There are no guarantees, however, about eighty percent of the people I hypnotize to stop smoking will quit after one session. That means that twenty percent don’t quit after one session. Even of those twenty percent, some will realize that something was starting to help them. They just feel like they need a little more help. Even of those twenty percent, some will be able to quit by doing a follow-up session. If a follow-up would ever be helpful, the cost for that session is at a reduced rate.
There are people who will not be successful. There are some people who really don’t want to quit. They are trying to please someone else. Example: a wife who smokes and doesn’t want to quit and a husband who wants her to quit. That wife will not quit smoking with hypnosis. You can’t ever make someone do something they don’t want to do.
There are some people who are not committed to the idea of quitting.
The eighty percent of the people that I see that stop after one session should fall into one of the following categories after the session is over:
1. The first category is what we call “Almost as though you’ve never smoked before”. If you fall into this category, when the session is over it is very easy for a person to be a non-smoker. There are no thoughts about smoking. There are no cravings, desires, urges or withdrawals.
2. The second category is called “Automatic Reaching”. Many of the cigarettes that people smoke are cigarettesthat they aren’t thinking about. They are the habit cigarettes. When the session is over, if you fall into this category, it is also very easy not to smoke. Your mind has made the desired changes in your thinking but the message hasn’t made it to your hand yet. You may find that at certain times, for an initial period after the session, your hand still reaches to where the cigarettes used to be. If you get rid of your cigarettes, as I suggest, you can’t accidentally grab one. When you pull your hand back without a cigarette, some thought will go through your mind very quickly. “I don’t smoke anymore. What was I doing?” After just a few times of this happening, your mind will get the message to your hand and will break that reaching habit.
3. The third category is called “The Mind Battle Category”. If you fall into this category you have to put in a little bit of effort not to smoke, but it’s not like trying to quit on your own. In this category, you should find that many of the times that you used to smoke, it’s very easy not to. However, there may be a few times that the thought comes into your mind. If this is the case, there is a way to get past it. If you can make yourself say “No, I’m not going to smoke” and find something else to occupy your mind for a few moments the thought will go away very quickly. For people who do fall into this category, each person will go through this as many times as they need to. The maximum amount of times that people have told me they’ve had to go through it is 7 – 8 times. This also happens over any period of time. It could be in the first few days or it could be over a period of years.
When a person comes into my office to quit smoking, I always ask them if they have ever quit for any period of time or even attempted to quit. Some people will have quit for years and begun smoking again for some reason. Some people will never havebeen able to quit for an entire day, but can go for a coupleof hours without a cigarette. There are people who will walk out of my office and call me the next day, telling me that “it didn’t work” because they smoked a cigarette as soon as they left my office. The first thing I do is ask them if they got rid of all their cigarettes as I suggested. They, of course, will tell me they didn’t. Then I tell them that they were told they may have to put in a bit of effort after the session was over. If they smoked as soon as they left my office, or in their car on their way home, they really didn’t want to put in any time or effort to see if it worked. On their own they could have waited for at least a few hours, but they weren’t willing to take that time to see what would happen. This is not a case of hypnosis not working for them. It is a case of them not working with the hypnosis.
Historically, hypnosis has been used as a medical tool for over 200 years. The British Medical Association, in 1955, recognized hypnosis as a bona fide medical treatment.
In 1845 James Esdaile, a Scottish surgeon began to work with hypnosis, then called “mesmerism” in a prison hospital in Calcutta. He read about the use of mesmerism by several surgeons in France who discovered that when patients would go into this state they could perform surgery painlessly.
Everyone has the ability to remove or control pain with hypnosis. This is true because hypnosis helps a person alter the way they perceive situations, circumstances, events,sensations, objects or feelings.
When someone is hypnotized for pain control, the hypnotherapist is changing, removing or blocking the sensation of pain to the mind. This makes it either a more acceptable sensation or allows the person to realize that there is no longer a need for the pain so they can release it. If the mind will block the sensation, the client’s body may still have the pain, but the mind doesn’t register it as pain anymore. Essentially what is happening is that the client is creating an anesthetic with their mind that is causing complete or partial loss of pain. The nerves are still sending signals to the brain, but the brain is changing the way it notices the signals.
Pain is categorized in two different ways. It is either chronic or acute.
Chronic pain remains unrelieved for a period of 6 months or longer. It can be of different types and in different locations. It may not have specific tissue damage associated with it. Chronic pain can have either physical or psychological origins.
Acute pain, which is temporary is related to specific tissue damage and reduces in intensity as the damaged area heals. It is usually caused by some kind of accident.
For most types of chronic pain conditions, there is a relationshipbetween the psychological state and the intensity of the pain experience. Stress, depression, or anxiety can all increase the intensity of the pain. In light of this information, it is possible to utilize direct suggestion, stress management techniques and other hypnotic techniques to benefit chronic pain clients as well. They can help to reduce the intensity of the pain experience.
Virtually everyone experiences major chronic or acute pain sometime during his or her lifetime. Many people will turn to medications only to find that some of the side effects can be almost as bad as the pain.
Some areas where hypnosis can work with pain control are:
- Injuries – Injuries are normally caused by an accident and they can be anything from a broken bone to a burn, cut, bump or bruise.
- Illness and Diseases – Many people suffer from cancer, migraine headaches or arthritis. With an illness or a disease the pain is usually not a sudden thing. People have usually been suffering for quite a while.
- Pre-Operative – The use of positive suggestions before surgery occurs help bolster a person’s attitude or confidence and can be of significant benefit.
- Post-Operative – In these cases the rate of recovery of a person is radically improved. Medical and psychological research has shown that empowered patients who control their own feelings and thoughts heal faster and better following surgery.
- Procedures – These would be things where an actual procedure is taking place. The birth of a child or dental work would be good examples. Anticipation of pain makes it worse. Clients experiencing relaxation without fear, and with confidence in his/her ability to handle the situation, deal with the procedures with much less pain.
- Preventative – People who are proactive about their health also benefit from hypnosis. It helps people to develop the correct mind set to prevent illness in the first place.
- Self-Healing – The mind controls the physical body, however this should only be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment.
I will always require a doctor’s referral for pain control sessions. That is for the client’s protection. We would never want to block the signal that there is something wrong so that the client doesn’t get needed treatment or even delay treatment. We would never want to mask a symptom by using hypnosis to control pain! Hypnosis can be a very effective aide to medical treatment but not a replacement.
Following is what some experts have to say about hypnosis:
Dr. David Cheek, M.D., who has vast experience in the field, writes, “We can do more harm with ignorance of hypnotism than we can ever do by intelligently using hypnosisand suggestion constructively.”
Dr. Julius Grinker states, “The so-called dangers from hypnosis are imaginary. Although I have hypnotized many hundreds of patients, I have never seen any ill effects from its use.”
Psychologist Rafael Rhodes, in his book Therapy Through Hypnosis, writes: “Hypnotism is absolutely safe. There is no known case on record of harmful results from its therapeutic use.”
David Spiegel, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, put it this way: “Physicians often worry that hypnosis involves significant risks to patients. Actually, the phenomenon is not dangerous and has fewer side effects than even the most benign medications.”
Effective pain control can make the life of individuals who experience chronic pain much more bearable. It can result in enhanced physical, psychological, social and spiritual well being.
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