Quit smoking with hypnosis and EFT
Picture the scene - it's a cold October morning and my first client is scheduled for 10am. Ah, I think to myself, a smoker - my favourite kind of client. The gentleman, in his early forties, arrives promptly on time, looking slightly nervous. After he is settled in I ask him when the last time was that he had a cigarette.
He replies, "Last night actually and I threw my cigarettes in the bin on my way here. But I’m sorry to have to tell you this, I’m gasping for a fag!"
Well to be quite honest, I’m not surprised to hear this, especially with a 20-a-day habit. Like so many clients before him, this gentleman has had a scare with his health. He has a persistent cough that won’t go away and breathlessness during physical exertion.
After asking him the level of his craving on a score of one to 10, with 10 being the worst it can be, he informs me that his craving is currently at 15. So this is where we get to work using a really simple and effective tool called Emotional Freedom Technique, or tapping as it is commonly known.
Although sceptical at first, the surprised look on his face tells me all I need to know as we go through the procedure. His craving begins to subside and his score comes all the way down to one. No need for nicotine patches, e-cigarettes or gum, just a completely free and natural way to help with cravings. We continue with the quit-smoking hypnotherapy session and a successful outcome.
A combination of therapies and intent
When I agree to see a client for quit smoking hypnosis, they must convince me that they do want to stop smoking and that they are completely committed to stopping. Hypnosis is a great way to quit but, without the commitment from the client to stop, their subconscious will simply disregard any suggestions it is given.
The reason I combine tapping with hypnosis is that clients can learn a resource which they can use to help with any cravings, anxiety or stress they might experience after their therapy has ended. Although, I only teach tapping to clients who want to learn. It is not a compulsory part of their treatment and will not affect the outcome of success if they choose not to learn.
Tapping (Thought Field Therapy), which was developed in the 1980s by Dr Roger Callahan, is based on the Chinese Art of Acupuncture which was founded over 5000 years ago. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) was later developed by Dr Callahan’s assistant, Gary Craig in the 1990s. It is a belief of this ancient Eastern practice that energy flows through all living things through a complex system of energy pathways called Meridians. They are found throughout the human body to deliver energy to each of our organs. Undetectable to the naked eye, Meridian points are mapped out in pairs around the body but for tapping, we mainly use the upper body. By tapping the Meridian points in a certain sequence we can promote physical and emotional healing.
Now, it has not been scientifically proven that Meridian points exist, but if you look at the skin under a microscope, there is a convergence of nerve endings at the Meridian points. When ‘tapped’, neuro-transmitters at the tapping points under the skin send a message of calm up to the Amygdala, an area in the brain which is responsible for the fight/flight response. When these points are tapped, endorphins are released which block pain and also help us to enter the calm system.
Tapping can be used for specific ailments such as phobias, anxiety, pain, cravings and anger to name but a few. One of the best things about tapping is that it can be done anywhere, at any time, quickly and without the use of equipment or medication. During my career as a hypnotherapist, I have found that there is nothing more rewarding than helping a client make positive changes to their health. Having worked as a nurse for many years, I saw first-hand the detrimental effects that smoking has on the physical body and also the impact passive smoking has on the family, work colleagues and pets. This is why I am particularly passionate about helping people to quit smoking.
Unfortunately, it is often the case that people do not see the risks of smoking tobacco products, no matter how many times they have been told that it is bad for them. We are bombarded with advertisements on television and packets of cigarettes, but most people have become blind to them. It is difficult for people to envision the effects of smoking when the disease process is happening within their bodies; out of sight, out of mind.
Hypnotherapy and tapping work great together and have the added benefit of being a natural way to stop smoking. Of course, client commitment is a key factor to a successful outcome and once someone has stopped smoking then the body starts to heal itself. When clients come to see me, they leave my care having learned something new and interesting with tools and techniques that can be used in other areas and situations that they may encounter throughout their lives.