Steve came in because he wanted to stop smoking. He is in good health but he knows that smoking is cutting years from his life. I could hear he had that smoker’s raspy voice.
He said he smokes about a pack a day and during the typical times like waking up, with coffee, after meals, while driving and before going to bed. He's tired of sneaking around trying to have a cigarette.
His family really wanted him to stop smoking but more importantly, he wanted to stop smoking. You see, the only way for hypnosis to work for people to quit smoking is when they really WANT to quit smoking. It's not their spouse, it's not their children, it's their specific need to be a non-smoker.
Steve is an avid swimmer and goes to the pool everyday. The funny thing is that, after he gets out of the pool, immediately lights up a cigarette. He knows it's hypocritical and he is not happy with himself.
As with all smokers, I had him look at a video before the session that talks about cigarettes and how they affect his life. The point of the video is to illustrate to a smoker that they are NOT addicted to nicotine and once they understand that concept and agree that smoking is nothing more than a habit, they are ready quit.
During the session, we initially dealt with his craving for cigarettes. I asked him to feel the craving while sitting in the chair. Then. I had him go through EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique, often called tapping. EFT is designed to reduce the feeling that is undesirable. In his case, we were able to get the cravings down to a zero on the SUDS scale (Subjective Units of Distress Scale). Without cravings for a cigarette, he really becomes a nonsmoker.
The Hypnosis Session
We through the hypnosis session, where we speak with the subconscious mind. I suggest to the subconscious mind to change teams. In other words, the subconscious mind will now help him to stop smoking rather than allowing him to smoke. The prime directive of the subconscious mind is to keep you safe and secure. So why did his subconscious mind continue to allow him to smoke? Because, it was a routine that he started at a young age and by doing the same things over and over again, the routine becomes accepted by the subconscious mind.
Think about tying your shoes. As a child, you learn how to tie your shoes and as you continue to do it over and over again, it becomes second nature. In fact, if I asked you how do you tie your shoes, you would have to really think hard about the process you use.
Once Steve finished the hypnosis session, he felt great and had no cravings for cigarettes. I contacted him about a week later and he sounded a little distressed. He told me he was surprised at how much cigarettes were intertwined in his life. He asked for a second session and came in the day after.
I was surprised to hear from Steve that he hadn't smoked any cigarettes since our last visit. That is a good thing. I needed to find the reason his mind was thinking about smoking. I sat him in the hypnosis chair and did something we call the Ego States Technique.
EGO States Technique
Your mind has many Ego States. At any point during the day. an Ego State become executive in your mind. For example, as I write this story, the Ego State, that's executive in my mind, is the one recalling the session I had with Steve and is intertwined with an Ego State responsible for writing the words into this post.
At any moment, another Eco State could be come executive. For instance, I looked at an email and my Ego State changed to read the email and react accordingly.
When I went through this process with Steve, I asked him to find the Ego State that becomes executive when he thinks about smoking a cigarette. I asked him to describe what the Ego State looks like. He said it was a big, black blob. Usually, I get more details but this worked out fine. I had him ask the Ego State what its name was and he said "Shame". Shame was the one that came to the executive in order to satisfy the habit of smoking. Shame's intention was to embarrass Steve. To "knock him off his perch".
I had Steve ask Shame if he'd be willing to change his function to something that's productive instead. Shame said "no". We then asked Shame if he wanted to change his appearance. Shame said "yes", he wanted to look like George Clooney. When asked to change his name, he said "Joy". At this point, it was easy to put Joy into his subconscious mind to completely eliminate the smoking habit.
Steve has been doing very well. He is very pleased with the results of the sessions and knows that for the rest of his life, he will be a non-smoker.
I know this sounds silly and childish, but working with the subconscious mind in this way, I have seen tremendous results.
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