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As a former smoker, I know how difficult quitting smoking can be. With a global pandemic and health being at the top of our minds right now, perhaps it is a good time to consider if hypnosis can help you stop smoking so that you can finally be free.


Hypnosis for Smoking - How Does it Work?


Hypnosis is defined as an altered state of awareness in which you appear to be asleep or in a trance. Even though you appear to be in a trance during hypnosis, you are not unconscious. You are still aware of your surroundings, and -- despite what many stage performers may claim during an entertaining show -- you cannot be made to do anything against your will. In fact, brain tests performed on patients during hypnotism sessions have shown a high level of neurological activity.


Clinical hypnosis may be used to treat certain physical or psychological problems. For instance, it is frequently used to help patients control pain. It is also used in a wide range of other conditions such as weight issues, speech disorders, and addiction problems. With smoking being an addiction problem, it can be effective to help you quit smoking.


What is the success rate of Hypnosis to quit smoking?


A study by the National Library of Medicine has shown that 81% quit smoking with hypnosis, and the majority of those who quit remained smoke-free a year later.


However, Hypnosis is not magic. It I simply a tool that helps in making what you’re trying to do easier. If someone doesn’t truly want to quit smoking, then no form of treatment will be effective.


What are the next steps to Stop Smoking with Hypnotherapy?


You can go my home page and schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation to see how I can help you stop smoking with Hypnosis today.



Expert says diets fail because people don't address the emotional aspects of food.


Credit:Orlando Health, Science Daily


Summary: The results of a national survey about weight loss barriers finds 90 percent of respondents discounted one of the most important factors -- your mind. A neuropsychologist says the most crucial factor is your psychological relationship with food and exercise, yet the majority (60 percent) listed diet and exercise to be the biggest barriers of weight loss, and only 10 percent of people thought psychological well being was the biggest barrier to weight loss.

Tens of millions of Americans vow each year to lose weight in the New Year, and while their intentions are good, most of the time their results are not. It's estimated that only 8 percent of those who make New Year's resolutions actually keep them.

Even if weight is lost initially, it usually returns. Studies show nearly 2 out of 3 people who lose 5 percent of their total weight will gain it back, and the more weight you lose, the less your chances of keeping it off."That's not surprising," said Diane Robinson, PhD, a neuropsychologist and Program Director of Integrative Medicine at Orlando Health. "Most people focus almost entirely on the physical aspects of weight loss, like diet and exercise. But there is an emotional component to food that the vast majority of people simply overlook and it can quickly sabotage their efforts."A recent national survey of more than a thousand people commissioned by Orlando Health found that 31 percent of Americans think a lack of exercise is the biggest barrier to weight loss, followed by those who say it's what you eat (26%) and the cost of a healthy lifestyle (17%). Another 12 percent said the biggest barrier to weight loss was the necessary time commitment.Only 1 in 10, however, thought psychological well-being was a factor. "That may explain why so many of us struggle," said Robinson. "In order to lose weight and keep it off long term, we need to do more than just think about what we eat, we also need to understand why we're eating."From a very young age we're emotionally attached to food. As children we're often given treats, both to console us when we're upset, and to reward us for good behavior. Most celebrations, like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day are food-focused, and birthdays are spent sharing cake. Even the mere smell of certain foods, like cookies in grandma's oven, can create powerful emotional connections that last a lifetime."If we're aware of it or not, we are conditioned to use food not only for nourishment, but for comfort," said Robinson. "That's not a bad thing, necessarily, as long as we acknowledge it and deal with it appropriately."?Whenever the brain experiences pleasure for any reason it reacts the same way.Whether it's derived from drugs, a romantic encounter or a satisfying meal, the brain releases a neurotransmitter known as dopamine. "We feel good whenever that process is activated," said Robinson, "but when we start to put food into that equation and it becomes our reward, it can have negative consequences."In fact, researchers have found a link between emotional issues like stress, anxiety and depression, and higher body mass indexes (BMI). Many of us can relate to the idea of overindulging at happy hour after a bad day at the office, for example, or eating a pint of ice cream to help us deal with bad news.That was common coping mechanism for Shekyra DeCree, of Columbus, Ohio. "As a mental health therapist, my job can be very stressful, and everyday when I got home from work, the first thing I would do is go to the refrigerator," she said. "That was my way to calm down and relax."After recognizing the emotional attachment she had with food, DeCree started making conscious changes. In just over one year, she's lost more than 100 pounds."I'd gone on countless diets and tried to exercise before, but this was different," she said. "You have to change the way you deal with your emotions, your stress and anxiety. Once I understood the mental aspect, I felt free."Robinson offers these tips to help recognize the emotional connection you may have to food:-Keep a daily diary logging your food and your mood, and look for unhealthy patterns.-Identify foods that make you feel good and write down why you eat them. Do they evoke a memory or are you craving those foods out of stress?-Before you have any snack or meal ask yourself: Am I eating this because I'm hungry? If the answer is no, look for the root of your motive.The goal is to take emotion out of eating and see food as nourishment, not as a reward or coping mechanism. If you struggle, don't be shy about finding help. "When we're focused on the physical aspects of weight loss, many of us have no problem joining a gym or hiring a trainer," said Robinson. "How about joining a support group or hiring a psychologist?" she said. "If getting your body in shape hasn't work out yet, maybe this time start with your mind."

