by Chris Holmes
Now Meet Doug Wilson
What have I been saying all this time? That tobacco smoking has been MISTAKEN for an addiction but is really just a compulsive habit. How did I discover this? By finding that a single hypnotherapy session can shut it down easily, cravings and all, with no weight gain and no side effects. This I have done with thousands of smokers over the last ten years. I am also trying to explain to the world that cravings are not withdrawal symptoms and that they are unconnected to nicotine levels in the system, which is why a smoker can get an impulse to reach for a cigarette when they have recently put one out (eg. when bored or whilst socialising) or whilst wearing a nicotine patch.
Another factor that helped me to understand the differences between a Compulsive Habit and a real drug addiction was my own personal experiences with real addictions and other compulsive habits – various drug habits, a drink habit and other, non-substance habits. Here is another chap who has had similar life experiences which have caused him to notice the curious differences between drug addiction and a tobacco habit. As you read this, note particularly how Doug has realised that the “I want a cigarette” impulse (craving) is not the same as withdrawal, and once he has actually lit it he often finds that he doesn’t “want” it much at all, and often doesn’t finish it. He can’t explain that, but I can: cravings feel like a need or a desire, but they are really only mimicking bodily needs. The Subconscious is sending a ‘prompting’ signal to repeat the habitual behaviour, but it sends it via the body, using the body as a signalling system to convey an impression to the conscious awareness that something is ‘desired’ or ‘needed’, when in fact only the signal makes it seem so. It is VERY effective, but because the signal is only prompting the smoker to pick up the cigarette and light it, as soon as that is done the signal disappears. The rest of it is smoked out of a mixture of habit and expectation, but already the compulsive urge (sense of need) is gone. That’s why some smokers put it out halfway through or even put it down in an ashtray and forget all about it.
We get lots of cravings, they’re not all about tobacco. They are compulsive urges, not withdrawal symptoms. Read what Doug says about withdrawal.
Not a Bodily Need
Don’t get me wrong, cravings can certainly FEEL like a physical need – and that can be utterly, utterly convincing but if it were true, it would still be there after the hypnotherapy session but it’s not. Now read this bit from Doug again:
“The part I don’t like about “I’m quitting” is the “I want a cigarette voice”. It seems inconsequential. But what are the symptoms of schizophrenia? The voice can drive you nuts. The voice – is awful. You’d think, with the amount of work I do on my brain and the amount of writing I do on the subject I’d have a plan. Nope. I have people call me and write me for help with addictions. They ask for help understanding the brain and I offer them what I’ve come to understand. I know it’s just a voice. I know it’s just my brain. I know I won’t go clinically insane when I quit. I know that if have to listen to the voice say, “I want a cigarette”, a thousand times a day, I’ll be in better shape than I am now. You’d think I’d be anxious to get started. Nope. The voice sucks. It takes over. It hounds. Pesters. Grates. I get mad. I wanna smash it. I get annoyed, antsy, edgy and restless. But I don’t have a single physical withdrawal symptom. Weird.”
The Factual Explanation
The key is, the part of the brain sending the “I want” message is the Subconscious, and the decision to quit smoking was made by the conscious mind. The Subconscious knows nothing about it. All it knows is, you’re not responding to the prompting message so it sends another, and another… driving you up the wall until you want to smash something. But along comes the Expert Hypnotherapist and explains the conscious decision to the Subconscious – and all the reasons for it (very important) – and the fact that tobacco companies were LYING when they told us all that tobacco was useful or pleasant in some way (even more important) and guess what? The message STOPS. And as long as the Expert Hypnotherapist makes it very clear that we don’t want that habit replaced with anything else (like food or chocolate), then that won’t happen either. Nicotine has nothing to do with it. The nicotine tale is a lie, and if it wasn’t for the loony GP I introduce in the next post, no-one would be regarding this particular habit as if it were a drug addiction anyway.