- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Hypnotism To Stop Smoking
It worked for my Dad!
My Dad has been smoke free for close to 30 years now!
I remember when I was a child growing up in the 1960s, my Dad would smoke cigarette after cigarette. It wasn't too bad most of the time, but when we were in a closed car and it was too cold to have the windows open, UGH! Frustrating! And it wasn't just that it smelled bad, sometimes it made me feel strange effects. I'd start to feel lightheaded and even a little shaky if I was exposed to the second hand smoke for too long. I almost felt as if I was smoking every cigarette that he was smoking!
I know when I was a teenager, I bugged him quite a bit about quitting. But I know from being that close to someone who smokes, it is NOT an easy habit to kick. Not at all. In fact, I'd even venture to say that it may be harder to kick than a drug habit... well, maybe not, but still it is an extremely difficult habit to kick!
It's no wonder that every year, one of the New Year's resolutions that people make most often is to stop smoking. I knew people I used to work with who tried to quit. They would last about a week or maybe two weeks. Then something would trigger that need to smoke again... and they'd be back outside during their breaks, smoking again.
Finally, about the time my husband and I got married, I got word that my Dad had quit smoking for good. I had trouble believing it at first, but I thought, that's great!
I know when I was in High School I would purposely choose the topic of not smoking to write about any time we were given a writing assignment to do. Then I would ask my Dad to read it... devious, I know! That didn't work, though.
I learned that the person who has the smoking habit has to be the one who initiates quitting, or it won't work. Well meaning people will try to "talk sense" into a person. That doesn't work to make someone stop, though, unless they make up their own mind to finally kick the habit.
I think it's very similar to losing weight. You can talk to someone until you are blue in the face, about the health risks of being very overweight and about all of the other reasons to lose it... but it won't work unless the person wants to be the one to decide to finally break the bad habits.
Anyway, I wasn't really sure that my Dad had quit, until I saw him again and he wasn't smoking. We got married in Washington State and my Dad was living in Wisconsin at the time. It was during one of our visits around the time of our wedding, almost 30 years ago now, that I realized, hey, he really DID quit this time.
A Hypnotist To Quit Smoking? Really?....YES REALLY!
I asked him how he did it and just about fell off the chair when he told me he went to a hypnotist. REALLY? A hypnotist? Yep, then he proceeded to tell me how he did it. Now I was under the impression that a hypnotist was an entertainer. He was the one who put a whole room full of people to "sleep" in a comedy show, then made them all MEOW out loud, or pretend to purr, moo, or make any assortment of funny animal sounds either in unison, or one at a time. Then the audience would laugh at the person who was hypnotized and making these sounds. Or the hypnotist would make audience members flap their arms as if they were wings and other silly things like that. All the time, the point was usually to entertain folks.
I had NEVER heard of using hypnotism for a medical or health purpose. After talking with my Dad, though, and being around him for a few days, I became a believer! He has been totally smoke-free for over 30 years now. He turned 76 years old in January of 2013, and I honestly believe if he had kept up his several pack a day habit of smoking that he would not be with us today. I honestly believe that quitting smoking saved his life, and added quality YEARS to his life!
The neat thing is when he told me what happens to him whenever he feels like putting his hand into a pack of cigarettes... he "envisions" SNAKES crawling (or slithering, whatever the heck it is that snakes do)... out of the pack of cigarettes. Hey, that would sure work for me! It has worked successfully for him for years now. I thought it was fascinating. This imagery is powerful enough to keep him from reaching for a cigarette.
I've heard that hypnotism doesn't work for everyone. I honestly do believe if other methods have failed, as they did for my Dad, then maybe it's worth a try! Hypnotism can be done one of three ways. One can go in person to a hypnotist, to their office, much like consulting any other health professional, and receive treatment there. Another way is to use a set of audio recordings to do self hypnosis. And the third way I have learned that this can be done is to use a set of videos for hypnosis.
Hypnosis is simply going into a person's subconscious mind, and it uses the power of one's own brain to help them to overcome a bad habit, or even to overcome a fear or phobia of something. Being hypnotized means that one is in a state of very deep relaxation and can then receive suggestions. It can be a valuable tool to teach one to relax and overcome stress, as well as helping them to quit a bad habit.
The method my Dad used was to go in person to see a hypnotist, so I honestly don't have enough knowledge about the other two methods to know whether they really work or not. All I know is, my Dad is now a "snowbird" ... he lives in Missouri, and goes to Florida or west to Arizona every winter to escape the cold and ICE.
And now, I'll be able to call him again every year on his birthday, (the good Lord willing), and wish him a VERY Happy Birthday. That's something I honestly wasn't sure I would have been able to keep doing for so many years if he had kept up his smoking habit.
Good luck to anyone that is trying to kick a smoking habit. It is so very difficult, but a VERY worthwhile thing to do. Just ask anyone who is blessed to be able to wish a parent a Happy 76th Birthday, when they once thought they might never get to do that. :)