Hypnosis and Smoking Cessation

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Hypnosis and Smoking Cessation

A clinical Hypnotist will generally treat two different types of clients when it comes to smoking cessation. The first type of client is one that intellectually realizes that stopping smoking is a good idea and as would like to be a non-smoker. This type of client generally takes longer to stop smoking and will need more sessions than the second type. The second type of client is one that has a heart felt desire to become a non-smoker. This type of client wants nothing more to do with smoking and just needs some help to break the subconscious habit. This type of client will find it far easier to stop smoking and will generally stop in a single direct suggestion hypnosis session.

Smoking cessation for the first type of client is more difficult as it’s still intellectual. It’s still part of the conscious mind process and when there is a conflict between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind, the subconscious mind always wins. The hypnotist will help the client to make this a subconscious desire. This process may take a couple of sessions. Once the subconscious mind is fully on board, the client is adequately motivated to stop smoking and it’s then a simple matter to break the habit in direct suggestion in a hypnosis session. For the client to try to shortcut this process is not advised. It’s not possible to withhold information from your own subconscious mind, and this will lead to further costs or failure. When there’s a struggle or dispute between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind, the subconscious mind always wins. Hypnotherapy is a completely non-invasive therapy and has no side effects other than relaxation. Because hypnotherapy works so quickly it’s relatively inexpensive. Hypnotherapy strives to help clients achieve independence and self mastery quickly instead of working to make clients life-long repeat customers.

Hospitalized patients who smoke may be more likely to quit smoking through the use of hypnotherapy than patients using other smoking cessation methods. A new study* shows that smoking patients who participated in one hypnotherapy session were more likely to be nonsmokers at 6 months compared with patients using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) alone or patients who quit “cold turkey”. The study also shows that patients admitted to the hospital with a cardiac diagnosis are three times more likely to quit smoking at 6 months than patients admitted with a pulmonary diagnosis.

“Our results showed that hypnotherapy resulted in higher quit rates compared with NRT alone,” said Faysal Hasan, MD, FCCP, North Shore Medical Center, Salem, MA. “Hypnotherapy appears to be quite effective and a good modality to incorporate into a smoking cessation program after hospital discharge.”

Dr. Hasan and colleagues from North Shore Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital compared the quit rates of 67 smoking patients hospitalized with a cardiopulmonary diagnosis. All patients were approached about smoking cessation and all included in the study were patients who expressed a desire to quit smoking.

At discharge, patients were divided into four groups based on their preferred method of smoking cessation treatment: hypnotherapy (n=14), NRT (n=19), NRT and hypnotherapy (n=18), and a group of controls who preferred to quit “cold turkey” (n=16). All patients received self-help brochures. The control group received brief counselling, but other groups received intensive counselling, free supply of NRT and/or a free hypnotherapy session within 7 days of discharge, as well as follow up telephone calls at 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 26 weeks after discharge. Patients receiving hypnotherapy also were taught to do self-hypnosis and were given tapes to play at the end of the session.

At 26 weeks after discharge, 50 percent of patients treated with hypnotherapy alone were nonsmokers, compared with 50 percent in the NRT/hypnotherapy group, 25 percent in the control group, and 15.78 percent in the NRT group. Patients admitted with a cardiac diagnosis were more likely to quit smoking at 26 weeks (45.5 percent) than patients admitted with a pulmonary diagnosis (15.63 percent).

“Patients admitted with coronary symptoms may have experienced ‘fear and doom’ and decided to alter a major health risk to their disease when approached about smoking cessation,” said Dr. Hasan. “In contrast, pulmonary patients admitted for another exacerbation may not have felt the same threat. They likely felt they can live for another day and continue the smoking habit.”

The researchers note that hospitalization is an important opportunity to intervene among patients who smoke.

“Doctors and other health personnel should use this occasion to firmly recommend smoking cessation and emphasize the impact of smoking on their disease process and hospital admission,” said Dr. Hasan. “Pulmonologists, in particular, should make a stronger case and more passionate message to their patients, and efforts should be coordinated with counselling.”

“As physicians, we are constantly reviewing new approaches for smoking cessation and revisiting existing approaches to confirm their effectiveness,” said Alvin V. Thomas, MD, FCCP, President of the American College of Chest Physicians. “The results of this study and many others confirm that using a multimodality approach to smoking cessation is optimal for success.”

This study was presented at Chest 2007, the 73rd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Source: www.sciencedaily.com, American College of Chest Physicians

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