There are many supports and treatments available to you if you're thinking of quitting smoking. It is estimated that 1 in 5 people still smoke in the UK and surveys have consistently found that most of them wish to quit. As well as medications and nicotine replacement therapies, the use of alternative therapies such as hypnosis and acupuncture have also become popular.
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Hypnosis is described as a trance-like state where you have heightened concentration and focus. For most people, when they're under hypnosis they can feel relaxed and calm. In this state you can be more open to suggestions, although you will still remain in control of your actions and behaviours.
Hypnotherapy - or hypnosis - is usually carried out with the assistance of a therapist trained in the practice. Using verbal repetition, relaxation techniques and visualisations they can assist you in entering a hypnotic state where you're more open to suggestion.
Hypnosis is offered as a treatment for smoking cessation, as when you're in a hypnotic state your subconscious mind can be influenced to help alter your thinking and behaviours. Once you're in a relaxed state you are more open to suggestions that may be beneficial to you. While the approach can vary from therapist to therapist, they're generally focused on increasing your resolve to quit and your negative associations with smoking.
Another hypnosis technique that is popular is what is known as Spiegel's method. This focus on three key messages during hypnotherapy:
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that hypnosis can be an effective treatment for stopping smoking, but as of yet, there is very little scientific research to support its claims. For this reason, hypnosis is not available through the NHS.
Despite it being a treatment for a considerable period of time, there is a lack of compelling research to conclude definitively whether it is or isn't effective. Some of the challenges in evaluating it, include:
Of the research that has been conducted into the effectiveness of hypnosis as a treatment for quitting smoking, the results have varied.
Despite no conclusive evidence either way, hypnosis is seen as a safe treatment, once it's performed by a suitably qualified professional.
There are two prescription medications available to help you stop smoking. These medications can alleviate nicotine cravings and give you the extra support you need to manage the withdrawal symptoms.
Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT) is another available treatment. These include nicotine lozenges, inhalers, patches, gums, tabs and sprays, all of which can be easily purchased without a prescription. They work by releasing nicotine into your blood stream at lower levels that you would receive from smoking a cigarette, but enough to ease withdrawal symptoms.
Other methods of quitting smoking include cold turkey, cutting down, using e-cigarettes, behavioural support groups, stop smoking apps and other alternative therapies. If you're interested in quitting smoking, you can complete a free online consultation here and we can advise whether Champix may be a suitable option for you.