Sleep … poison … danger
VAIL – Three days later and I’m smoke free. The hypnotism seems to have worked.The smoking began at age 15 and continued at a pack-a-day pace for 12 years. In the past, I’ve tried nearly every measure to quit; the patch, gum, straws and cold turkey. Friends and co-workers – smoke-free for years – told me hypnotism worked for them. I tried it, and of all the stop-smoking methods, hypnotism got me past the tough first three days with the least difficulty.Strangely, a craving will hit, and quickly subside as if it were never there. For me, the most difficult time to resist a cigarette is while having a beer. The two are like Bonnie and Clyde – they go together well but produce a bad effect.
This past weekend, I managed not to light up while drinking at the bar among some smokers. There was no temptation from the normally sweet-smelling smoke wafting off others’ Camels. The smoke didn’t smell good and didn’t smell bad – it was neutral. Cigarettes are just a memory, and after hypnotism with Dr. Mike Claussner of Vail, I relate them to poison. Through hypnotism, Claussner gets in touch with the subconscious in the hopes it will work with the conscious.When someone is determined to quit, the conscious mind is ready, but because smoking is so repetitive the subconscious continues to want the cigarette, Claussner said. The conscious and subconscious butt heads, making failure more likely.
For people determined to quit, hypnotherapy works about 70 percent of the time, Claussner said. He’s done this about 20 times, but uses hypnotism 10 to 12 times a week for counseling.Before the hypnotism, Claussner educates his patients about the dangers of smoking. He ticks off some of the poisons, like benzene, in cigarette tobacco. During hypnotism, Claussner will relate cigarettes to poison.Claussner also explains that cigarette smoking is often a habit and not an addiction. Most people don’t experience symptoms of withdrawal unless they torch five packs a day, Claussner said.Relating the smoking to a habit rather than an addiction seems to make things easier.Very relaxedWhen the hypnotism began, my hand was palm-to-palm against Claussner’s, mine on top. He told me to press against his hand and focus on a point on the ceiling. Seconds later, my eyes were getting heavy and began to close.”Sleep,” Claussner yelled and dropped my hand. He told me the more I tried to open my eyes, the harder it would become. He grabbed my thumb and shook my hand in the air – it was loose as a rag – and then he dropped it.Leading up to the hypnotism I was a bit wary. Movies like “Stir of Echoes” scared me into thinking I could be opened to unseen forces of nature.
It’s nothing like the movies. During the trance, you’re consciously aware of what is going on and being said. Hypnotism is an intense mode of relaxation bringing your subconscious closer to the surface. Claussner’s voice pleasantly droned in my ear. Cigarettes are dangerous, cigarettes are poison, he said, take three deep breaths if you crave a cigarette. When you wake up, smoking will be just a memory, he said. Five, four, three, two and one – you’re totally awake now.I left the office and my pack of Parliament lights behind, hopefully for the last time.Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14622, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado