Hypnotherapy to stop smoking: a few tips!

by Chris Holmes

As more smokers become aware that Champix (or Chantix in the U.S.) is not so much a ‘Wonder Drug’ as a ‘Wonder If I’ll Just Get The Nausea, Or If I’ll Have A Complete Personality Change, Murder My Family And Then String Myself Up In The Garage’ sort of a drug, some of them are bound to also wonder if there are ways of quitting smoking that don’t involve gambling with your life.

There certainly are.  Not only that, they have proven to work better than any of the medications in the long run anyway (i.e. at the twelve month follow-up stage, by which time over 80% of Champix users are smoking again.)

Hypnotherapy, the Allen Carr method (which functions as a form of hypnotherapy anyway) and acupuncture all have proven hit-rates that beat the meds.  I have no connection with the last two, as I am a professional hypnotherapist specialising in smoking, alcohol, gambling and drug habits for over a decade… but I recommend them anyway because they have a proven track-record and they are SAFE.  In a moment I will provide some handy tips for anyone considering hypnotherapy.

Acupuncture: The key with this method seems to be to find an experienced practitioner who has worked with the smoking issue a lot.  I don’t pretend to know HOW it works, but it definitely works for some – and as it cannot damage you or make you go crazy it is well worth a shot if you haven’t tried it.  Surely it makes no sense to try any method that involves risk unless you have already tried all the ones that do not.

Allen Carr: He is no longer with us but his books are.  So are the group-therapy franchises that grew out of his own private sessions as a ‘therapist’.  In truth Carr set himself up as a smoking cessation therapist with no formal training of any kind, and one of his successes claimed that “he BORED me into quitting!”  This maybe reflects Carr’s tenacity and unshakeable belief in his own method, plus his tendency to go on a bit!  The group therapy sessions are four to five hours in length, ending with about 15 minutes of “hypnotherapy” from practitioners who are not really hypnotherapists.  The cost was around £250 last time I looked, which was a few years ago.  My advice is to read Carr’s original book first, the one that made him famous.  He self-published it originally, then it went on to sell millions of copies. It’s about six quid, and it’s called “Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking.”

Hypnotherapy:

1) If you have a bad attitude, you’re angry with the world or suspicious by nature and think everyone is out to cheat you, DO NOT ring a hypnotherapist.  You will not respond positively and then you’ll convince yourself it’s THEIR fault!  You COULD start by having therapy to fix your emotional issues, and then succeed normally with the smoking.  That would work, and it would also make you happier.  But it wouldn’t work the other way around.

2) For everyone else, hypnotherapy is the ideal way to ditch the habit effortlessly and with no weight-gain.

3) If the therapist is quoting fees that go over £200, find a different therapist UNLESS: you are rich and famous and/or the practice is located in Harley Street or whatever the equivalent of that is in your country.  (Where all the private doctors who “specialise in diseases of the rich”, as Tom Lehrer put it, have their offices.)

4) Some hypnotherapists will usually aim to do smoking cessation in one session, as I do.  Some don’t, and that’s okay as long as the overall cost of stopping smoking stays within that £100-£200 range.  Do not assume that if you pay top dollar you get the best therapist.  You just get the best-dressed therapist, with a Rolex.  Their overall success-rate won’t be any different to anyone else’s.

5) Your therapist should explain to you, in advance, that hypnotherapy is nothing like the experience you expect it to be.  Most clients are expecting to be asleep, or “away with the fairies” or something.  In fact, you feel perfectly normal.  You don’t “feel hypnotised” at all.  This is important to know in advance, otherwise the client may assume “it’s not working” which can affect their MOOD and therefore the outcome.

6) The ideal mood for hypnotherapy success is LOOKING FORWARD to that success.   A mood of positive, eager anticipation.  So if anything is bothering, worrying or troubling you during the session – anything at all – TELL THE THERAPIST IMMEDIATELY.   Interrupt the proceedings, ask, raise any questions you like.  Then they can deal with it, it won’t be a problem.

7)  The more positive you are, the better the result will be.

8) The more comfortable you are with the therapist, the better the result will be.

9) The more you are looking forward to being rid of tobacco, the quicker you will be.

10)  It does seem like nothing is happening during a hypnotherapy session.  Don’t let that bother you – all hypnotherapy sessions are like that.  You only notice the results afterwards.  ALSO: It does sound as if the hypnotherapist is simply telling you things you know already.  That is because your conscious mind DOES know those things already.  Hypnotherapy is an update for the Subconscious mind – which controls all habitual behaviour – to bring it up to speed with what the conscious mind has already learned.  So I tell all my clients:

“The trance part of the session does seem a bit boring!  And we use quite a bit of repetition when we talk to the Subconscious, so not only does it sound like I’m telling you things you know already, but several times over!  But it gets the job done, and that’s all that really matters.”

It also helps to know: how much clients relax varies enormously and doesn’t matter at all, and that the only thing that really matters is how you feel about what is being said to you about tobacco.  If you are in broad agreement with it, that’s acceptance and success should be immediate.

Finally: don’t ‘test’ the results by trying a cigarette.  Hypnotherapy shuts the habit and the cravings down.  Testing it by smoking simply starts them up again.  Further hypnotherapy will shut them down again, but it is cheaper to let sleeping dogs lie.

more about hypnotherapy  

the book that blew the whistle on the nicotine scam

 

Expensive Life-Saving Drugs: Would £84m-a-year extra cash help?

by Chris Holmes

Primary Care Trusts are “failing in their duty of care” in blacklisting 19 drugs on the basis of cost alone, according to a report this week in the Metro newspaper (Thursday 24th November, page 8).  Political Editor John Higginson reports that this “appears to go against the NHS constitution, which gives patients the right to receive any drug recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence if their doctor believes it is clinically appropriate.”

The list includes drugs with proven efficacy in the treatment of cancer and also epilepsy – but the PCTs concerned have decided that these drugs cost too much.

The very same Primary Care Trusts also decided it was perfectly okay to spend £84,000,000 in England alone last year (not the whole of the UK, that figure is even higher) on a treatment service which they know from their own research DOES NOT WORK any better than willpower alone when the results are assessed at one year.  I’m talking about the NHS Stop Smoking Services and particularly the nicotine replacement products which we now know for sure have a 6% success rate at the 12 month stage – exactly the same as willpower.

My suggestion is simple: Take that vast amount of money and spend it on life-saving drug therapies that have been proven to be effective, and leave smoking cessation to experts like myself.  I’m a hypnotherapist by the way, and nearly all my smoking clients have already tried willpower, nicotine gum, patches, lozenges, the little inhalator-thingy… some have tried Zyban and the latest (non) wonder drug Champix… then they come to me, convinced that they “have failed” repeatedly and that it is “really hard to stop smoking”!  No, it’s really hard if you try to do it via the NHS.  It’s really easy with hypnotherapy, provided it’s done well.

But I’m not suggesting the PCTs should fund that.  They should be funding those life-saving drugs, not wasting tens of millions every single year on a service that clearly doesn’t work at all.

the book that blew the whistle on the nicotine scam

Champix Chantix Success Report No.1

by hypnotherapist Chris Holmes

*Update: If you or a loved one has suffered a bad reaction to Champix and you are based in the U.K., you can report it to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) here. The more people do that the clearer the true picture will become. Protect others! Report it.*

Today I met someone who was successful with Champix.  This person had come to me for weight loss, and some of that weight gain had been as a result of stopping smoking.  The young woman – let’s call her Lucy – reported that although she had taken a course of Champix in 2010, and it “did nothing at all”, this year she was really determined and had told herself that: “This time the tablets WILL work… this time I’m definitely going to stop smoking!”  And indeed she did.

So – presumably – the first time around she did NOT tell herself that.  Maybe that’s why the tablets “did nothing at all”.  And – presumably – the tablets were made to the exact same specifications as the 2010 batch… dosage was the same, length of course the same… indeed the only factor that was different was her mental attitude and the positive suggestions she was giving herself.

Positive suggestions and mental attitude are what hypnotherapy are all about.  Essentially we do the same sort of thing but without the tablets, AND we include therapy to prevent the weight gain, which is easily avoided if your hypnotherapist knows what they’re doing.  I’ll soon reverse Lucy’s weight gain anyway, but we could have done the lot in one go if she’d come here in the first place.

But that’s not what prompted me to write this post.  What prompted me to write it was the realisation that Lucy was the first of my clients ever to report lasting success with Champix.  True, it had only been four months so far, but she was pretty confident she had it licked and I had no reason to doubt this.  Now, I meet a lot of smokers and ex-smokers in the course of my work, and of course we talk about these things all the time, regardless of what the session today is actually about, so I had to wonder why – four years after Champix was made available in the UK – a “wonder drug with a 50% success rate”, we were told – this was the first smoker I had ever met, professionally or socially, that reckoned they had quit successfully with Champix and without side effects.

I’ve met loads that haven’t succeeded with Champix, and about half of them said they had to stop taking it because it made them ill.

