In a new study by researchers from North Shore Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital, hypnosis was found to be effective in about 50% of the patients who used it. They took patients with a cardiopulmonary diagnosis and who wanted to quit and divided them into four groups. The control group quit smoking cold turkey, without any assistance, a second group chose hypnotherapy, a third group used Nicotine Replacement Therapy (patch, gum, or lozenges), and a fourth group chose hypnotherapy and Nicotine Replacement Therapy.
After six months, 50% of the groups who chose hypnotherapy alone and hypnotherapy with Nicotine Replacement Therapy remained tobacco-free. Using the Nicotine Replacement Therapy didn’t improve the success of the hypnotherapy. 25% of the control group and 15.7% of the Nicotine Replacement Therapy group were still quit.
The study was presented at Chest 2007, October 22, 2007, at the 73rd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians. For more information on this study, visit Science Daily
As a hypnotherapist, I have many people call and say, “I want hypnosis to make me stop smoking.” I tell them, “Hypnosis won’t make you quit, but it will make the quitting process much easier.” A person has to be motivated to quit smoking, and use hypnosis as a process to reduce stress, change the way they think about smoking, and reduce the cravings. It won’t make the urges go completely away, or make the desire to smoke disappear, but it will make the process much easier. It can also help develop new coping strategies.
In my practice, I’ve seen near-miracles occur when someone is determined to quit. And I’ve seen a client quit easily, just to begin again in a few months because they thought they could smoke just one puff or because they hoped that the lure of smoking would be gone forever. It’s a process of learning new skills and dedication to one’s health and well being. But, in my experience, hypnosis is incredibly effective for someone who is committed to quitting smoking.