Last updated: Jul 24, 2008
Visualization Knocked Out Claire's Smoking Habit
She realized she was in control of her cravings Read more
More about quitting smoking
Because hypnosis has become known for its ability to change behaviors quickly, its a natural starting point for many smokers trying to quit. Hypnosis relaxes your mind enough to identify unconscious triggers. "Hypnosis is nothing more than the alpha statea state of mind that we pass through as we fall asleep at night, go deep into a memory, or as we watch television," explains Alan B. Densky, a certified hypnotherapist based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who specializes in smoking cessation.
Acupuncture is a technique derived from traditional Chinese medicine that uses tiny needles to stimulate certain points on the body; for smokers, the idea is to help reduce cravings and ease withdrawal symptoms throughout the body.
Meditation, which is intended to relax the body and refocus thoughts, may hold promise for smoking cessation when combined with conventional therapy. "There is an element of neurobiology behind it," says Dr. Sood, citing a 2002 study that showed that meditation releases dopamine in the braina process similar to nicotine triggering the relaxing feeling that smokers crave. Dr. Sood is currently leading a clinical trial on using meditation to facilitate quitting and prevent relapse among pregnant smokers. Meditation can also be a way to replace cigarettes stress-relieving qualities.