So when people contact the Truth Will Out site (occasionally) to report that they and their partner and their neighbour and all their 27 friends have successfully quit with Chantix or Champix… (and that all of them had previously tried hypnotherapy and failed! despite the fact that less than 1% of the population have ever consulted a hypnotherapist about ANYTHING)… I might be forgiven for doubting this tale, and wondering if this message really comes from some liar who sells Champix over the internet and is a bit worried about sales being not what they were now that smokers are beginning to twig that this “wonder drug” isn’t any better than the last one (Zyban), but it does seem to be WAY more harmful and unpredictable.

safer alternative

This Blog is about Nicotine, Not Champix!

by Chris Holmes

OK it is time to get focussed! When I launched the Truth Will Out Campaign back in March 2008, it was to blow the whistle on the Global Nicotine Scam, not to spend the rest of my working life discussing Champix… or Chantix to give it the alias it goes by in the United States.  Varenicline.  Doesn’t matter what you call it, it still doesn’t work very well unless what you’re after is a mental breakdown and the loss of everything that is dear to you.

That drug is based upon the notion that smokers smoke because of nicotine – an idea which doesn’t stand up to any serious scrutiny, it’s just that no-one was scrutinising it until I published Nicotine: The Drug That Never Was in 2007.

Since then, a study done by Dr Reuven Dar from Tel Aviv University’s Psychology Department (link follows) has confirmed exactly what I was saying in that book: namely that smokers’ cravings are not withdrawal symptoms, and indeed are not related to nicotine levels in any way. Smoking is NOT a drug addiction, it just looks like one if you don’t know the difference between an addiction and a compulsive habit. And doctors currently do not, which is why I wrote the book. To understand the difference, you need to understand how the human Subconscious mind organises and repeats compulsive habitual behaviour. As a hypnotherapist, I’ve spent more than a decade shutting down habits like that with hypnotherapy, usually in one session.

I have done that with thousands of individuals, one at a time. It is not a trick. It is not a parlour game. It is a process of communication and anyone can respond to it if they choose. It is all explained in the book – available as a paperback (£16.95) or a download (£5).  The fact is, both Champix Chantix and Nicotine Replacement Products are all based on a myth in the first place, and that is why they usually fail.  Shame that smokers usually blame themselves for that failure, when they should be blaming those lousy methods!

the book that blew the whistle on the nicotine scam

The Science

more about hypnotherapy
…and then there is this!  We are quite simply right about this.  Sorry, Doc! Sorry, NiQuitin!  The Nicotine Tale turned out to be an embarrassing medical error leading to a collosal global scam.

Spanish Nicotine Costa Packet!

by Chris Holmes

I was interested to hear from a British ex-pat who has resided in Spain for most of the last ten years that the cost of Nicotine Replacement Poisoning in Spain has shot up during the time they were living out there. Apparently a packet of 105 pieces of delicious poison gum had gone from 16.35 Euros in the late 1990s to 27.70 Euros roundabout now.

She also told me that you cannot buy NRT just anywhere in Spain, like you can here. As I said in an earlier post on this blog, I’ve seen NRT on sale in the UK in Pound shops (where everything on sale only costs one pound), which suggests that it is not in great demand! The wasteful U.K. government ‘initiative’ of providing free patches for a week (courtesy of the UK taxpayer) that ran at the start of 2011 also suggests that the sale of NRT is seriously flagging here, and I sincerely hope that the Truth Will Out Campaign has played a part in that over the last 3 years!

In Spain, however, you can only buy NRT from the Pharmacies, which pretty much makes it a racket. Don’t bother, people, it doesn’t work anyway! 94% failure (see home page). Hypnotherapy, acupuncture, Allen Carr method – all far more successful if you want to quit smoking.

the book that blew the whistle on the nicotine scam 

more about hypnotherapy option

Volume II of Nicotine: The Drug That Never Was

Nicotine: The Drug That Never Was (Volume II) A Change of Mind has just become available today.

Read what the critics thought of Volume I:

“The author’s case is simple: nicotine is not addictive, and he makes a
strong case in support of his argument… Numerous asides to various issues
undoubtedly made for a more entertaining read… It’s not often that parts
of a book on a very serious subject have me by turns howling in laughter and
clapping in appreciation of the author’s attention to detail – this one did
both. This has the potential to be a landmark book, and as such deserves a
wide audience.”
Michael O’Sullivan, Hypnotherapy Articles

“Holmes provides “Case Mysteries” as interludes between his chapters and
these are highly entertaining and illuminating. One such interlude
de-constructs the work of Allen Carr, a British smoking cessation guru. By
the time Holmes is done with Carr, there is not much left; it’s a great read
that made me laugh out loud… in the end, the arguments make sense. Just as importantly, they are presented in an entertaining and insightful way,
making this book useful to hypnotists and those who would like to stop
smoking. I’d like to check out Volume II when I get a chance.”
James Hazlerig, RealHypnosisReviews.blogspot.com

Well here it is, James – and only two years late! Enjoy.

If you just want to quit smoking in two hours, read this.

Rachel’s Hypnotherapy Success!

by Chris Holmes

Now THIS is what I’m talking about! This is why no-one needs to take a risk with Champix The Suicide Pill:

Hi Chris,

Well I am happy to inform you that I am a non smoker. I had my hypnotherapy session last week and have not picked up a cigarette since nor do I want to.  I knew what to expect due to reading your book  and doing my own research. I enjoyed the session and was so excited on the day.

