Is there ever a good time to quit smoking?
It’s either too close to Christmas, a birthday or some kind of celebration. You’re too stressed, got too much going on or you need it to relax. Sometimes you find yourself saying to yourself there is always tomorrow, next week, next month or even next year.
Stopping smoking after your cardiac event is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your chances of having another one and to increase your chances of making a good recovery. No matter how long you have been smoking now is the perfect time to stop. It’s not easy to quit smoking but Hypnotherapy and NLP help you to make the right decision and support you to quit smoking once and for all.
Quitting smoking after a heart attack reduces your risk of early death or a future event by 50%.
I was a smoker for over 30 years
Although in those years I half halfheartedly tried to give up I never particularly wanted to quit until I had my heart attack. I suppose like many others I thought it would never happen to me. Little did I know about the genetic factors that I couldn’t change and the added risk smoking contributed. Smoking is responsible for 19% of all deaths from coronary heart disease (British Heart Foundation 2000). I am now smoke free, I do think about it from time to time but I wouldn’t say I miss it now – it’s just something I used to do.
Therapies that help
Hypnotherapy has proved to be successful in helping people to quit smoking. New Scientist Magazine (1), found that “hypnotherapy enjoys a greater success rate than any other method in helping people stop smoking.”
I use hypnotherapy and a number of techniques from NLP in my session to influence how you think and feel about smoking. You can change your unconscious beliefs about smoking along with any emotional connection, the habit and the taste of smoking. I coach you to identify any areas that may be difficult for you to see yourself quitting. Working together will will create some personalised strategies to help with the process of quitting. Included also is an offer of an Indian Head Massage session to help reduce stress and teach your body to relax.
The reason hypnosis works well is because smoking, like all habits, is controlled by the unconscious part of the mind. Hypnosis is an altered state that allows us to access your unconscious mind. It is provided with new ideas and suggestions that are more beneficial to you, replacing the old beliefs about how smoking used to help you. Once your unconscious is reprogrammed you don’t have to try not to smoke; the urge is simply no longer there.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
Should you use nicotine gum, patches, sprays, inhalers, lozenges, medication and e-cigarettes? Whilst the therapies I use have great success rates I believe that the more support you have the greater chance of success. For more information about NRT get in touch with your GP, your cardiac team or contact Smokefree NHS.
If you have decided to use nicotine replacement therapy to help you quit smoking I am happy to support you to complement your GP’s treatment plan. Whilst nicotine replacement does deal with the physical addiction there are areas such as the emotional and psychological aspects, along with the habit and your beliefs which are also reasons why you’ve continued to smoke. These are areas I can help with along with your contact with your surgery.
Cutting down does not reduce your risk
Why is smoking harmful to your heart? (2) Smoking interacts with other risk factors for heart disease. The risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are doubled in smokers.
There are two main components of tobacco smoke which are harmful to your heart.
Nicotine: increases your heart rate and blood pressure; this makes your heart work harder and it needs more oxygen to do this. You may have been prescribed drugs (e.g. a beta blocker) after your cardiac event to slow down your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. Smoking directly counteracts the benefits of this drug. Nicotine can make your blood more likely to clot and this increases your risk of having another cardiac event.
Carbon monoxide: attaches itself to the red blood cells in your blood. Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. If they are bound to carbon monoxide they cannot carry as much oxygen to your heart. This makes you more likely to suffer from angina.
I advise that you should stop now and quit completely. I do not suggest that you try to cut down first. Remember if you are stopping smoking you may find that you don’t want to make other big changes in your lifestyle until you feel you have this under control. That’s okay, inch by inch is a synch, yard by yard is hard. Be kind to yourself.
(1) New Scientist volume 136 issue 1845 – 31 October 1992
(2) Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Cardiac Rehabilitation – March 2011