Stopping Smoking - Guided Imagery or Hypnosis?


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Given the option, would you choose a mental mini-vacation to break a long tough habit, or you would you choose the type of hypnosis that shocks you into a trance? Both will give you the same results, but in this modern day world where stress is an everyday occurrence, it seems a mini-vacation that one can call up anytime, may be the more satisfying approach to stop smoking. Many people would state that guided imagery is hypnosis, but I tend to disagree. Guided imagery is more about the person taking a journey into deep relaxation through imagination. Albert Einstein once stated that “Imagination is more important that knowledge, ” and I would have to completely agree. Imagination let’s you easily jump over that critical mind which keeps one smoking by thoughts of “I just can’t quit, ” or “It’s just too painful to quit. ” Once into the subconscious, old thought patterns can be removed. New, wonderful positive thoughts can make the quitting much easier enabling even that 3-pack a day person to finally put that habit down forever.

Many people also worry about gaining weight after quitting smoking, which is a major determent in considering quitting the habit. With guided imagery, you can stop and still call upon the mini-vacation technique to prevent replacing one oral fixation with another. The subconscious mind still has the new thought process planted so when the mini-vacation imagery technique is self-imposed, one is actually able to reduce the stress that brings on the weight.

Some also worry about being able to be hypnotized, but with guided imagery, it is more like watching TV in your mind, so everyone can participate. The state that you are trying to achieve is one of complete relaxation that is what one feels right after that alarm goes off in the morning. Everyone remains in control, remembering everything so that you can use the same techniques whenever you need them.

Physicians and Dentists prefer to recommend their patients to guided imagery because of the techniques used can actually help the body to become an active participant in the healing process. Cleveland Clinic suggests guided imagery before and after surgeries to help the body to reduce bleeding, swelling and bruising as well as speed up the recovery process 10 times faster. On top of that 10 minutes of guided imagery has been proven to actually reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol.

There are many positive things to say about hypnosis and guided imagery and in any case both are extremely effective and completely safe. Documentation of its effectiveness and safety are in articles from the Mayo Clinic,, the American Psychology Association, Cleveland Clinic and many hundreds more.

Both methods work, but now one has a choice as to which technique they think would be the most effective for them.

Author Julie Johnson, CHT and Guided Imagery Coach is the CEO of Creative Guided Imagery, located in Riverside, California and which services all of Riverside County and the Inland Empire. For more information on phone sessions or to purchase Guided Imagery CDs, visit


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