Updated: Mar 14
Can 1-session of hypnotherapy help a person to quit smoking? Is it really possible? And what is involved in the process? Learn all about 360 Wellness Hub's evidence-based 1-session quit smoking program. For those who want to quit smoking, there's no reason now not to quit.
Why is smoking so addictive?
When a person smokes, nicotine reaches the brain within about ten seconds. At first, nicotine improves mood and concentration, decreases anger and stress, relaxes muscles and reduces appetite. BUT regular doses of nicotine lead to changes in the brain, which then lead to nicotine withdrawal symptoms when the supply of nicotine decreases. To temporarily reduce the withdrawal symptoms, the person will smoke again and thereby reinforce the habit of smoking. This cycle is how most smokers become nicotine dependent.
Is smoking is an addiction or addicted habit?
Smoking tobacco is both a physical addiction and a psychological habit. The nicotine from cigarettes provides a temporary—and addictive—high. Eliminating that regular fix of nicotine causes your body to experience physical withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Why is nicotine addictive?
Consuming nicotine—through regular cigarettes or vaping—leads to the release of the chemical dopamine in the human brain. As with many drugs, dopamine prompts or “teaches” the brain to repeat the same behaviour (such as using tobacco) over and over.
Why is the ritual of smoking an addicted habit?
Habits are formed because our brain like to automate a lot of our repetitive actions. When applied positively, this allow us to drive without much thought, or to return a very fast tennis or badminton serve. Our brain is designed to automate actions that we do repetitively to improve our performance in doing that activity. This is the same reason why humans enjoy rituals and find the rituals calming to our nervous system. As a smoker, you would know the importance and satisfaction gained from the ritual of smoking. For example, removing the cigarette from the box, clicking the lighter, taking that first puff and feeling that high for just a split second. This habituated ritual of smoking plus the addictive substance in tobacco, is the reason why smoking is considered both a bad habit and an addiction.
The 1-session quit smoking program
360 Wellness Hub's 1-session quit smoking program has a 96% success rate. Why is it so effective? The program works because it treats both the nicotine addiction and the addicted habit simultaneously. The addiction to nicotine is treated using cutting-edge, non-invasive and pain-free machine assisted therapy and the addicted habit is treated using our proprietary hypnotherapy script and techniques. The session takes about 2 hours. The process including pre-session and post-session follow-up takes a month.
Targeting the habenular and striatal part of the brain
In a fMRI study conducted by scientists at NIDA and Florida International University (NIDA,2019), it was found that smokers showed lower brain activity in response to rewards in a brain region called the striatum. The striatum is a major part of the brain’s reward processing system. The brain activity did not improve when smokers were given varenicline (Chantix) and nicotine patches. Lower brain activity in the striatum is linked to higher levels of addiction in the smokers. These results suggest that current smoking cessation medications do not help reward processing deficits in smokers. Conversely, the scientists also observed activity in the habenula. More habenula activity was linked with higher levels of craving. Overall, these important results indicate that 1) current medications do not fix reward processing problems in smokers’ striatum (this might explain why many smokers continue to smoke while taking medications) but 2) the habenula is linked with nicotine withdrawal symptoms and it does respond to nicotine replacement.
At 360 Wellness Hub, we understand the problem and develop a proprietary novel approach to help a person quit smoking by going directly to the areas in the brain that is addicted and by using hypnotherapy to bypass the brain's critical factor and change the addiction both neuronally and also behaviourally.
Why is there a 4% chance that the program will not work?
Those who fall under the 4% category may have some underlying issue that we were not aware of when they signed up for the program. Remember this program is solely focused on helping the person quit smoking, it does not deal with any other pre-existing psychological issues. We also need the person to willingly want to quit smoking. If the person is unwilling, the program will not address the resistance and thus, will not be effective in helping such person.
Can I stop smoking using willpower?
Yes you can. But years of addiction studies have proven that stopping smoking suddenly through willpower alone is the least effective way to quit. If you plan ahead, have support and choose the right time to try, you’re more likely to be successful.
Should I attempt to quit when I am feeling unstable?
If you’re feeling unstable, experiencing a crisis or undergoing significant changes in your life, you are less likely to quit and more likely to relapse even after undergoing the quit smoking program.
Should I attempt to quit when I am on psychiatric medication?
If you take antidepressants or antipsychotic medicines, inform your 360 Wellness Hub therapist, then talk to your GP or psychiatrist before you stop smoking. The dosage you take may need to be monitored and the amount you need to take might need to be reduced. This is because smoking can reduce the levels of some medications in the blood, so you may need a lower dose after you quit smoking.
Will I experience withdrawal symptoms after the session?
We have trillions of brain cells and we cannot remove the addiction and the addictive habit completely, thus for some people, there will be a slight and manageable withdrawal symptoms for the first 10-14 days. But over time, the brain will become non-addicted. Thus, post-session, the person would need to do certain tasks and 360 Wellness Hub staffs will be following up with their progress.
What if I fall in the 4% category?
Even if you fall into the 4% category, we could re-start the process again after we discover the reason for the failure in the first session.
Will it last?
By the end of 45 days, your brain will no longer be addicted and you would have formed healthier habits. So, you are by definition now a non-smoker and will have the same reaction to smoking as a non-smoker. But it does not mean that you will not pick up the habit and become addicted again to smoking and vaping again. The choice to be a non-smoker or to become addicted again to smoking and vaping is up to you to decide. In our practice, survey of our clients shows that 100% remain a non-smoker after 3 months. 82.1% remain a non-smoker after 3 years. 58.3% remain a non-smoker after 10 years.
What are the reasons for the relapse?
The five main reason for the relapse are: (1) recreational drug use, (2) increase in stress levels over a period of more than a month due to problems in relationships, finances and grief and loss, (3) deterioration in mental and psychological health, (4) pre-existing high risk-taking behaviours and underlying personality issues, and (5) triggered by other addictions e.g. video games addiction, sex addiction, pornography and gambling.
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