While I was waiting to go in for my appointment (I was early) I was chatting to this older man who was outside having a cigarette and waiting for someone else (nothing to do with where I was going). He asked me who I was waiting for and I told him what I was doing. He said he had hypnotherapy in the UK for smoking and then about 10 years later he immigrated to Australia and took up smoking again so in his opinion hypnotherapy didn’t work!, I had a little chuckle and told him it looked to me as if it did work. Anyway he was all excited about starting champix and I told him to make sure he researches it fully, in fact I know a website ……….

He wished me luck as I him, luck that he will not take champix and place himself in danger.

There has been a strange outcome of my quitting smoking that I never saw coming. The reaction of my husband!. While my 23 year old son has been very supportive and is encouraged by my success, my husband is being difficult. He will deliberately annoy me until I am angry and then say things like ” oo getting a bit tetchy I understand” or throwing his Cigarette out the window when I get in the car and saying ” oops, better get rid of that stinky smoke”. I have not been bothered by his smoking at all as I am a non smoker so it has no effect on me. It is as if he is wanting me to fail and has mentioned that he is closely watching how this ‘works’ for me cause he might try it. I just get an uneasy feeling that he is bating me or testing me to see if I will smoke again. I love my husband dearly and can’t quite understand why he is acting like this, although he is easing off a bit now. Chris, have you seen this response from other ex smokers smoking partners before?

Last night we had a Xmas party for my husbands sports group and it was good to be able to sit inside the whole time but boy did I smell it when the smokers all came back in, I was so Happy that wasn’t me anymore

I have been spreading the word on champix usage to my kiwi friends and encouraging them to check out your website. Now that I have had the hypnotherapy I am even a better example to them.

Keep up the brilliant work, have passed book one on to my dad and eagerly await book two.

Kindest regards
Rachel

So I emailed back:

Hi Rachel, well done you! And well done to your hypnotherapist for a sound professional job there! Ask if she would like a namecheck on my blog, I’d be happy to oblige!

I cannot understand the attitude of people like the smoker (or ex-non-smoker!) you met who interpreted starting smoking again years later as a “failure of hypnotherapy”! You would think anyone with any intelligence would return to the therapy that worked for them before, as indeed most people will if they relapse at some stage. It is the logical choice. However, some behaviour and some decisions are not based on logic. There is an urban myth that if you have had hypnotherapy to stop smoking before, it won’t work a second time – which is RUBBISH! But there might be another explanation. Blaming the relapse on hypnotherapy can be a way of avoiding blaming himself. (Actually there’s no need to blame anyone, we can fix it easily. It’s really not a big deal.) Or he may have adopted the notion that the hypnotherapy “wore off” – although that attitude is more common if the relapse happens within the first 12 months, it’s a bit weird to look at it like that after a ten-year interval! Hypnotherapy isn’t a treatment, it’s a communication process, so it cannot “wear off”, but it is always possible for anyone to smoke again. I could start smoking again if I wanted to. Would that be a somewhat late ‘failure’ in my decision to stop thirteen years ago? I think not!

But to start again, one needs a reason. And if you move to another country, like that chap did in moving to Australia, you need friends. And if the new people you meet are smokers, and they offer you a cigarette… even if you don’t want one, it might seem a bit unfriendly to refuse, like you’re rejecting their attempts at hospitality, maybe even seems disapproving? And as former smokers ourselves, we don’t really disapprove of smokers, do we? Most of us don’t anyway. So what harm could one little cigarette do? When circumstances change, and human individuals need new friends and allies – need to feel accepted – they may adopt a behaviour that they would have passed up under different circumstances. It’s a common enough scenario, and it doesn’t matter because it’s easily fixed with another hypnotherapy session!

Why did he not return to hypnotherapy then? Well the therapist he saw before was in another country, so that would mean starting all over again seeking out a different therapist, and… most likely he didn’t really want to believe in hypnotherapy in the first place, was astonished when it worked because that was contrary to his normal world-view – which is probably more inclined to believe in “tablets from the doctor” than anything ‘alternative’ – so when he started again, he just slipped back into his conventional comfort-zone and dismissed hypnotherapy as if it were a failure. What allowed him to succeed with it in the first place was his genuine underlying desire to quit smoking anyway, which we can be sure of because he didn’t relapse for a decade and he is attempting quitting again with the Champix. (All of this is speculation, of course, but these things are common enough.)

