I was looking for a brochure that I made for ‘Quit Smoking’, and came across the below article that I wrote quite a long time ago. I have added a couple of things to post it as a link to my website. I thought that you might be interested to have a look, especially those that are or know someone that is still a smoker today so that they are able to see how easy it can be to give up smoking using hypnotherapy. This is my story as a Smoker.
Where Is the Power in Giving Up Smoking?
I am speaking from my own experience here. I smoked from the age of 15 years of age when I started work. The girl teaching me my first job out of school offered me a smoke, and of course, I felt very grown up and took it. Then I felt I wanted to purchase my own so that I could offer one back.
I was in a large Assurance Company and I joined the table tennis team to play against other companies. So now, whilst we were not actually playing, we would be sitting on the sideline cheering on our team, smoking and drinking coffee until it was our turn to compete. It soon became a part of who I was.
However, the Universe has a way of nudging us to take notice.
As the years went by, I felt fit and healthy. I jogged at the park most mornings with my Rhodesian Ridgeback, and some days played squash before work. I got married, had children and life went on, and I kept smoking. In those days, you could happily smoke at your office desk. I smoked when my husband met me. He did not. He played soccer and smoking did not fit into his life.
Now when we were married, he was on at me to give up the smoking habit. You know it isn’t good for you… it stinks… blah! blah! My thinking at that time was; “It was good enough for you when I first met you, stop hounding me now!” (My rebellious child kicked in!) I kept on smoking.
I noticed through the years that although I only ever got one cold a year, (sort of mid-season between winter and spring), I would get a cold and have bronchitis. Each year it was taking me longer to get rid of bronchitis. However, I would get over it and eventually return to smoking.
Then I got a bigger nudge, one year I had Pleurisy. This was harder to shift. I had to bend over the edge of the bed before I sat upright and spit out the phlegm into a bucket, otherwise, it would make me cough and the coughing would hurt my ribs.
Most people when they get pleurisy get sticking bandages wrapped around their rib cage to stop the continual coughing from hurting and causing damage. I, however, was allergic to the plaster and had quite a difficult time getting over this.
Now it makes one wonder why would you keep on smoking. Nevertheless, of course, I did. I had probably been smoking now for about 25 years. I liked smoking… I did not want to give it up… why should I?
Many things happened around this time that made me change my mind.
One of my husband’s uncles was having problems with circulation in the lower part of his right leg. He underwent surgery to bypass the damaged artery to enable another smaller artery to do the job. It didn’t work. Through the lack of blood flow, he got gangrene in his leg that was amputated just below the knee.
This same uncle some months later had a stroke, lost sight in one eye, and the use of his limbs that side of his body. Another stroke further along the line put him out of his misery and he died.
Another uncle was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. He too had a heart attack one day and died before cancer killed him. His daughter also had terminal lung cancer but had to suffer till it eventually killed her. Another Uncle also died of a heart attack, he too was a smoker.
Then I received a letter from my mother overseas telling me that my stepfather, Bobby, had suffered a heart attack. Now Bobby was never ill, but he had been a smoker all his life. The letter voiced my mother concern and relief that he was now over this and would be out of the hospital in the next couple of days. The next letter from my mother a few days later told me that he had left his bed to go to the toilet and the man in the bed next to him noticed that he had been gone a long time and told the nurse. They went looking for him and found that he had suffered a major heart attack whilst sitting on the toilet and this had killed him.
Around this time, my inner voice spoke to me. “What are you going to do?” it said, “Wait until you get there?” That was the time I made my decision to become a non-smoker.
It wasn’t an easy journey for me. It was before my days of knowing anything about hypnotherapy. I struggled with the craving and withdrawal symptoms daily. Even a year later, I was in ‘no-man’s-land’. I still wanted a cigarette, but I was nauseous at the thought of having one. A part of me tried all the tricks in the book to get me back to be a smoker. However, I guess I had most of me inside determined to give up. Eventually, that feeling became less and less and I have now been a non-smoker for many years. I gave up smoking when cigarettes cost $1.26 a packet of 25. They do not go down, do they? Moreover, believe me, the tobacco company do not care a damn about your health – they are just interested in making their billions. And the younger they can get you hooked, the longer they can make money out of you.
