Over my years of practicing as a hypnotherapist there have been a few stop smoking clients who got a little high every time that they smoked. And, I have always thought that if my clients were going to be hypnotized to stop smoking that they should be able to keep any real benefits that they got from smoking after they became nonsmokers.
Given the heath risks, social disapproval, and hazards to clothing and furniture associated with smoking, it may be a bit of a stretch to think of smoking as having any benefits. But, if you were to talk to thousands of smokers, as I have over the years, you would realize that most smokers have different ideas about that. Even smokers who say that there’s nothing good about smoking think that smoking relaxes them, or makes them feel more confident about meeting new people (other smokers, that is).
Fred (not his real name) told me that he got a buzz every time he smoked. When I asked him when the buzz started, he replied, “When I reach for a cigarette.” The buzz started before he lit up, or even touched a cigarette! Fred had unknowingly done a nice piece of self hypnosis before he ever got to my office. And, I knew that I could use it to help him become the nonsmoker he wanted to be.
I used an informal hypnosis technique from NLP, or NeuroLinguistic Programming, labeled the “drug of choice” technique. Simply put, with a little mental rehearsal, it is possible to recreate any drug state that a person has already experienced. The key is to remember the sensations that the person felt as the drug first started to affect them. Imagining them in order, over and over again, activates the brain to go back into the drug state without any added chemicals. As an added benefit, the person can sober up immediately at any time, and there are no hangovers, ever.
So, I taught Fred to get his buzz back by simply saying a phrase to himself. That phrase would be called an “anchor” or “trigger” in official hypnosis technical speak. While teaching him, I also had Fred make the buzz more intense than he had ever experienced from smoking. I knew that this would be easy for Fred to learn, because Fred had been using his own anchor to get the buzz already, the sight and/or feelings of his hand reaching for a cigarette.
Of course, as with almost all smokers, Fred needed to address a number of issues to be done with nicotine and tobacco. It was easy to take care of them all after he learned to get his buzz on all by himself. Practicing hypnosis has certainly given me the opportunity to meet interesting and unusual people, and that is one of the reasons I love it so much.