This all boils down to the general ignorance and misunderstanding about hypnotherapy which my book aims to dispel, and replace with a general and widespread UNDERSTANDING of it, not just recognition and acceptance. What really holds hypnotherapy back is general ignorance and prejudice. I’ve always thought that the kind of success we would be seeing if everyone already understood hypnotherapy and it enjoyed universal approval and recognition would be nothing short of spectacular. It’s pretty exciting already, as you’ve just been discovering for yourself!

And so to your husband, and his ‘unexpected’ reaction to your success! Yes, I’ve seen it before – in fact I included a case of it in the Case Mysteries in the second volume, a passage under the title of THE DISSUADERS. Sounds like your husband only has a mild case of this though – the case I wrote about was unusually bad because it was systematic and relentless, and unfortunately succeeded in undoing all the good work hypnotherapy did in that case, and I have to admit it did make me angry – but there was nothing I could do about it.

Now, you mustn’t be angry with your husband, because these are Subconscious reactions which some smokers have when someone close to them successfully quits. Usually they are short-term reactions, and the best thing to do is let your natural good humour deal with them because like most grouchy behaviour it shouldn’t be taken too seriously. It is not really malicious in most cases, it is based on fear. You see, back in the day, when ‘everyone’ smoked (as smokers often claim!), the fact that smoking could kill you wasn’t such a worry because we had a feeling that there was safety in numbers and surely it wouldn’t happen to US. And no-one disapproved too much in those days, so we could be fairly comfortable with our smoking habit. You could smoke anywhere, no-one cared, it was regarded as a fairly normal – even fairly respectable – lifestyle thing.

My God how that has changed! Smokers are very much on the back foot now, numbers are dwindling, every year someone else quits, there’s pictures of tumours on the carton, you can’t smoke anywhere in public without being arrested, the latest TV ads in the UK tell you to not only smoke outside, but now you’ve got to take seven steps away from your house before you light up, like you’re fucking radioactive or something… pretty soon you’ll be told you have to take a bus to a remote abandoned quarry before it’s permissible to light up, and be decontaminated and all your clothes burned before you’re allowed to return to your children, dressed in sackcloth and ashes. God knows how my family have survived with my old Dad smoking his pipe in the car with the windows rolled up all through my childhood… I’d like to see someone try to tell him he has to get out of his armchair and take seven steps away from his house before he lights the filthy thing up again. I wouldn’t, I don’t mind him smoking at all. I felt like puking in the car when I was a kid sometimes, but that’s just normal. I’m glad I don’t live in the same house as him, but there are lots of reasons for that. He’s there by himself nowadays, he can smoke if he wants to. He’s 82. He still plays tennis every week. No kidding. The man has virtually no medical records, he never worries about his health.

Not everyone is that health-confident. Smokers get worried these days – not just about illness, but about not being ‘able’, personally, to stop smoking. Each time someone they know quits, it makes them a bit nervous because it starts to seem increasingly ‘wrong’ to be a smoker, increasingly likely that they WILL be the one that gets the smoking-related disease, and that’s why – if the quitting attempt fails, other smokers often feel a private sense of relief, so that the commiserations are also partly a “welcome back” into the fold.

When you decided to quit, it was your decision, not your husband’s decision – but your success throws his own smoking habit into sharp relief, and that brings discomfort. It may well feel threatening, in two ways: now he may feel ‘obliged’ to try to quit himself – but without the freedom to decide that for himself, and with the fear of failing, which haunts a lot of smokers. He may not WANT to quit at this stage, and be fearful that now you’re going to use his smoking habit as a stick to beat him with – even if you were never going to do any such thing! He may be afraid of hypnosis, as a lot of people are even though there is no risk in it whatsoever. And – don’t forget – there is a certain element of competition in all close human relationships, especially male/female partnerships… the old battle of the sexes… which men like to feel that they would always win, only now you’re one up on him… the pressure’s on…

Not much of this goes through a person’s conscious mind. No, it all bubbles away underneath, and just pops up in little snidey comments and unworthy needling behaviour which is actually aimed at tipping you back into smoking so that he doesn’t have to change or be affected by any of these shifts in the usual state of affairs… but he may not realise that these are the typical causes of this moody phase. And it doesn’t matter, as long as you just smile at the insecurity of men and don’t taunt him about it or indeed take it seriously at all. Just ignore it, forgive him for being normal and it will peter out soon enough, especially if you are tolerant about his habit and don’t beat him up about it (always a mistake). Remember, his smoking habit should have no bearing on your own preference to be a non-smoker – don’t decide that he’s got to quit too now, and don’t hit back. Just enjoy your freedom and leave him to deal with his own issues himself in his own good time. Don’t let the smoking issue drive a wedge between you, because I think we all had the right idea in the old days – smoking is no big deal. But it IS rubbish, which should always be the reason any smoker quits, and it should always be of their own accord.

