Friday, June 22, 2012

Smoking Cessation

I wanted to share some notes on "smoking cessation" or "quitting smoking".  Tobacco smoking, with nicotine and even arsenic within its ingredients, is an especially toxic and addictive brew.  It seems to help carcinogens develop into full blown cancer.  It may have been at the root of one friend recently dying and seems to have been the main catalyst for another friend to have a cancer flare up.

Because I have not been a tobacco smoker, some of the notes expressed below have had only partial validation in personal experience.  I have been able to use process oriented hypnotherapy to help one person successful and nonreversibly end tobacco smoking, without any strong withdrawal symptoms, by going into the underlying anger issues and clearing them.  Anger energy, when transmuted through meditation, becomes self empowerment, clear relationship boundaries, and creative evolutionary purpose.  The person in question did send me an email after 3 months to say that she was still not smoking and still doing well.  The guided meditation took only 15 minutes to do, after some basic induction and breathing meditation (one hour total).

Before she did the meditation, she followed a few suggestions for one month, before this:

(1) Switch from regular commercial tobacco cigarettes to Native American cigarettes.  The former has ingredients added to make it more addictive, like arsenic.  It seems that these extra ingredients are easily weaned off of if eliminated first by switching to a more benign cigarette.

(2) If you smoke a cig, then you must only smoke.  This means not to smoke and talk, smoke and watch TV, smoke and do anything else.  You smoke only when you are able to concentrate attention on the process.

(3) Only only smoke to satisfy a craving and then only smoke enough to satisfy the craving.  If you are attentive, you will become sensitive to when it is just the urging of habit or when it is a strong craving propelling you to smoke.  You check in to make sure, even try to resist a little to make sure it is a strong enough craving.  Then you take each inhale of smoke slowly and with no hurry, then exhale slowly with no hurry, feeling how you feel after each inhale/exhale.  When you notice that the craving has been satisfied, then you stop smoking any more at that time.  It usually only takes a few inhales of the smoke to do this.

Following these 3 suggestions has allowed people to drop down from 1 or 2 packs a day down to 5 cigs a day (in about 3 weeks).  It seems to give the body a chance to metabolically adapt to less and less nicotine running through its system.  It seems, too, that anger starts coming up when it is down to just 5 cigs.  It seems that those around the smoker will notice this before the smoker does.  The hypnotherapy helps process the anger that surfaces.  If the underlying anger is released, much of the addictive drive will end with this.  Emotional repression is part of the addictive drive.  It is the hidden benefit that keeps the addiction in place.  When the emotions are dealt with, the force of the addiction is much more manageable.  Tobacco smoking represses the anger very well, so that the person can become oblivious to the anger that he or she carries inside.  It will show up in the judgmental thoughts that are expressed, often in front of the TV while the news broadcasts are happening, towards favorite targets like Liberals or Republicans, Feminists or Evangelicals, Greedy Corporations or Communists/Fascists, etc.  Process oriented hypnosis is about looking at all this judgment without judgment, seeing what it means, and seeing if a new relationship can be found.  All without one suggestion to actually end smoking being implanted.  The antidote is the "mirror like wisdom" which is the mirror of karma, how everything is unfolding perfectly and how everything is reflecting back our own judgmental thoughts.

The reason why I am putting these notes into my herbal blog is because I have intuited that there is some further support from Lobelia.  I found that a few sites gave a caution about using it in large doses.  But I found that the large doses that seemed to have the largest and strongest precaution are when Lobelia is prepared as an extract and taken as capsules (Lobelia Sulfate).  I would not recommend capsule use in this case.  It seems that a tincture or infusion is very safe, and that low dosage is adequate to get the benefits.  If some nausea feeling arises to reduce the dosage until it is not felt.  Only increase the dosage in stages so that you can feel each level.  Though part of my idea in energetic herbalism is that you do not usually have to push a dosage high enough to cause nausea.  I would take this as a natural signal of the body that we are going too far.  Some herbalists did push a higher dose and had the vomiting be part of the therapy.  Understandable, when you make something that intense,  precautions become more necessary and you have to know what you are doing.  Several sites warned against use while pregnant.  This is obvious when nausea level doses are used.  The warning may or may not apply to low and usually safe doses.  A lot of companies repeat these warnings to cover themselves legally.  I could not find any testing or reasoning to support this, but pass it along.  It is probably wise to play it safe here.  I need to also state by caveat that you do need to know what you are doing with herbs, to respect your own biochemical individuality, and to seek the guidance of a health professional.  If you choose to take responsibility for your own health process, then it is important to double check any process shared in any blog, book, and discussion with your own wisdom, prudence, and experience.

