Wednesday, November 7, 2007

FREE Hypnosis for Smoking Cessation

Imagine a disease that causes more annual premature deaths than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined. Imagine that this disease robs each of its sufferers of an average of seven years of life, with their final years often characterized as painfully debilitating.

The annual American health care costs of this condition reach over $50 billion. The disease is responsible for more than 7% of all deaths, throughout the world. Within about a decade, this same estimate will likely increase to nearly 18% of worldwide deaths. Although it is not contagious, an average of over 3,000 American children and non-afflicted adults, who surround themselves by the afflicted, will consequently experience disease and premature death, each year.

The devastating "disease," of course, is Nicotine Dependence. This year, the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout is scheduled for November 15th. The annual event encourages smokers to quit for a day in the hope they may quit for good. Over 80% of smokers actually admit that they do desire to be smoke-free.

Despite smoking’s horrendous health effects, a practically free, curative treatment has existed for many years. It has been demonstrated that the treatment is generally effective for more than 30% of those who embrace it. In fact, since 1992, according to New Scientist, it has been known that "Hypnosis is the most effective way of giving up smoking." Its quote was based upon a study cited within the Journal of Applied Psychology, earlier that same year. These findings appear to hold true, even in today's healthcare environment that demonstrates an overemphasis upon pharmacological approaches.

As a Pennsylvania psychologist and certified hypnotherapist, I advocate the use of clinical hypnosis for smoking cessation, one of the least expensive and most effective approaches to becoming smoke-free. Since the American Medical Association approved the use of clinical hypnosis in the 1950's, hundreds of thousands of people have found hypnosis to be an effective way to stop smoking, lose weight, and otherwise improve their lives.

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According to the World Health Organization's Former Director-General, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, "A cigarette is the only consumer product which when used as directed kills its consumer."

To learn more about the Great American Smokeout; to request a FREE sample pack of nicotine gum; and to download a FREE Hypnosis Audio Program for Smoking Cessation, visit and

Addiction's True Nature

The negative impact of abuse, which originates with the addict, slowly permeates into his or her family and ultimately throughout the community. Efforts to educate our communities, regarding these consequences, are critical in initiating positive change.

The tangible losses associated with addiction are often readily apparent. Crime and the eventual losses of health, jobs, family, friends, and money are only the manifestations of a more intangible loss, which is likely the real culprit behind abuse: loss of one’s self through the insidious and consistent detachment of one’s feelings through addiction.

Feelings serve the useful purpose of guiding one in better understanding oneself. The avoidance of feelings (particularly through addiction) robs oneself of the valuable, directional information which feelings can afford. A “gut instinct”, for example, can be viewed as a crystallization of all of one’s life experiences into a single guiding feeling. Nobody can be consciously aware of every life experience, as it may relate to a presenting concern. One can, however, benefit from one’s guiding feeling.

Addiction has the real potential to dull this and other types of valuable feelings, which can ultimately, further alienate the addict from him or herself and others, leading to confusion, poor direction, and despair. This cycle can continue to create a pattern which can lead to the more tangible aforementioned losses. Education (whether through the media, therapy, or the like) is key to breaking this pattern and changing ultimate despair into real hope for the future.

The Jellinek Curve offers a graphical representation of the insidious path of addiction and recovery:

Mental Health Parity - The Equity Between Physical and Emotional Health Care Insurance Coverage

Considering the current legislative debate, it is vitally important for voters to understand the need for a fair balance between physical and emotional medical health care coverage. More than a decade ago Dr. Herbert Benson, of the Harvard Medical School, even emphasized the fact that "60 to 90 percent of [doctor-patient] visits are prompted by conditions related to stress."

We seem to live in a culture within which we are indoctrinated with the idea that medication is the answer to our health care problems. Although medications can certainly be quite beneficial, most people do not realize that many clinical studies indicate that specific meditations, for example, have the potential to lower blood pressure better than medication alone.

Counseling or psychotherapy are proven and effective treatments for a wide range of medical problems, including stress, depression, high blood pressure, insomnia, drug addiction and pain management. The unparalleled benefit of the combination of mental and physical health therapies is unquestionable. Although many insurances also offer coverage for psychotherapy, the inequality within and across coverage plans absolutely needs to be resolved.

As a licensed psychologist and certified hypnotherapist, I advocate the use of hypnosis for stress management. Additionally, "Light and Sound Machines" are relatively new, affordable devices that help users experience near effortless states of deep relaxation, within only a few minutes. In order to try this intriguing way to de-stress, I recommend the following FREE software download, from Tucows. It acquaints computer users to the relaxing effect, via one's monitor.

FREE "Virtual Light & Sound Machine" Software For Effortless Meditation:

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Psychologists' Role in Overall Healthcare

Psychologists are healthcare professionals who rely upon scientific method to understand human behavior. Within a clinical setting, psychologists apply their expertise in a balanced manner, between a directive style and the recognition of the importance of allowing themselves to be more of a facilitator to help their clients help themselves. For most people, this approach allows for accurate assessment of presenting concerns and facilitation of personal growth

As humans, we do have an innate capacity toward health. Physically, for example, if we cut ourselves, we usually heal. Sometimes, however, if there is an infection, the cut will likely fester, continuing to cause problems, until the wound is cleansed. Therapy can be considered a way to help clean festering, “emotional wounds” that are contributing to present concerns. Although we are a species that is fairly resilient, therapy is a deliberate way, however, to facilitate our resiliency, in order to allow positive change to occur sooner, rather than later.

Talking with an objective other can offer a unique perspective conducive to emotional growth. When attempting to be supportive, unfortunately, family and friends can often make inappropriate comments, like: “Forget it” or “Don’t worry about it.” Usually that tactic is easier said than done. Although well-intentioned, these statements tend to serve to further alienate oneself from one’s feelings. One’s feelings (both pleasant and unpleasant) offer the useful purpose of guiding one in better understanding oneself. It is the misunderstanding or avoidance of feelings that is often a catalyst to undermining our innate process, which helps us to be resilient in the first place.

Misunderstandings about therapy have kept many from seeking timely, effective care. Similar early misunderstandings, within the medical field, for example, had existed for years. I trust that the continued acceptance and appreciation of the field of psychology will dispel any residual misunderstandings about its efficacious use and appropriateness to overall healthcare.


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