Here at chooseday we are all about personal choice and creating sustainable goals, tailoring your life decisions to your life. No quit journey is the same as we all do live differing lives and experience addiction differently. Where one individual can quit ‘cold turkey’ another can battle with cigarettes for a lifetime. Alternative methods of quitting have been around for decades, so we have decided to review some of our personal favourites.
Pragito Dove believes in a technique called ‘smoking meditation’ where the forced awareness on smoking effects makes a smoker more in tune of their true wants and needs, subsequently leading them to a path away from nicotine addiction.
Whenever you think about smoking a cigarette, become aware of taking the pack out of your pocket slowly, with full awareness. Then take the cigarette out of the pack with full awareness, slowly – not in the old hurried way, unconscious and mechanical. Start tapping the cigarette on the pack very alertly. Listen to the sound, then smell the cigarette and enjoy the beauty of it…just as in the Zen tradition when the tea kettle starts boiling and the aroma of the tea reaches your senses.
Then put the cigarette in your mouth with full awareness, light it, inhale with full awareness, slowly. Savor the taste, the smell, the sensation of the smoke entering your lungs. Enjoy every small action, every part of it and you will become more and more aware. As you release the smoke from your lungs, relax, enjoy the sensation and feelings in your body, be aware, go slowly, then take another puff.
The secret, I found, of breaking a habit such as smoking is to bring awareness to it. To deautomotize yourself from a mechanical habit brings great liberation. Once you bring it out into the light of conscious awareness, and SEE what it is, sooner or later, it simply drops away.
Hypnosis for smoking cessation has been a popular method for the last two decades, with dozens of hypnotherapy centres and specialists in Sydney city alone. If this is something that appeals to you WebMd runs as through exactly what happens when you are under the hyno-spell…
During hypnosis for smoking cessation, a patient is often asked to imagine unpleasant outcomes from smoking. For example, the hypnotherapist might suggest that cigarette smoke smells like truck exhaust, or that smoking will leave the patient’s mouth feeling extremely parched.
Spiegel’s method is one popular smoking cessation hypnosis technique that focuses on three main ideas:
- Smoking poisons the body
- You need your body to live
- You should respect your body and protect it (to the extent you’d like to live)
The hypnotherapist teaches the smoker self-hypnosis, and then asks him or her to repeat these affirmations anytime the desire to smoke occurs.
A similar form of alternative therapy is visualization, which involves the controlled use of mental images for therapeutic purposes. National Standard Research Collaboration explains this evolving form of therapy:
Visualization involves the controlled use of mental images for therapeutic purposes. It has been proposed that the use of imagery in visualization may correct unhealthy attitudes or views. People who practice this mind-body technique call on memory and imagination. In some regards, visualization is similar to hypnosis or hypnotherapy. The technique is usually practiced alone. Visualization audiotapes are available.
The theoretical basis of visualization is that the mind is able to cure the body when visualized images evoke sensory memory, strong emotions or fantasy.
Acupuncture as an alternative approach to smoking cessation has a growing number of converts. This ancient form of therapy has proved to reduce cravings and alleviate withdrawal symptoms associated with nicotine addiction. Diane Joswick explains how acupuncture helps beak the cigarette habit.
Acupuncture is successful with smoking cessation and has turned a growing number of cigarette smokers into permanent ex-smokers. Treatments take all of your symptoms into account and aim at balancing the energy within the body to optimize health. The acupuncture treatments focus on jitters, cravings, irritability and restlessness; all symptoms that people commonly complain about when they quit. It also aids in relaxation and detoxification. In one study conducted at the University of Oslo, Norway, acupuncture was found to significantly reduce the desire to smoke up to five years after the initial treatment. Subjects of the study also reported that cigarettes tasted worse than before treatment and that the treatments had effectively reduced their taste for tobacco. The acupuncture needles used are hair-thin. They are superficially inserted into various points in the ears and body to assist with smoking cessation. In between treatments, small pellets are often taped to the acupuncture points on the ear. When a cigarette craving hits, gently pressing on the pellets stimulates the acupuncture points to calm the mind and eliminate the craving. Acupuncture is not a panacea or a magic cure in the treatment of any addiction, including smoking. But, acupuncture is effective in making it easier to quit and remain smoke-free for good.