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Hypnosis: Focusing Subconscious on Change

Learn how hypnosis can help you cut back on medications, quit bad habits, and ease stress.

Lose Weight, Quit Smoking via Hypnosis? continued...

patient might be asked to visualize himself or herself exercising and feeling good about it. An anti-doughnut suggestion -- visualizing the harm that doughnuts do to the body -- can make them seem unappetizing.

Smoking Cessation: The American Cancer Society advocates hypnosis as one of many stop-smoking techniques -- helping some smokers stay off tobacco for six months or longer. They suggest it might be helpful for some people.

For many people, hypnosis is a way to change beliefs and attitudes that stand in the way of quitting. Hypnosis might enhance confidence, promote a general sense of well-being, decrease withdrawal urges, and help people focus on the importance of quitting. Best results come when hypnosis is simply used as an aid -- combined with other stop-smoking methods, such as the nicotine patch, researchers say.

Bottom Line: Finding a Hypnosis Expert

Many psychologists and other mental health experts have training in hypnotherapy. To locate an expert certified in hypnosis, check the web sites for the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and the American Society of Experimental and Clinical Hypnosis. The American Council of Hypnotist Examiners provides certification after extensive training.

Edited by Louise Chang, MD on March 01, 2006

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