Updated: Mar 5

Why do you think we have emotions? Wouldn't life be simpler without them? Do we have emotions to give middle class people something to talk about or to provide soap opera writers with script material?


Of course not. As with everything else in human makeup, emotions exist to keep us safe and alive and able to thrive.


Emotions motivate movement


Embedded in the word "emotion" is another word: "motion". Emotions are there to make us move. Either towards something or away from it.


We all have deep basic needs - for warmth, security, love and connection and, of course, food and shelter. We have needs for status, significance, attention and to feel safe in our lives. We need stimulation, to exercise our creativity to learn and produce in the world. Some emotions drive us toward experiences that would help meet these needs and ensure our survival. And other emotions serve to drive us away from experiences or situations which, we feel, would prevent us meeting our essential needs.


But what happens when we get directed the wrong way by our feelings?


You are pulled towards social contact by your needs, and away from it by social anxiety


The "motion" in "emotion" has us moving either towards what we feel we need or away from what we feel we don't want. Think lust, love, anger, greed, hunger - all feelings that motivate us towards an experience. And think about feelings that drive us away from something - fear, terror, disgust.


Hopefully, our emotions get it right and drive us toward what is good for us and away from what is bad for us. But sometimes they don't.


The social phobic both wants and doesn't want social contact. They are pulled and pushed in different directions by their feelings. If social contact was bad for us, it would be great to be terrified of social events because it would be life saving. But a socially anxious person instinctively knows they need social contact at the same time as fearing it; they are pulled and pushed at the same time by their emotions... tricky! And it gets worse.


We avoid what we fear - but also fear what we avoid


One problem is that the more you avoid something, the more the fear around it increases. It's as if your "emotional brain" draws conclusions from your behaviour: "She's avoiding this situation all the time, so it must be genuinely dangerous. So I'll ramp up her fear of this situation even more to make sure she won't go near it."


On the other hand, people can switch off their fear around stuff they should fear simply because they have made themselves go towards it. I'm thinking of the old-time circus lion-tamer calmly putting his head in a lion's mouth, and of those perennial favorites, the human cannonballs, getting themselves fired from a cannon. Not hobbies I'd recommend. The point is that even dangerous acts like these can start to feel "normal" to your emotional brain if you voluntarily and repeatedly do them (the "emotional brain" concludes "This must be safe, else why are we doing it?").


So yes, we avoid what we fear, but we can also come to fear something just because we avoid it so much.