Is it okay if I put some of this up on the website? Also, let me know the name of your hypnotherapist and her location, so I can promote her services for her! And once again: Well Done Rachel!!!! Enjoy your freedom, and your health.

best regards,
Chris

To which our new non-smoker replied:

Hi Chris, thank you again for your most informative email. My husband seems to be backing off a bit now, in fact this morning he even mentioned how ‘nice’ I have been lately lol. He is the one who first mentioned quitting smoking it’s just that I was the one who did something about it. I know he wants to quit but it has to be when he is ready, not just because I did. I certainly never say anything about it to him, he’s a big boy now.

That man I met who said hypnotherapy didn’t work for him, after ten years of complete success really made me chuckle, some people never fail to amaze me, the frightening thing is, he is happy to be going on Champix. I liked your explanation of his behavior, it makes sense.

I am always happy for you to use my emails on your site if you feel they are appropriate.

The hypnotherapist I saw was:

Barbara Hennessy
www.hypnotherapycentre.com.au
email: [email protected]

PO Box 748
Wynnum. Qld. 4178
Australia.

Chris, I will contact her and ask her permission as requested. [It was granted.]

Have a very Merry Christmas and a safe New Year. Keep up all the good work, you changed my life, if your website hadn’t have been available I probably would never even thought of using hypnotherapy for quitting smoking. If your book wasn’t written, I would have only had my suspicions that NRT doesn’t work instead of the proof and knowledge I now have. If you had just ignored my emails I may have been put off by the whole thing as if you were just someone who wants to makes money… instead you have always promptly answered my enquiries in a thorough and humorous manner, supporting me through this turning point in my life. Thanks Chris!!! As is my way now I will continue to support your campaign in any way I am able.

Kindest regards
Rachel

Rachel told me that she had contacted two hypnotherapists at first, and decided on Barbera because the other therapist was charging too much:

Hi Chris,
I am seeing the hypnotherapist on the 17th of December and can’t wait to finally be free from this behaviour. She has 40 years of experience and the cost is $AU130, I contacted an ad from the local paper and the guy was charging $AU600 for the initial session and $AU400 for the follow up session (which I really shouldn’t need).

This confirms what I always say to smokers: Don’t pay top dollar. Do not assume that if you pay high prices you will get the best therapy, it isn’t true at all. I’m pretty good at what I do, but I don’t overcharge. My stop smoking sessions are £120. There are a few therapists in the UK charging as much as £450, but that just means that they are more interested in your money than your well-being, so don’t go to them! Do what Rachel did, go for experience and reasonable rates, that’s where you’ll find the magic.

For any smokers in the North West of the UK: Central Hypnotherapy

Depression, Champix: Doctor, NO!

 

*Update: If you or a loved one has suffered a bad reaction to Champix and you are based in the U.K., you can report it to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) here. The more people do that the clearer the true picture will become. Protect others! Report it.*

Rachel Whalen wrote:
Hi Chris,
I have had clinical depression from a very young age and over the years have
found a medication that lets me live a normal life. I work in an interesting
field (forensics) and have a loving home and family life. My doctor who issues
me with my medication offered, quite sincerely, to give me a script for Champix
to assist me when I asked about giving up the smokes. I was shocked that she
would do this knowing my history. Needless to say I told her I would get back to
her on that and promptly went home and started researching Champix in earnest
which is how I came across you site. I ordered your book from Lulu.com and am
now half way through it. What you are saying makes total sense to me
and I have
chosen a reputable hypnotherapist which I will be seeing in a few weeks. I am
really looking forward to stopping smoking and getting rid of that compulsive
behaviour the safe way. I can only imagine the kind of hell I could have
experienced had I just blindly took my doctors offer. Thank you, Chris.

Just in case anyone still doesn’t know, Champix should NOT be prescribed to anyone with a history of depression according to current medical guidelines. These are not the only smokers that have been severely affected by “psychiatric events” whilst taking Champix, but the risk is certainly higher. So why the hell is this happening over and over again all over the world? Don’t doctors bother to read the guidelines?

Anyway, I asked Rachel if it was okay to reproduce her email here – anonymously if she preferred, to which she replied today:

Hi Chris,

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my email and you may certainly reproduce it on your website using my full name, I’m happy to support your campaign as much as I can. I will also write a review on Lulu for the book. I always read the reviews so it is nice to have a recent one to read when making a decision.
Chris, I look forward to purchasing Vol. II and my dad is eagerly waiting for me to finish Vol. I so he can read it too ( he doesn’t smoke) as he is very interested in the smoke and mirrors that health professionals/Pharmaceutical companies pass off as fact to the public all in the name of profits.
Kindest regards
Rachel

Ah, splendid. It seems the Truth Will Out Campaign is getting its message across to the public, if not the medical profession. In this case, the patient was fortunately more clued-up about the medication than the Doctor. Scary, that, isn’t it?

