Yesterday marked the 34th No Smoking Day and the Tele sent reporter Adam Hill to a hypnotherapist to see if he could help him stub out the smokes.
To say I was sceptical when I was asked to head along to see a hypnotherapist to help me stop smoking would be an understatement.
Graeme McDiarmid of Discover Hypnotherapy in the city centre is a clinical hypnotherapist — and one of his specialities is helping people kick the habit.
Although there’s been a drop in the percentage of Dundonians classed as smokers, statistics show more people in the city smoke compared with the national average.
When I first went into Graeme’s office we had a discussion about my own smoking habits — which I am ashamed to say started around the age of 12 — and apart from a couple of years where vaping replaced smoking — has continued ever since. I’m now 26.
He told me my own willpower was going to be the key and then broke down the chemicals I put into my body every day and gave me some information about the health impacts.
He then familiarised himself with my attitudes towards smoking, how much I smoke and how it makes me feel.
Just before we started the actual session, he told me “you are a non-smoker, you are already a non-smoker”.
It was a message he would keep reinforcing throughout the session.
It was when the relaxing music started playing that things began to really get interesting.
From a relaxed position, Graeme slowly lifted my arm up, with my hand in front of my face and my fingers pressed together.
He told me that my fingers would start to slowly separate and kept repeating the phrase.
My initial reaction was a typical “aye so they will” – but then, to my shock, each finger began to twitch, before breaking free from the others.
Graeme later explained the exercise was a passageway into my subconscious.
After that, Graeme said my hand would slowly feel like it was coming closer to my head.
As it neared my face, my eyes began to feel heavy.
When my hand touched my face I fell into a semi-sleep — I can only describe the sensation as being physically asleep but mentally awake.
An hour had passed but it only seemed like five minutes.
Graeme’s voice telling me things like how much better my life was now as a non-smoker and how I would no longer have the mental associations with the habit was all that I could hear above the music.
When “under” you become very aware of the energy pulsating and vibrating through your body.
Near the end of the session, Graeme told me to “close the door in your mind and leave it in the past”.
I can honestly say at that moment, I felt like a noose around my neck was lifted up and over my head and a weight had been lifted off me.
After the session, I felt less of a desire to smoke.
I was sceptical when I went to visit Graeme, but I would definitely say hypnotherapy is worth a shot. But it isn’t a quick fix — you need to want to stop and continue to want to stop.