A number of approaches have been tried over the centuries to overcome the difficulties this presents. None are as successful as hypnotic therapy. Consider, for instance, what happens with "exposure therapy" and "cognitive therapy" in the context of dealing with fears like shyness and social anxiety.


Exposure therapy: A step too far?


The understanding that emotions are physical drivers away from or towards something is extensively used in exposure therapy. (1) This approach typically has you gradually having more and more contact with what scares you. So the spider phobic might on week one see a drawing of a spider, on week two see a photo of a spider, on week three see a toy spider, on week four touch the toy spider, week five has them seeing a movie of a spider and week six an actual live spider. This can be very effective if the person can be induced to remain calm through the gradual exposure (sometimes known as "systematic desensitisation"). (It would be easier and faster to use hypnosis and the rewind technique.)


The idea is that spiders need to start to feel a "normal" part of experience, and this is done through forcing oneself to go towards rather than away from; classic behavioural therapy, and probably what the lion-tamer did to get the nerve he needed...


Another kind of exposure therapy takes a less gradual approach and is known as "flooding". Yikes! This might see the spider phobic being put straight in a room full of spiders, with the idea that fully experiencing your worst fear - and surviving it - will put an end to that fear.


So does it work?


Therapy for the therapy


Yes, it can work - provided the person undergoing the therapy is taught to relax deeply. But (you knew there was a "but") I can't tell you how many clients I've had to treat to help them recover from the effects of this kind of therapy when it's gone wrong. These are the ones who didn't get better, the ones who couldn't get past the photo of the spider on week two, the ones who were deeply traumatised by being thrown in at the deep end of having to speak in front of a hundred people when they were still chronically shy.


There has to be, and fortunately is, another way.


The beauty of hypnosis when treating fears


Hypnosis, used sensibly, is the perfect way to expose someone in a safe and relaxed way to a situation they had been avoiding. As far as your emotional brain is concerned, if you have relaxed deeply and felt spontaneous at a party a few times while in hypnosis, this is a sufficiently strong indication that this situation is not dangerous, and that this kind of social event can now be "retagged" as something you can potentially go safely towards - before you've even been to an actual party. Someone who hasn't left the house for years can "leave their house" in hypnosis and "experience it" before they go out the door in real life. The exposure therapy is fully within their own control, in sync with a relaxed mind and body.


When they then "do it for real", it will already feel more familiar and therefore not as threatening. The previously dreaded social event may even, dare I say it, turn out to be relaxing and fun.


It's important to understand here that we are talking about more than just what a person believes.


Feelings and thoughts can be at odds


You can fully believe something is good for you and still fearfully flee from it. You can fully believe something (or someone) is bad for you but still be emotionally driven towards it (or them). Cognitive approaches to dealing with fears often come unstuck over this, as fears aren't driven so much by "faulty thinking" as by more primitive emotional conditioning geared towards survival. It is much easier to access, and modify, these primitive drivers through the use of hypnosis than through reasoning.


When we help someone with social phobia it's generally obvious the phobia has gone the moment they open their eyes, because calm, disassociated hypnotic exposure to the previously feared trigger while feeling completely relaxed has transformed their response. They know it wasn't "real" - but nonetheless a new positive blueprint for responding with calm and being in flow when in social situations has become established in their subconscious. Being socially relaxed is the new "normal".


The new 10 steps to overcome social anxiety course, like all the ten steps courses, has a hypnotic download for each step of the way. This is partly because social skills can be developed and honed during hypnotic rehearsal but also because we want people to experience hypnotic "safe" social experiences before they go into these situations for real. In this way the horrible away from feelings of fear can gently be replaced with the happier toward feelings of pleasure and positive expectation when it comes to socializing and meeting new people.

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* DISCLAIMER: Results may vary from person to person. We guarantee the very best service using current information and appropriate hypnotic techniques for your situation. Hypnosis and hypnotherapy are not meant to diagnose or treat any disease, but rather it is intended to provide information, education, and motivation that will help to you live to your best potential and guide you toward being more effective in helping yourself.