Nicotine: The Drug That Never Was (Volume II: A Change of Mind) is available now as an ebook, a pdf or a paperback. The Nicotine Myth is doomed, it is only a matter of time now.

the hypnotherapy option

 

I see what you’re saying, but…

Addiction. It’s a well-established notion. It’s simple, you see. If you can’t stop doing something, then you’re addicted to it! Must be. Otherwise you’d stop. If you say you’re going to stop doing something, but then you don’t – if the ‘thing’ (alcohol, gambling) apparently overrides your conscious recognition that you’d be better off not doing it, then the ‘thing’ must be controlling you: addiction!

But doesn’t that assume that your conscious mind normally directs all your behaviour? In denial of a Subconscious mind, in fact?

So Lizzie has finished with Malcolm, because he’s a rat. On a conscious, rational level she KNOWS she shouldn’t ring him, but as the days go by there are these frequent urges (it’s the craving system again) to pick up the phone. Sometimes she does – then she puts it down again. Nobody has told her Subconscious mind about the new Don’t Ring Malcolm policy, that was a meeting that took place on a conscious level and the minutes of the meeting haven’t been passed on to the Emotional Department. So there is a battle going on within her mind between the conscious intention to leave it at that, and the emotional Subconscious which keeps harking back to happier moments and wondering what all this unnecessary isolation is supposed to be about … good luck, Lizzie’s conscious mind. You’re going to need it, because I always put that capital ‘S’ there for a reason. It signifies something pretty important.

Gina has made a conscious decision to go on a diet, forsaking all things creamy and sugary. There’s a new regime, and the conscious mind is all signed up to it for the next few months. Trouble is, her Subconscious mind signed up to nothing, and doesn’t know anything about this. So after a week or two with no cake, no biscuits – no chocolate – Gina’s Subconscious mind is thinking: “What’s happened to all the biscuits and chocolate all of a sudden?” and starts sending reminder signals (cravings, memories and dreamy thoughts, a bit like the Marks and Spencer adverts on TV: “This isn’t just a chocolate eclair! This is an M & S chocolate eclair, with Belgian chocolate and thrice-whipped cream from hand-milked Grecian cows…” Meanwhile Gina’s poor little conscious mind is trying to insist that a Weightwatchers caramel bar will do just as well. Good luck, Gina’s conscious mind!

So: the heroin addict that promised to stop taking heroin but did not stop, that’s because they are addicted. Their body needs the heroin. Simple concept, the heroin’s to blame – blame the heroin. Ban it.

The gambler who promised and promised to stop gambling but did not stop, that’s because they are addicted. Their body needs… hang on – no drug! And yet the behaviour is very similar, is it not? Promises broken, lies, deceit, theft? Seemingly unable to stop doing this, even if it costs them a marriage, a business, custody of the kids? Some gamblers end up suicides.

And what about Duncan’s compulsive urge to pick his nose? Doesn’t matter how often he’s told… Is he addicted to it? Or Edwina’s nailbiting, Stuart’s shoplifting, Amanda’s nymphomania? Addicts, all?

Convenient hook, isn’t it, the word “addiction”? Useful shorthand term for all sorts of things. Now, once or twice readers of this site have referred to my “theories” about these things, which bugs me because I DO NOT theorize. All my observations have come about through practical hypnotherapy with thousands of individuals who have smoking habits, gambling habits, drinking habits, drug habits, bad eating habits and yes – nailbiting too. And the ONLY ONE that I cannot shut down with a single session of hypnotherapy is: heroin. That, I believe, comprises a genuine physical dependence, combined with compulsive habit, and very often with an emotional complication too.

All the others can be eliminated without withdrawal and without relapse in many cases too, which proves that they never were addictions, they just looked like addictions. They are compulsive habits. See Read The Book for more info.

how to ditch a compulsive habit safely in two hours

Cravings Are Not Withdrawal Symptoms

by Chris Holmes

** Update 16/07.10: There is a link in the third comment at the end of this article to the website of Action on Smoking and Health (A.S.H.) which refers to a study on cravings that confirms exactly what I’m talking about here. God knows I never expected ASH to confirm or agree with anything I say, because they have staunchly defended and promoted Nicotine Replacement products until now, but maybe everyone involved in that is getting ready to admit that NRT is a complete waste of money because it’s based on a myth, just as I’ve been saying all along. Now watch them immediately start promoting some other pharmaceutical instead, instead of admitting openly how WRONG they were all this time about hypnotherapy, the Allen Carr approach, acupuncture… no, it’s chemicals, chemicals chemicals all the way!

Anyway enjoy the article!

Cravings Are Not Withdrawal Symptoms

Whether you are a smoker or not, you know what a craving is because we all get lots of cravings, they are not all about tobacco. In hypnotherapy we shut down cravings for all sorts of things routinely: smoking is just one example of that. If anyone reading this doesn’t believe that it is simply because they haven’t experienced it themselves, but it’s an everyday occurence for hypnotherapists – I’ve been doing this for the last ten years. Easily demonstrated too.

