Science Questions

Sun, 6th Mar 2005

Part of the show The Science of Hypnosis


Carol asked:

I really need to give up smoking but I just can't seem to do it. I have chronic pain after an operation, chronic bronchitis and my health is deteriorating, but I get depressed when I give up. Smoking to me is very much like a crutch. Could hypnotism help me?


I've taken a lot of people off cigarettes in my time. Using hypnosis to get rid of this nasty habit is quite effective in the short term. Usually people have to be fairly motivated, but I think with chronic bronchitis your motivation is probably rising. You have got this fear of getting rid of something that is giving you pleasure and so I suppose that is going to be something you will need to think about a great deal. However, using hypnosis can help with your motivation. I also just want to say something not related to hypnosis. There is a peak in desire when you want to have a cigarette. If you can look at your watch when you want a cigarette and wait for five minutes, you may find that after five minutes the peak of that desire has actually gone. You have then saved yourself one cigarette, and that has nothing to do with hypnosis. I don't recommend going longer than five minutes because there's something inside us that makes us feel deprived, thus making us want it even more. As for your chronic pain, hypnotism can help if you go to a properly qualified practitioner. You could find that it could help with smoking and pain. To find a hypnotherapist, go online and do a search for BSECH. They have a website with names of properly qualified practitioners.


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