I have been using a Lobelia tincture to help relieve some asthmatic symptoms that have resulted from a recent allergy and/or flu.  It has been helpful and feels very safe.  I have also found that cayenne, in very small doses, also helps to break up mucus and allows me to cough up more phlegm.  I have also been nose washing with a regular very clean squirt bottle (rather than a neti pot).  I mix a little bit of baking soda and salt into the tepid warm water.  I then squirt it up my nose while exhaling through the nose forcefully.  It is kind of like gargling in the nose.  It feels a little gentler than the neti pot process for me and seems to do something similar.  I am still experimenting with cayenne as far how to take it in.  The best so far seems to be to sprinkle it on some hot air popped organic popcorn (with some Himalayan salt, olive oil, nutritional yeast, and dried dill weed powder).  I going to experiment with a small amount in a tea and see how this compares.

My intuition is that there are supportive herbs like Marshmallow Root, Red Root, Echinicea, Eucalyptus, Anise, Licorice, Fennel, and Slippery Elm, and probably many others, to help the process be gentle, effective, and smoothing.  I have not experimented enough in this direction yet, but hope to post some notes on how different combinations feel for me.

As a cautionary note, when one is quitting a very long term and toxic habit like cigarette smoking, the toxic build up can be a lot.  It might be good to keep following through with a liver flush and some gentle detox teas.  One friend who successfully quit had black tar like stuff ooze out of his skin while taking hot showers and that noticeably showed up on his towels.  Because of how much toxic build up might there, you might get some strong detox reactions as your body adjusts.

There seems to be a way of combining lobelia and mullein as something to smoke as a substitute for tobacco and which seems to help heal the lungs.  But this is a use that I have not experimented with for the reason mentioned above.  If someone has use it this method, I invite the person post something in this blog about it (as scientifically and personal experience based as possible, like how many cigs a day was the habit, what were the side effects if any, what dose for how much days, and how the experience felt, how well did it help the craving to go away or not, etc.).

I would recommend a person also get off dairy products and at least cut down on eating cooked animal muscle tissue (meat).  It is actually easier to reduce both at the same time, rather than each separately, because dairy and animal flesh neutralize some aspects of each other.  If possible, go vegan, but give yourself permission to follow your cravings with awareness (parallel to the suggested rules for cutting down cravings for tobacco), trusting that your body is adjusting in stages to a cleaner internal condition.

You will probably gain some weight from not smoking.  This weight gain is not what many people usually think it is.  It is from your body rehydrating, getting the water it needs.  Cigs dehydrate and it is part of the overall toxic effect.  We need more water than we are usually getting.  If we are getting enough water, our urine is usually very light yellow or clear in color.

What I have learned as a healer is that the more intense the process a person is going through, the gentler the support.  Gentle can be very effective, even more effective, than being intense with our process.  When I am unclear about what to do with support like bodywork or herbs, then I use subtle energy work.  I spend time gently opening all the meridian flows and make sure the person absorbs the energetic blessing (and recommend ionic minerals if they do not), and lots of very pure water or a gentle herbal tea.  It is amazing how much detox can happen with this level of support, with the body pouring out a lot of dark urine to detox itself.  It is one of the many signs of how useful energy healing (with breathwork) is.

I would recommend that a person who wishes to do "smoking cessation" get support from a health professional and/or from an energy healer, particularly from one who can be nonjudgmental and supportive of the process, and who understands that "gentle is powerful" and that "more is not always better".  If you feel unable to find someone in your own area, I can give some support via phone and via remote energy healing.

I have no moral issues with smokers and have some friends who are still smokers.  I do have a wish that they release the habit for the sake of their own health and happiness.  I do feel that meditation can provide the benefits of calm and peace that they seek through tobacco, and with less side effects.  I have been a little more vocal about inviting people to do this shift into nonsmoking since a friend had died from tobacco use recently.  Sometimes we fall into the comfort of a familiar toxic habit and something needs to jar us into being proactive in ending it.  I want to state that I think this is worthwhile.  I find, too, that cigarettes are one of the better defended habits.  A person really needs to decide to end it, and really want to be free from this habit, for it to end.  I would like to share that ending it does not have to be very hard.  There is support possible.  Anger is a separative emotion.  It is a way of distancing oneself from being deeply interpersonal with people.  The cigarette personality does not really like getting help from others and feeling vulnerable this way.  Even choosing to get some help and support helps to break this trance.  A person does not have to go it alone.

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