AS AN ASIDE – LIES TO KEEP US SMOKING
In 1994, United States Congressman Harry Waxman held a famous series of Congressional hearings. The presidents and CEOs of the seven largest American tobacco companies were subpoenaed to testify before Waxman’s committee. On April 14, 1994, after more than six hours of sharp questioning by members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health and the Environment, the seven CEOs steadfastly refused to budge under stringent questioning that they knew cigarettes were addictive. Each stated under oath that they did not believe nicotine was addictive. Within months, a perjury investigation was initiated by the Department of Justice. Ultimately, the Department of Justice claimed it did not have enough evidence to prosecute for perjury because the CEOs testified under oath that they believed nicotine did not addict people. Because they had used the word “believe,” they could not be prosecuted for perjury – you can see the lies from the tobacco company CEO’s explained here…
GIVING UP SMOKING WAS THE BEST DECISION THAT I HAVE EVER MADE FOR MY HEALTH
Giving up smoking was the best decision that I have ever made for my health. I look at people who still smoke and I wonder where they will be in 15, 30 or 45 years time. A friend of mine died of emphysema. She had a lot of money. She could afford the home nurse, the oxygen tank, all the best care and all the luxuries that money could buy. However, she could not buy health and eventually died gasping for air. However, everyone has to make their own choices. It isn’t my job to hassle anyone about what they want to do.
I hear therapists of different disciplines promote all sorts of ways of giving up smoking. Some say take Champix, some say lazer treatment, patches or a model of counselling. Then we have the NLP and Hypnotherapy proponents. However, the bottom line is there is little research out there that says any modality works 100 percent for every person for a lifetime of abstinence.
One client brought his small 4-year-old daughter to me for a fear she developed. He was a past client who gave up smoking some two and a half years earlier. He advised me that after he came, 9 people all from the same place of work followed and all of them had stopped smoking in the one session. However, he said that one of them had gone back to smoking because he was in a bad place emotionally, but he said that he would come back to give up smoking again. Some people last a few years, go through a tough time in life and go back to their earlier way of coping, whilst others have been through tough times and have remained a non-smoker through those events and decades later.
Here are a couple of written messages from past clients, you can see videos of others on my website; www.bbbenefits.com.au
— Like all smokers, I had tried to give up and failed. My reason for giving up was 1. Cost, 2. It had become socially inconvenient.
For me, it was certainly an addiction, but as well I enjoyed smoking and probably still would today. Scare tactics of the medical profession played no part in my decisions as I detest interference in my life by politically correct holier than thou individuals.
My wife suggested hypnotherapy which I did not exactly ridicule but it was the butt of quite a few jokes. My social secretary (wife) made an appointment with Bruni Brewin which I dutifully attended and had an enjoyable chat for about an hour. I have no recollection of being hypnotised but I have not smoked since, this after smoking for the previous fourty years.
If all problems were solved as easy as this, I would have nothing to whinge about and I enjoy whinging, so I will continue to do so until it becomes socially unacceptable too.
A man with a sense of humour ?
— Then I had to see a Doctor who told me if I didn’t stop I would have to carry an oxygen tank with me at all times. It is so hard to believe that it was ten years ago now.
I remember my family would watch me, as I literally coughed and spluttered each morning. They would beg me to stop as they wanted me around to see the grandchildren grow.
They didn’t want to bury me as they had their father. He died as a direct link of a heavy smoker, they were always reminding me.
I must thank you as I am here today to see my whole family and as a result of giving up with your help I couldn’t have done it alone.
Today I am in good health I have no signs of a cough or lung disease which was starting to develop before you hypnotised me.
— Hypnosis works just as well for marijuana – “I looked up your number to give to a friend of mine. Quite a few people I know have been to see you and said how you helped them. I couldn’t get over the change of my friend in just one session, so I thought I would come and see you about my marijuana problem.” I couldn’t believe that it would work in one session, but it did! WOW! I am impressed! Thanks a lot…”
Whether we talk about smoking or weight release, insomnia, gambling, or anxiety etc. the same dynamics are at work with whatever it is that has become a habit that you wish to change.
I had a person that came to see me that wanted to give up smoking. He currently smoked 40 cigarettes a day and he has been smoking for 40 years. There was no happening in his life that had caused the original smoking intention other than to feel grown up… to be one of the group… and the repetition of partying and having a drink in one hand and a smoke in the other had helped to make it a habit. His job entailed many hours behind the wheel of a vehicle and smoking helped to pass the time. Cigarettes had become a ‘friend’ he could always rely on. Now at 60 he felt that for health reasons it was the time that he gave it up.
