Did you fail to quit the ciggies? And again for the New Year? Perhaps No Smoking Day next Wednesday will be your time. The British Heart Foundation have launched their annual campaign and claim that the average smoker will save £7 a day if they manage to kick the habit. If you’ve tried every pill and patch on offer to help you quit, maybe it’s time to try hypnotherapy.
DAVID BLURTON visited celebrity hypnotherapist Max Kirsten and hasn’t smoked since. Here is the account director from Balham, south London, tells his story.
“BEING told to look into someone’s eyes, breathe deeply and have every urge to smoke suddenly disappear sounded like fantasy to me. But when you’re 33, have smoked pretty much every day for 17 years and tried everything to quit, then hypnotherapy doesn’t seem so crazy. In fact, a US survey showed that on average hypnosis was more than three times as effective as nicotine replacement methods and 15 times as effective as trying to quit alone. And really, when you’re spending nearly £250 a month on small killer sticks you shove in your mouth and burn, what have you got to lose?”
Reformed addict turned clinical hypnotherapist Max Kirsten doesn’t beat about the bush. He’s been there, puffed that, and smoked more than most during his 40-a-day habit — and from his clinic in London’s Knightsbridge he’s treated celebs, politicians and men on the street, from weekend smokers to the most chronically addicted.
He helped Ewan McGregor — and the actor was so impressed, he now fronts Kirsten’s iPhone app.
He uses hypnotism, cognitive behavioural techniques and basic education, which all work together to change your unconscious into believing that you are no longer comfortable with smoking.
He takes you into a light trance and helps you imagine life as a “non-smoker” — taking you through situations you’d normally find challenging without a cigarette to help you see how you’ll cope.
And as well as preparing me for nights out with the lads, he took me to a blackened field and taught me to walk away over a bridge into a colourful park, symbolising my move away from smoking into health.
It’s seven days later and, by using the breathing techniques he taught, I haven’t smoked a single cigarette.
I’ve even been out with heavy smokers and passed the test.
Max’s top ten tips
1. Try switching to another brand for seven days before your quit date. It’ll be much less enjoyable. 2. Focus on all the positive benefits of quitting – like improved health.
3. List all your reasons for quitting and keep to re-read after giving up.
4. Sip a little water before each puff for a few days before quitting.
5. Research what’s hidden in a cigarette as you continue to smoke.
6. Drop all your smoked cigarettes in a jam-jar filled with fresh water and watch it become more and more disgusting.
7. Work out how much money you will save in a year.
8. Set a quit date and then stick to it. Remember it each year.
9. Throw away all tobacco-related products ready to quit.
10. Tell everyone that you are quitting and ask for support.
If you are interested in hypnotherapy, call Max Kirsten’s office on 0207 917 9878.