So Easy You Could Do It In Your Sleep!

Not how you'd describe your quit smoking attempts? Read on...

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It's January. It's time to make merry with resolutions. And merrily break them by February...

This was the less-than-positive outlook for a smoker I know who vowed he'd give up smoking on December 31. Past attempts had proven him a quitter, just not at smoking.

This time he had been given a helping hand as a Christmas present - a visit to local hypnotherapist, Carol Ward. Her website promised that hypnotherapy can be a very effective therapy for resolving a wide range of issues. I'm intrigued to find out what other issues could be cleared up but for January smoking sounded a good start.

Our smoker arrived to meet Carol with an open mind on the effectiveness of hypnotherapy and with a definite desire for it to work, something she told me was imperative for it to stand a chance of doing so.

How it works

During hypnosis positive suggestions for change are made to your unconscious mind where habits, beliefs and behaviours are stored to enable you to achieve your desired outcome.

"You are comfortably relaxed and guided into a trance state similar to day-dreaming whilst listening to the sound of my voice," explained Carol. "Your unconscious mind will only accept suggestions that are appropriate for you and you are in full control throughout the session."

People are not treated with hypnosis but are treated in hypnosis. All hypnotic states are characterised by what is described as a tremendous sense of relaxation, which individuals allow themselves to enter so that desired, beneficial suggestions may be given directly to the part of the mind known as the subconscious.

Under hypnosis, the conscious, rational part of the brain is temporarily bypassed, making the subconscious part, which influences mental and physical functions, receptive to therapy.

It is a misconception that you'll actually fall asleep. Here's how the The London College of Clinical Hypnosis, where Carol passed trained and passed her practitioner qualification, describes the hypnotised state:

"Although hypnosis may be light, medium or deep, a medium trance is usually used during which metabolism, breathing and heartbeat slow and the brain produces alpha waves. Normal states of consciousness i.e. sleeping, dreaming, being awake, can be detected in the wave patterns produced by the brain. The state of hypnosis differs from all three. The brain waves associated with quiet, receptive states are called alpha waves. In alpha states, the body gradually relaxes. Hypnosis, meditation, day dreaming, being absorbed in a book or music or television, driving and arriving at your destination without recalling all the usual landmarks etc. are good examples of alpha states."

One week after his session our ex-smoker isn't showing any signs of quitting his quitting. He doesn't know how much this has to do with hypnotherapy and how much is his own tremendous willpower. Frankly, who cares?


"What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve." Napoleon Hill 



Charlie Canniff

January 14, 2008