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Hypnosis for Treating Addiction

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Hypnosis is one of the more well known and popular alternative therapies for treating addiction, and hypnosis therapy offers a powerful natural tool to assist individuals wanting to overcome their addiction and change unhealthy behaviors.

Although the scientific community remains divided as to the exact long-term success rate of hypnosis for treating addiction, there is little doubt regarding the benefits of hypnosis for encouraging relaxation, reducing stress, and promoting overall improved health and wellbeing. While scientific evidence supporting the use of hypnosis for treating addiction is inconclusive, there is little argument against using hypnosis therapy as a complement to a conventional addiction treatment plan.

In fact, as more people recognize the complex nature of substance abuse and addictive behavior, and understand the need to address both the psychological as well as the physiological aspects of addiction, the advantage of using an alternative therapy such as hypnosis becomes clear. Hypnosis is valued by many as an important defence against cravings, an effective means to manage withdrawal symptoms, and a useful way to guard against triggers that can cause relapse.

What is not so well understood though is how hypnosis stops addiction.

Hypnosis is not a magic cure

Hypnosis is not a magic cure for addiction. It does not work for everyone, and there is considerable variation in each person's ability to enter a deep hypnotic state. You cannot force someone to quit using through hypnosis, if they do not want to.

When a person is hypnotized they enter a state of deep relaxation and experience an altered state of consciousness in which they become less aware of their immediate surroundings. A skilled hypnotist will assist his/her client to focus their attention through the use of suggestion following certain therapeutic techniques such as relaxation exercises and visualization.

Using hypnosis to side-step the conscious mind

This suggestion or command is planted deep within the subconscious mind by the hypnotherapist when their client is in a state of total focused relaxation. Under normal circumstances, our thought processes work especially hard to evaluate and assess the different messages we receive. Unfortunately, this also produces considerable doubts and worries – all of which contribute to raising our anxiety and interfering with our resolve to stop an addiction. During hypnosis, this step is avoided and the hypnotherapist's suggestion is accepted as absolute truth.

This is especially helpful in the fight against addiction, as uncertainty and doubts may otherwise eat away at a person's desire to quit and stay clean. For example, a person who wishes to stop smoking may receive the "suggestion" during hypnosis that they are in control and free from cigarette cravings. This message will be accepted unconditionally, increasing the likelihood of the person ultimately quitting smoking.