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Stop Smoking Through Hypnosis

Mind Matters Hypnotherapy

by Sylvie Greil

A deeply hypnotic state

Sorry to bust your stereotypes. No swinging pendulum. No affected voice whispering, "Look into my eyes." No involuntary divulging of secrets.

Here’s a case for hypnosis that asks you to let go of any preconceived notions about hypnotherapy. Consider this instead: What would "Instant Maui" feel like? Can you remember a state in which you were pleasantly relaxed, perhaps daydreaming? Have you ever experienced "savasana," the final relaxation pose after a yoga class? Or, for a less challenging question, do you go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning?

If you’ve answered yes to any of the above,, you have been in a deeply "hypnotic" state. Now, let's say you want to give up smoking, once and for all. Or maybe you’d like to lose some weight. Or simply feel less stressed out. This is where L.A.-based hypnotherapist Lisa Hubler of Mind Matters enters the picture.

"I had tried several times to quit smoking unsuccessfully, but with Mind Matters, I became a non-smoker in the matter of one meeting," says Janet Haase, an executive producer of music videos, who had smoked since her late teens. She was finally ready to quit in her mid-thirties, a major challenge considering she’d been smoking a pack a day for the last eight years.

One session to swear off a serious nicotine addiction? How’s that possible?

"Lisa's own experience and deep understanding of how and why people smoke is discussed in depth and is applied to one's own experience and reasoning," Haase explains. "I am able to deal with stressful situations in a new way—also the drab and boring ones. She made it so easy to overcome those cravings and habits by ‘re-wiring’ oneself. It may sound clichéd, but it truly is the best thing I have done for myself."

There may be a multitude of reasons why you smoke; there’s no need to know what they are. More importantly, what we do know is that smoking probably helps you to relax and get through your day, even if you’re "just" a social smoker and reach for cigarettes while out with friends or when having a cup of coffee or cocktail. All that matters is that you really want to quit. The problem is, while consciously you’ve made that decision and are trying to stick to it, your unconscious mind is still clinging to the same old habitual "tape" of doubts and fears such as "I can’t do it. I will gain weight. It’s really not that unhealthy. I can only relax when I smoke," and so on. Such beliefs are held in and reinforced by muscular tension in the body.

"When the body is relaxed, the mind relaxes, too," says hypnotherapist Hubler. "During [hypnosis] you will let go of habitual ways of thinking and accept [losing weight or stopping smoking] in a deeper part of your mind. More importantly, what I do not only relaxes your mind and muscles but your emotions."

That is why you might not reach for cigarettes again after just one session. You will be so profoundly relaxed that everything in life, anything you set out to do, becomes easier. You feel confident, optimistic, calm and focused—also thanks to the helpful suggestions reaching your unconscious mind during your session.

Still, in talking to Hubler, a pressing question remains: Sure, you might feel very relaxed and wonderful after a session, but doesn’t it take longer, perhaps months or years, to reprogram the mind, to change old beliefs?

Hubler only smiles. In her gentle way she asks: "Do you ever notice that negative voice when you’re feeling deeply relaxed?"

"Well, not really."

"There’s your answer. That voice comes out of tension."

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a normal, naturally occurring state. Everyone experiences it from one to many times a day. We all enter the hypnotic state just before we fall asleep at night, when we are no longer completely awake, & yet not quite asleep. The brainwaves at this time are just like the brainwaves when you are an induced state the hypnosis.

Other examples of everyday hypnotic experience include:

· Daydreaming
· Driving
· Reading a book
· Watching television
· Playing a sport

Hypnotherapy allows you to focus inward in a relaxed, open attitude in order to make profound changes. Put aside negative habits and emotions, fears, doubts, anxieties, self-limiting concepts while enjoying the experience of profound relaxation.

Hypnosis means making a working connection between your subconscious and consciousness and being in fuller control of your thought patterns. If you think you can - you will.


Lisa Hubler is a petite brunette who radiates a gentle confidence and optimistic calm. A typical session is about two hours, including a talk and 40 minutes or so of hypnosis—or, in better words, a restorative, guided meditation and relaxation session with gentle suggestions. There’s no talking back. There’s no fear of doing anything involuntary.

After getting to know a client over the phone and through a conversation in her sunny, quiet L.A. office, Hubler will tuck you into a huge, comfortable reclining chair in a supported position dubbed "Instant Maui." You’re basically in the anti-gravity position astronauts assume during take-off. You receive a headset, an eye pillow and blankets. You settle into your chair and the session begins.

Hubler’s work is progressive and quite different from what other hypnotists around the country do. She combines the traditional positive suggestions with techniques she learned from renowned yoga teacher Judith Lasater on restorative poses. She also teaches her clients how to breathe and lengthen the exhalation. During the session you will become so deeply relaxed that your brainwaves, normally beta during waking consciousness, slow down to alpha, theta and possibly delta, the deepest dreamless state. Your entire being becomes calm and receptive to positive change.

Thirty-three-old Pilar DeMann, a film/theater/television producer living in L.A., had been smoking on and off (mostly on) for 20 years. Smoking was her thing. She felt like it was her reward after a long, hard and frustrating day. But she has two young nephews for whom she didn’t want to be a negative influence. She wanted to be healthy for them and for herself. She made an appointment.

"Talking with Lisa was like talking with an old friend. We chatted. I told her things I had forgotten: the first image I remember of smoking, the Salem cigarette lady from the ‘70s in her green bathing suit and big, white hat and red lips with her white cig. I wanted to be her. We talked about my mom who smoked nearly all of my life and how I felt about cigarettes and why I smoked," she recalls.

"Then she broke it all down and it all made so much sense. I didn’t need cigarettes at all; they didn’t relax me, they sped me up. My breathing was what relaxed me. We talked, and then she put me in the most comfortable chair with pillows and eye masks and her soothing voice. It’s really a guided meditation. I felt great. And that day, I became a non-smoker."

And the weight-loss issue? It works the same way as giving up cigarettes. One of Hubler’s clients came for reducing free-floating anxiety. Her weight issue wasn't directly addressed. Nevertheless, she went from a size 14 to an 8, a weight she’s been able to maintain for two years now.

How? Again, while you may more than anything really desire to lose weight, you might not be in sync with deeper levels of your mind that could be afraid of change, associate eating with comfort or be convinced that you need a layer of fat to protect yourself from getting hurt. As long as these old beliefs populate your unconscious, your efforts will not be rewarded. And, as soon as you feel well and deeply at ease after a session, you won’t reach for donuts or a huge plate of carb-laden pasta to make you happy with that elusive serotonin-boost. You’ll sleep well and handle life more easily; plus, you’ll have a new set of positive reinforcements, new stress-management techniques above and beyond the session and a new-found outlook on life.

As Hubler says, "A mind matters." Make yours an ally.

Mind Matters Hypnotherapy
3387 Barham Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA. 90068

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