How Hypnosis Treats Psychological Addiction vs Physical Addiction

Senior Man Smoking Image

A professional hypnotist can help overcome both types of addiction

Does hypnosis work for quitting smoking? The answer is yes!

How and why does it work when it does get people to quit smoking?

Many people are uncertain how hypnosis truly works for smoking addictions.

The reason hypnosis for smoking cessation sometimes fails is because it depends on the hypnotist skills and level of commitment of the client.

You see, smoking can either be a psychological addiction – habit focused – or physical addiction – chemical focused –  or sometimes a combination of both.

You have to know what type of addiction the individual has to smoking before jumping in to get it right the first time!

What is a physical addiction to smoking?

Simply put, when one is physically addicted to smoking, they are addicted to the nicotine. If they have been smoking for a long period of time, the body can develop a dependence and tolerance to nicotine and it “needs” it, or the individual goes into physical withdrawal-like symptoms more commonly known as a “Nic Fit“. Smokers in this category can suffer with prolonged withdrawal symptoms.

Shakes, jitters, edginess, irritability, difficulties concentrating are some of the more common signs. When they have their cigarette, they suddenly feel “alive” again because they have the nicotine in their blood stream.

A psychological addiction to smoking on the other hand more commonly resembles a prolonged conditioned reflex. The individual engages in certain behaviors, social activities, or experiences stressors which provoke the need to smoke. Also, psychological addictions include the individuals “need” to engage in the continual physical repetitions that they do when they smoke.

Some “need” the methodical skills to smoke as they literally do so on auto-pilot without thinking.

Then there are those individuals who have the greatest difficulty in trying to quit smoking because they possess both the physical and psychological components of the addiction. They need the nicotine in their system, and they also need the activities involved in smoking to de-stress them. How can hypnosis change things?

A good hypnotherapist will first ask questions of the individual to learn about the nature of their addiction to smoking. They need to know whether it is more repetitive use due to stress, etc., or do they have a dependence on the drug “nicotine“? A good therapist will help the individual trying to quit smoking by assuming they possess both types of addiction – nothing gets left out!

When treating the physical addiction, the hypnotherapist may use an aversion approach. Each time the individual lights up, smells a cigarette burning, or even things about it, it repulses them and nauseates them. Furthermore, hypnotic suggestions are given to the mind to clear the body of pollutants and restore the senses to normalcy.

When treating the psychological aspect, individuals are given post hypnotic suggestions and cues that trigger them to want to do something else, such as chew gum, go for a walk, eat celery sticks instead of having a cigarette, etc. Each time they succeed, the suggestion becomes more engrained in that they become further away from being a smoker.

Erika Slater
Director
Free At Last Hypnosis

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