Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does hypnotism really work?"
I want to quit smoking. A friend at work said that he got hypnotized and it helped him quit. Does this really work? Can everyone be hypnotized?
First of all, congratulations on wanting to quit smoking! This is a very important health decision which has the potential to impact your quality of life, your heart health, and your risk for cancer and lung diseases. There are many options available to you to help you quit smoking. The first thing I would suggest is that you go to see your primary care doctor. Primary care doctors are experts in helping their patients quit smoking, and they will be able to suggest many different options for you. For some people, hypnotism does work. The basic principle is to learn relaxation techniques that can help you overcome cravings and improve your chances of successfully quitting. In addition to hypnotism, there are multiple medications that are useful for quitting smoking. These include various nicotine replacement therapies - nicotine patches, sprays, gums, etc-- which are taking while you are actively trying to quit to help diminish cravings. Similarly, there are several oral medications, such as buproprion, which are taken to improve mood and diminish cravings during the quitting period. Your primary care doctor can discuss all of these medications with you and help you determine which one is the right one for you!
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