He saw my local paper advert and gave me a call. We spoke about 20 minutes and he decided to book a session to see if I could help him. When he arrived, he told me that He had tried patches, lazer treatment, Champix (caused anxiety), Smoke Enders, and even group hypnosis where everyone had their last cigarettes and threw their packets of cigarettes in the bin, causing him to leave and go straight to the shop to buy another packet of cigarettes. Nothing had worked.
He was sceptical that he could be hypnotised, after all, it did not work last time. Despite painstakingly going through the process of what hypnosis is and isn’t what you may or may not feel depending on the sort of person you were, he was still sceptical that he had been in hypnosis. During the session we had obtained a hand levitation through visualisation, we had obtained a hand levitation through using the mind only, I used ideo-motor questioning with fingers that moved on their own violation (having checked that with the client), and I had received the right responses to the changes I had asked the sub-conscious to make. I pointed all these things out to him, yet he still felt that he had not been hypnotised. At the end of our one-and-a-half-hour session, I had asked him did he feel any cravings right now? The answer was ‘No’, so I told him that if it stayed that way, that is all he had come here for. I suggested he call me when he was available in about a week’s time.
However, he phoned me two days after our session asking if I could possibly see him urgently as the following week, he would be at work and he had started smoking again. I made the appointment. When he arrived, he told me that after 4 hours he had lit up a cigarette. I asked him; “Did you have any craving?” He said “No.” So, I said. “What made you have a cigarette then? His reply was; “I think my subconscious wanted to stop, but I don’t think my conscious mind did.” Or was it the other way around? he asked. When I came to you I had all these reasons for why I wanted to stop smoking, now I can’t think of one of them. That day he said he had smoked 3 cigarettes.
Even with the lack of having any craving or withdrawal symptoms, it was not enough to stop the smoking habit. Smoking can still be a problem if the psychological thinking is not in zinc.
So, this time after putting him into hypnosis I read him a story that I have had for many years. It was a story called ‘The Outward Journey of a 40-a-Day Man’. Condensed from The Canberra Times, (however I could not find the original article in the archives of the paper). It didn’t give the authors name, who described his experiences leading up to his diagnosis of cancer, a small carcinoma of the right bronchus. The author went on to describe the removal of his right lung. The confusion and pain, life becoming centered upon the struggle to breathe. He dared not sleep as he felt he would drown with the accumulation of fluid and mucus in the space left by the removed lung. He didn’t smoke anymore but still had a terrible craving for tobacco.
Statistics told him he had 1 in 3 chances of surviving for 5 years, which was rated as a cancer cure. Not a particularly attractive proposition when he considered what he had been through and must face in the future. At the end of the graphic details by the author, there was the Editor’s note: The author of this article died of secondary cancer four months after the operation he describes, has been on oxygen for the last month. Cancer may spread to any organ, particularly the liver, and the bones. In this case, it also returned at the stump of the bronchus.
I asked my client using Transactional Analysis, (a therapy that talks to the Parent, Adult, Child (PAC) within us) whether he was willing to play Russian roulette with his life? Is that what he wanted? He shook his head. I checked with the PAC Ego States and they all agreed. The Rebellious Child took the responsibility to put in an ‘Aversion’ so that the cigarette would taste vile. Before bringing him out of hypnosis, I asked the subconscious to make the body lighter and lighter and disappear until it felt that only his mind was there and to nod his head when he had that feeling, which it did. Then I brought him out of hypnosis.
His conscious mind was now no longer querying that he had been in hypnosis, however, he was now fearful that the aversion technique would not work. (He didn’t want to light up a cigarette in case it didn’t work.) I said; “You will always wonder if it will work and one day will have to try for yourself to see if it did work. Why not light up a cigarette now, and you will know.” We walked out to the client’s car. He took his cigarettes out of the car and lit up. As I watched his face, it screwed up. He said he felt light-headed and dizzy, he didn’t want the cigarette, it tasted vile. He threw it in the gutter and put it out with his shoe. I said give me a call in a couple of days and let me know how things are and off he went.
Health is our responsibility. How we look after our self will give us the outcome of the choices we make. How much food we eat what type of food we eat, i.e. junk food, how much we drink, whether alcohol or soft drink – they are all the choices we make. Decisions that give us an outcome according to these decisions that we make. And eventually, the Reaper will take his reward for those that ignore the Universe’s nudges.
As I tell my client’s “There is no such thing as failure – there are just ways of doing things that don’t work”.
If you are near me to come and visit personally, or you want to do a Skype session, or maybe you want to participate in a group session, get in touch with me from the contact page on my website.
What choice will you make?
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