Amy’s Stop Smoking Session

Evening Telegraph Tuesday 23rd January 2007

Mind over matter

Amy prepares to conquer her addiction

quit smoking with hypnosisCome New Year, thousands of people try to quit smoking. Some fail, some succeed. Having tried giving up with will power, nicotine gum and reading lots of books, feature writer Amy Thurston gives it one last shot with hypnotherapy.CONCERNED I might leave the room clucking like a chicken, I nervously sat down opposite the hypnotist who promised me I would never smoke again.

Scanning round the room I spotted a bed in the corner; “No, please please don’t make me lie down on that” I thought to myself. As I talked through my long smoking history with hypnotherapist Georgina Block, of Loddington (now Kettering), she took notes about what I liked about smoking and my reasons for quitting.

Instead of believing that the first puff on a fag is pleasurable – as I have always thought – Georgina said the pleasure is in fact in taking a deep breath of air and relaxing the body, which of course feels good, rather than the car fumes we inhale.

She then told me that before going under, she needed to chat to my conscious brain. As part of that I had to imagine how friends, family and The Boyfriend would feel knowing I am no longer a smoker and visualise their happy faces.

According to Georgina our imagination is far stronger than our will power. And it is because of this that the ‘will power’ method of giving up smoking doesn’t work for many.

So instead of being addicted to the drug, I imagine I can’t cope without it and so that comes true – I can’t cope. In essence, what we visualise to happen happens.

If we think we will get the job we go for, it’s often the case we will.

And the will power method certainly didn’t work for me. Last January I attempted to quit by puffing on fake fags and chewing nicotine gum; the taste of which almost made me pass out and, ironically, I was left reaching for a cigarette.

So instead of thinking that as soon as I have a glass of Pinot in my hand I need to smoke, I have to learn to believe the opposite.

That I don’t want a fag, that it’s disgusting, dirty and killing me. I’m not sure I was sold at this stage, but I am intrigued at how I will stop smoking after only one session, which is what was being promised.
So, enough of the conscious stuff and on to the hypnosis. Georgina then said: “If you take your shoes off now and lie down on the bed.”

The sound of waves came through the headphones which were placed over my head and calming words followed.

But I was feeling far from relaxed; what if I fell asleep? Or started spouting random rubbish?
“By the time I have counted to eight, you should be very relaxed,” I heard.
What followed I cannot report – because I can’t really remember.

But it wasn’t like being in some crazed trance, more that feeling you get just before you fall asleep where you’re both awake but asleep at the same time.

“Now you’re awake,” is the next thing I heard. “Guess how long that was?” Georgina asked.
“Ten minutes?” I replied.
“Thirty-five,” Georgina said, checking her watch. “Most people don’t really realise how long it is,” she added,
and told me if I smoked again to come back for a free session – but that rarely happens, I was assured.

And that was it, I was cured?
For the rest of the day I felt unbelievably relaxed; like I’d had the most amazing sleep.
It’s now day three and I do feel like I am a non-smoker; the real tester will be when I have a drink, but I’m feeling optimistic.

After this article came out, Amy wrote another article the following month to tell of her experience when she tried to smoke. To see what she said click here

Comment from Georgina: Some of Amy’s memories are understandably a bit mixed up, which isn’t surprising as there’s a lot to remember in an hour and a half! (But the sub-conscious takes it all in anyway). The main thing to realise is NOT that you’ll be asked to “imagine that you don’t want a fag, that it’s dirty, disgusting and killing me” but rather that you’ll learn to visualise yourself succeeding as a non-smoker and enjoy all the new healthy feelings you’ll have as a non-smoker. I always encourage you to imagine what you really want rather than think about what you are trying to avoid. That applies to everything in life – we do tend to attract to ourselves those things on which we concentrate. As I talk to your subconscious mind during hypnosis you’ll find it easy to visualize yourself succeeding – it’s a rehearsal for reality!

Another thing to realise is that you never need to fear that you will be asked to do anything you wouldn’t feel happy with – I am a hypnotherapist, not a stage hypnotist. The work I do is for your benefit, whereas a stage hypnotist is using skills to impress you with his hypnotic abilities – his “power” over you. In actual fact, nobody has power over you, you cannot be forced to do anything against your will, but the stage hypnotist picks out, from among those who choose to come on stage, those people who most quickly respond to suggestion – that makes it look as though they’re in his power…. Remember – if you weren’t willing to do silly things, why would you choose to go up on stage? Only extroverts are happy to join the crowd who are willing to entertain others with their suggested antics. Nothing wrong with being an extrovert – but those who don’t want to join in don’t choose to go up there.

After this article came out, Amy wrote another article the following month to tell of her experience when she tried to smoke. To see what she said click here

Want to Quit Smoking in One Session? Ring 01536 522770