Only a few of the thousands of hypnosis clients that I have worked with since 1988 for stopping smoking have said that they had gotten a buzz from every cigarette that they smoked. They all liked the buzz. All of them mistakenly thought that they would have to give it up to become nonsmokers.
When I asked one of my clients who enjoyed his cigarette buzz when the buzz started, he replied, “When I reach for the cigarette.” Obviously, this was before he had put any nicotine into his system. And, it gives us a clue about how a smoker could learn to have the buzz without smoking.
A basic technique from NLP is called anchoring. Simply put, any emotion or mental state can be anchored to a cue, either a visual cue, a sound or word, and /or a physical sensation. After the state is anchored, repeating the cue will cause the person to go back into the state automatically. A good example of an anchor is the feelings we always get from listening to a favorite song. Another is our response to our mother saying our name with that tone of voice, the one that means we are in trouble.
So how does a hypnotherapist get a smoking client into the buzz state so that it can be anchored? The NLP technique “drug of choice” teaches the client to recreate previously experienced drug states at will without the person actually taking any drugs.
The drug of choice technique is based on a basic principle of hypnosis. The body cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality. If someone imagines very first sensations of a drug starting to take effect, then the next sensations, and the next, the body will start reproducing all the effects of the drug state. It only takes a few repetitions to bring on a profound drugless high.
I teach my clients to reproduce the buzz for themselves. It only takes a few minutes. Most of the time my clients actually make the buzz stronger than they ever got from smoking. So with a little help from hypnosis and NLP, it becomes much easier to stop smoking for good.