For several decades now, smokers have had it drilled into them that smoking is “nicotine addiction, nicotine addiction, nicotine addiction”. Yet for most of the time people have been smoking tobacco in Europe it has simply been regarded as a filthy habit. Odd references to “addiction” have occured down the ages but that is partly due to the unclear meaning of the term, which has often been confused with Compulsive Habit anyway. But I can easily explain why smokers’ cravings cannot possibly be withdrawal symptoms and are not related to nicotine levels in the blood anyway.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I know from my own experience as a smoker in the past that trying to quit smoking with willpower alone – or with nicotine replacement products, Zyban or Champix – CAN be a real struggle, or even seem impossible. According to the U.K. Government’s own commissioned studies into the long-term outcomes of those methods (which the National Health Service recommend) the chances are very much that your success – if any – will be temporary. What smokers don’t realise is, that is NOT because it is really hard to stop smoking, it is because those methods are all based on a myth: “addiction” to nicotine.

If cravings were withdrawal symptoms you would experience them at their worst when the nicotine level was lowest, which would be first thing in the morning if you are a typical smoker. No nicotine has been taken into the body for hours, so those “nicotine receptors” should be “going crazy” the moment you’re awake. Yet most smokers do not even keep tobacco by the bed. So there is a gap – an elapse of time – between the moment they open their eyes, and the moment when they first light up a cigarette.

Of course, there are a few smokers who light up before they get out of bed but I think everyone is aware that this is not the norm. The majority of habitual smokers will normally get up, go to the bathroom, maybe have a shower, go downstairs, put the kettle on, feed the cat… all the time feeling perfectly normal. They are not climbing the walls desperate for nicotine. But why not? They haven’t had any nicotine for hours! IF THE URGE TO SMOKE WAS REALLY A WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOM, THAT WOULD BE THEIR WORST MOMENT.

Also, many smokers feel an urge to pick up a cigarette when they have just put one out, such as when drinking, socialising or if bored. That urge is compelling, but it cannot be withdrawal because the nicotine level in the blood is still high from the previous cigarette. A “withdrawal symptom” is an experience caused by nicotine withdrawing from the system, which only happens later. Another clear indicator is the fact that the urge to smoke will vanish in particular circumstances regardless of falling nicotine levels: many smokers never smoke outside or in the street, so if they go out shopping they don’t want one. Gardening, playing sports… hours may go by, nicotine levels fall away – no symptoms, no “withdrawal”. This is because cravings are not linked to nicotine levels at all. They are compulsive urges prompting the usual habitual behaviour, but ONLY if it is a) possible, b) appropriate and c) convenient.

So if you get on a plane – as long as you’re okay with flying and don’t seriously object to the smoking restriction – you will find that nicotine levels can fall and keep on falling, and hey presto! No pesky withdrawal symptoms! Likewise if you board a bus, ride on a train, walk into Sainsburys or a cathedral, step into an operating theatre or meet the Queen… the brain knows this is NOT A SMOKING OPPORTUNITY so it doesn’t send the signals until you LEAVE that situation and a smoking opportunity presents itself.

Now, I need hardly point out that the social restrictions I’ve just described require INTELLIGENCE, SOCIAL KNOWLEDGE AND DISCERNMENT to distinguish between, and I doubt if any scientist is going to suggest that the nicotine receptors in the brain possess such complex abilities such as would be required to appreciate the shifting rules and mores of modern society. No, they were simply supposed to “go crazy” due to the falling level of nicotine specifically – NOT the fact that you’re chatting to the Queen, halfway to Cyprus or admiring a beautiful stained-glass window.

Real drug addictions are totally different. If a heroin addict gets on a plane and the level of heroin in the blood falls low THEN THEY ARE ILL, it doesn’t matter where they are or what they are doing. They couldn’t make out like they were fine even if they were talking to HRH.

Interested? Want to know more about what’s really going on with cravings? Click on the Read The Book section of the site, and when the Contents page appears, read a bit more. If you want to read all of it, click on Buy The Book. £16.95 for the paperback, or just £5 for the full download version. If you don’t like buying on-line, contact me directly for the other options.

I shut down smoking habits in a single session routinely. You can’t do that with a heroin addiction. I’ve tried. If you smoke tobacco you are NOT a drug addict, and that’s why the nicotine-based approaches rarely work except in the short-term. And that’s down to willpower mainly. The real solution is hypnotherapy, and there will come a time when that is simply common knowledge and everyone will understand that all this endless hype about “nicotine addiction” was just a simple mistake which turned into a gigantic moneyspinner for the drug companies at the taxpayers’ expense.