Within 24 hours of your last cigarette your chances of a heart attack decreases. Within 72 hours your bronchial tubes relax, making breathing easier and your lung capacity increases. Soon after, in the next two weeks to two months your circulation improves so that walking and exercising becomes easier. You increase your lung function up to 30%!
Your body is an amazing healer. Every day you are cigarette free you become symptom free. Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, shortness of breath all decrease and subside. Cilia re-grows in lungs, increasing ability to handle mucous, clean the lungs and reduce infection. Your energy level increases steadily.
Most smokers hate the habit, hate the smell, and are embarrassed by how others react to them. They know the cancer statistics. You would think that is enough to make someone stop. For most smokers it isn't that easy. This insidious habit actually has many components to it. The approach used to stop smoking with the help of hypnosis varies depending upon the type of smoker you are.
The first type of smoker is the one that started because all their friends were doing it. It became a habit as they associated smoking with all aspects of their daily routine. They smoke purely because it is habit. Quitting is pretty easy for them. Through hypnosis, they release cigarettes from their daily routine and create new rituals. They don’t miss the smoking and any withdrawal symptoms are minor and tolerable.
The second type of smoker is the one who grew up with it. Parents are smokers, as well as friends and siblings. They may have been exposed to smoke all of their life. They smoke because it is a part of what they know and it becomes part of who they are. They have seen family members struggle with smoking and even die from cancer or emphysema. Quitting can be challenging if the people they live with smoke or family members smoke. They risk others trying to sabotage them back into the habit. On the bright side when these smokers are motivated to quit, nothing will stop them. They have to release the ‘friend’ that the cigarette has become. Luckily smoker relatives and friends tend to be very respectful of those that choose to quit. If this smoker believes they will suffer from withdrawal symptoms, they usually will. However, that can be minimized or eliminated with hypnosis.
The third type of smoker is the one who smokes because they think it relaxes them. Often times they are high strung and suffer from some anxiety. The reality is that there is not one chemical in a cigarette that is a relaxant. The chemicals constrict blood vessels and make the heart work harder. What they really need to do is to ‘get away from it all’ which is what they do when they take a smoking break. They also use cigarettes as a reward for completing tasks. The fix is easy. They continue to take their breaks, but use replacement relaxation techniques. They get replacement rewards too for a job well done. Hypnosis reduces stress which helps makes the transition to non smoking smooth.
The fourth type of smoker is the addict who has been involved with drugs as well as smoking. Typically they have a family history of addiction. Usually they beat the drug habit and keep the smoking habit because it “isn’t as bad”. It is the last hold out of their addictive behavior, but eventually they realize they need to quit. This type of smoker does well with hypnosis but needs replacements for the habit. They sip on water to replace the oral habit. They use a finger rub/release for something to do with their hands. They learn how to breathe deeply, as smokers usually tend to have shallow breathing. They expect to withdraw, but are usually pleasantly surprised to find that they tolerate it pretty well. A piece of cake, when they use hypnosis, compared to withdrawal from drugs and rehab.
When my clients come in for a session I ask if they think they will have withdrawal symptoms (anxiety, irritability, urges). I did a study with my clients over a period of a few years. The clients who said yes, did have symptoms. The ones who answered no, didn’t have any symptoms at all! So to solve the problem, I have them experience the symptoms they believe they will suffer from during the hypnosis session. Because the mind does not differentiate between what is real or imagined, they experience the symptoms and then let them go. They know then that the symptoms are manageable and in most cases they are eliminated completely.
The habit of smoking is a subconscious habit attached to the daily routine, attached to socialization, and to emotions like an old friend. It makes sense to go to the subconscious mind to quit the habit. In 85% to 90% of the cases, people can stop in just one hypnosis session. A reinforcement CD makes it even more powerful and many people are delighted with how easy it is to quit!
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By Laurie Miller, CCH
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