Dubai is not an easy place to quit smoking, and I should know. I arrived here three-years-ago having packed in four-months previously and had no plans to start again.
I had what you might call an “enthusiastic” habit. I’d plough through 20 fags a day, easily, sometimes up to 40 on a bad one.
I’d wake up wanting a cigarette and the cravings would continue throughout the day as work coffee breaks allowed me to pursue my habit with gusto.
At the end of last year, a pain in my chest and, I have to admit it, a bit of nagging from friends, pushed me to try to quit. I say “try” because I genuinely never thought it would work.
To be honest, I didn’t really want to stop, but I agreed to give it a go. Knowing that cold turkey might not cut it, I took a friend’s advice and reluctantly agreed to see Alla Tchemodanova, a Dubai-based hypnotherapist.
I trooped up to Alla’s office in Media City hoping for a miracle. To be honest, I have always thought of hypnotherapy as more entertaining than a practical solution. Would I suddenly want to take my clothes off or experience an unbelievable desire to quack like a duck? Who knows?
Well, Alla seemed to. She was all too used to clients turning up with little faith in hypnotherapy as a cure for smoking, overeating, anxiety, and much more.
The science bit…
First, Alla sat me down and enquired about my “relationship” with smoking. When did I start? Why did I start? Did my parents’ smoke? I had to admit to a few links with smoking and delve a little into my relationship with my dad, who, coincidentally was a smoker until a couple of years ago.
Next, came the hypnotherapy bit. It’s a cliché, but I did have to look into Alla’s eyes before she snapped me into a “deep” sleep. Well, that’s what she said, and I pretended to be “under”, but more of that later.
I felt like a bit of a fraud but I lay there, pretending that I was under, for about 20 minutes. I answered all of her questions before she counted me back.
I “awoke” feeling refreshed and a bit hazy. I even pretended that I was never going to smoke again, while fully intending to spark up the minute I got outside. But then, something weird happened. I got back to my car, called my friends to tell them what a load of rubbish this hypnotherapy lark was, but I didn’t light up a fag. In fact I chucked the packet I had in the car away. I figured I may’s well try now that I’d been through the session.
That was four-months ago. I haven’t smoked a cigarette since. I have wanted too. In the first few weeks, I was madly inhaling other people’s passive fumes but I’ve even got over that now - just.
I won’t lie, I loved smoking. I would still be smoking now if I hadn’t had a wake-up call.
If you want to quit smoking, and think hypnosis could help, log onto http://www.hypnosisuae.com/catergories.htm for more details and price information.