I’ve been smoking cigarettes for about fourteen years. I always told myself, I’ll quit when I’m 18, 21, 22, 23, etcetera. You know how it goes.
I’m 26 years old now with chronic bronchitis, asthma, and re-occurring lung infections. I figured it was time to quit. I decided to try hypnotism for this.
Now, don’t judge me just yet, I am just as skeptical about hypnosis as the next guy, just more desperate.
Quitting cigarettes is not like quitting drugs. You cannot hide from cigarettes. You cannot delete convenience stores from your phone. You don’t cut-off your smoker friends. Your friends who smoke cigarettes aren’t robbing you or breaking the law.I decided to try hypnosis, mostly because of my mother recently started working towards getting her license for it. That and her instructor, Dr. Feldman, has an office in the same building where I work.
I love cigarettes, I always have. I like to smoke; I just don’t want to like it. So I made an appointment.
When I first spoke to Dr. Feldman, it was just the same as speaking with an other doctor before an appointment. He gave me instructions, “don’t smoke a cigarette at least one hour before the appointment.”
He then told me the astronomical price of the visit, following up with, “don’t worry, you won’t miss it.” He was cavalier in his assertion.
Dr. Feldman’s office was the 1970’s. Ugly green carpet that was never stretched to the walls correctly. There were pockets of air underneath.
And then Feldman busted out the karaoke machine, and through his speakers, he began a method I would compare to being “scared straight.”
He sat me down in an old corduroy recliner.
“Look! Look!” Feldman said as he flashed horrifying pictures of people around my age dying in their beds, weighing basically 2 pounds from lung cancer.
Of course next he showed me lung comparisons. He did this until I cried…
“Okay, now stick your two index fingers up while the others remain in fist, make the index fingers parallel.”
I did so. Dr. Feldman then put his fist on each side of my hands, making a “screwing” motion, until my index fingers were touching.
It was pretty cool.
I stared into a spinning ancient looking electric mandala, while Dr. Feldman, sounding like the Wizard of Oz, was trying to put me under.
He would actually shout, “put your fingers together, the right thumb and index finger!”
There was a lot of hands and finger movements and other odd exercises like fake retching gags to old memories, in order to associate that desperate nausea with the taste of cigarettes.
Hypnotism is like playing charades with your eyes closed and no idea who you’re supposed to be. And you are essentially FULLY AWARE of where you are.
This is where the skepticism lives. People want to be knocked out, have their subconscious taken over by a desire they cannot fulfill on their own.
It doesn’t work that way.
After my session with Dr. Feldman, I felt relaxed and quite good.
I only went 13 hours before I cried for a cigarette.
At the end of your hypnotherapy session I was given a CD of it and told to listen to it every night for a month.
I’m not sure who has the time for that, but I did not. Therefore, I am unfortunately still smoking, but I feel more in control. I am smoking less. I am craving less. But smoking is smoking, you either do or you don’t.
At the end of it all, I would say that hypnotism can work if you are receptive enough. I was not.
So the journey to quit smoking is still in motion for me, but I do believe that hypnotherapy can help. It is still a gamble though.
If you are someone who wants to attempt hypnotherapy for whatever reason, I would suggest that you look up some sessions on YouTube. There you can get an idea of how hypnotism would or would not work for you.