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Nicotine Blues, Or How To Quit Smoking

Here’s a shocker: The Patch doesn’t work. So what if the information’s been available for ages, now that a million or two has been spent on research, it’s suddenly gospel. The article appeared in the NY Times this morning here

“Our study essentially shows that what happens in the real world is very different” from what happens in clinical trials, said Hillel R. Alpert of Harvard, a co-author with Dr. Connolly and Lois Biener of the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

The researchers argue that while nicotine replacement appears to help people quit, it is not enough to prevent relapse in the longer run. Motivation matters a lot. (my italics).

And that’s where hypnosis comes in. When the conscious mind says, “I want to stop”, but the subconscious says, “I need to smoke because, (choose what applies) smoking numbs me out, smoking gives me comfort, makes me feel powerful, etc. etc., we have a conflict. And nine out of ten times the subconscious wins. Why? Need always supplants want in the psyche, as it does in life. It doesn’t even matter that smoking will kill you, because the subconscious has decided that it’s a survival mechanism…and if you think back to the reasons you started, it probably served just such a function at one time.

The hypnotist solves this problem by engaging the subconscious mind, and in so doing replacing one belief system (smoking is my friend) with one that is more in keeping with what the conscious mind wants. We go further by asking the subconscious to find healthy substitutes for the old habit. And we always get an appropriate response. Again, why? Because it’s in the arena of our subconscious that we access our wisdom, our creativity and healing.  The goal of hypnosis then, is to resolve conflicting needs, and then integrate the conscious and subconscious minds. Once they are in synch, we begin to believe the suggestions. And then our habits shift.

Makes sense, when you think about it.

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