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Can Hypnotherapy Help You Quit Smoking?

Psychotherapist using pendulum during hypnotherapy session in office

Considering the harmful effects of smoking on a person’s health, quitting smoking is one of the most common lifestyle changes that people set as a goal. However, it’s challenging to follow through because smoking is addictive. You see, deciding that you’re done with cigarettes is a continuous choice you have to make every single day. It isn’t a one-off thing where you choose to quit today and it magically goes away.

If you ask the people you know who’ve successfully stopped smoking, they can tell you different stories. Some could quit cold turkey, and others might have had a more challenging time, especially if they had to go through a withdrawal period. If you’re on this journey yourself, the support of family and friends will help you through the process. Furthermore, there are a variety of strategies that will help you cope with quitting smoking.

Hypnotherapy is actually used as an aid to therapy or psychotherapy. Although many people misunderstand hypnosis as unscientific, more studies are coming up that show how hypnotherapy is quite effective in helping treat various health issues and concerns.

To help you understand hypnotherapy better, it’s essential to know more about alternative or complementary medicine.

What Are Hypnotherapy and Alternative Medicine? 

Basically, hypnotherapy is a technical term referring to the use of hypnosis in psychotherapy. Technically speaking, hypnotherapy is a form of alternative or complementary medicine. And alternative medicine is what you call medical products and methods that aren’t deemed to be part of standard care, which doctors, nurses, and physical therapists use.

Alternative medicine is often misunderstood, but it’s only because many people don’t do their research before making their minds about it. There are different kinds of alternative medicines out there that are used and trusted by people all around the globe. Furthermore, some of these methods have been used throughout history.

Here are some other examples of alternative medicine:

  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Dietary supplements
  • Meditation
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic and osteopathic medicine
  • Massage
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Electromagnetic therapy
  • Herbal medicine

As you may have noticed, many of these are proven to be effective and are currently being practiced worldwide. With this in mind, more people can feel safe about trying out alternative medicine such as hypnotherapy.

Break down cigarette.

How Hypnotherapy Helps With Smoking

Hypnotherapy can help smokers who want to quit their habit by helping them change their mindset. While you may already know how terrible smoking is for your health, this knowledge isn’t enough to help you quit smoking. However, through hypnotherapy, you can develop a stronger sense of aversion to cigarettes. For instance, a hypnotherapist can associate smoking with other things that you might find disgusting. Some will help you think that smoking smells like smoke-belching or that smoking causes cottonmouth.

While under the hypnotic trance, you’ll be focusing on thoughts such as how it’s toxic and that it can lead to serious health problems. Furthermore, you’ll be repeating mantras about respecting your body, taking care of yourself, and wanting to live a long and fulfilling life. These might sound like obvious and cliche mantras, but it’s much more effective to repeat these while in a state of hypnosis. It isn’t as effective when you’re simply in your natural state of consciousness.

It also helps deal with the psychological aspect, which is the recognition of smoking as a habit. You might be used to smoking at certain times of the day, like during your break time or before you sleep. Some like to smoke after eating or while having alcohol or coffee. On the other hand, there are those who smoke when certain feelings arise, such as stress. What hypnotherapy does, in this case, is to remove this relationship between the act of smoking and whatever triggers it to become a habit.

The great thing about hypnotherapy is that the professional can teach you how to hypnotize yourself to continue the process on your own. Also, certain words or phrases can trigger you and help eliminate any sudden urges to smoke.

Who Can Carry Out Hypnotherapy?

To hypnotize someone is a serious and sensitive process. So, it’s important to do this with a professional who can guide you through hypnosis safely.

If you’re serious about quitting smoking with the help of hypnotherapy, you’ll need to choose the right hypnotherapist. Hypnosis can help in the treatment of eating disorders, anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress, sleep disorders, and compulsive gambling. However, only physicians or psychologists are licensed to do this. On the other hand, when it comes to using hypnosis for treating smoking and for weight management, this can be practiced by a hypnotherapist who isn’t a psychologist or physician.

How Effective Is Hypnotherapy For Quitting? 

Research for hypnotherapy’s effectiveness in smoking cessation is still ongoing. But from available data today, it’s at least good to report that hypnotherapy for smokers has no adverse effects. It can be effective, although not as much as other methods of behavioral support.

Nonetheless, it’s important to remember that hypnotherapy is an aid to other methods. And if you’re serious about quitting, you’ll likely try various tactics that help stop the habit. Considering hypnotherapy as a complementary treatment may benefit you in the long run.

What Else Can Hypnotherapy Help Treat?

Still, it’s important to remember that hypnotherapy is an aid in treating many kinds of behavioral concerns, including smoking. It isn’t a cure but rather a means of coping and should be used with other methods such as behavioral therapy or whatever your medical professional prescribes. However, it has been an effective treatment, especially for the following:

  • Weight loss
  • Psychotherapy
  • Addictions
  • Habit control
  • Pain management
  • Relaxation
  • Age regression hypnotherapy
  • Fears and phobias

With this in mind, smokers can definitely benefit from hypnotherapy because smoking is both a psychological habit and a physical condition. The physical aspect of it is the nicotine dependence that people develop when they smoke. And as mentioned above, there’s a psychological aspect to smoking which hypnotherapy effectively targets.


Hypnotherapy has been used to help treat a variety of problems, including smoking. Smokers have different habits and reasons for why they smoke. Therefore, other strategies for quitting should be used to target whatever it is that causes you to smoke, whether it’s psychological or physical nicotine addiction. Hypnotherapy can help address both of these, making it a unique and effective method for smokers to finally break their harmful habit.

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