therapy options, including personal counselling or addiction support groups. This can address the psychological aspects of the addiction and provide you with coping strategies.
- Set Realistic Goals
It’s also important to establish achievable short-term and long-term goals.
Breaking down the quitting process into manageable steps can make the process less overwhelming. A short-term goal might be to save the money you would have used on cigarettes for a week and put it towards something healthier.
In addition, a clearly defined long-term goal will also keep you motivated as the months and years pass by. Your goal might be to get in good enough shape for competitive sports or to break a personal fitness record.
- Flush The Nicotine Out
Flushing nicotine out of the system is also a crucial step in the journey to quit smoking. Staying hydrated is essential, as water helps the body eliminate toxins, including nicotine.
Regular exercise can also aid in speeding up the detoxification process by increasing blood circulation and promoting sweating.
- Build a Support System
No matter what anyone says, quitting smoking is not a trivial matter. It’s a fight in which your own mind is working against you. Because of this, you’re going to need all the support that you can get.
As such, it’s important to surround yourself with friends, family, or support groups who can provide encouragement and understanding throughout your journey.
Hypnotherapy for smoking cessation offers a unique and drug-free approach to quitting smoking. While it may not be a foolproof solution for everyone, its focus on the psychological aspects of addiction gives it an advantage over other treatment options.
However, considering its unscientific nature, individuals should approach hypnosis with realistic expectations. In the pursuit of a smoke-free life, exploring a combination of evidence-based methods tailored to individual needs may provide the best chance for success.