What is a FOBT?
Problem gambling is not just about losing money. It’s a compulsion which can destroy families. The main focus for most addicted gamblers is now not just the machines found in the high street bookmakers, but is more likely to be found through the convenience of an online betting site or a betting app on a smartphone.
Most gamblers lose money over many years and often manage to hide their activities from the ones they love most. This in itself promotes, stress born out of the shame of lying and deceiving, which in turn can lead to a number of general anxiety disorders.
So called fixed odd betting terminals or FOBTs are one of the most common outlets for betting. Online roulette, among other FOBTs can be found in every betting shop across Britain. FOBTs appeal, for want of a better word, offer the dangerous combination of high stakes and the chance to win quick returns. This powerful illusion of getting rich quick can often lead to the gambler losing sight of what’s important. There are an estimated three quarters of a million problem at risk gamblers across the UK.
So what makes FOBTs so addictive? What makes people play at the expense of friendships, family and relationships. Gamblers themselves are the first to admit how it is easy to get lost in this world they find themselves immersed in. One of my clients recently admitted to having been able to lose more than three thousand pounds in less than an hour. This is not unusual however, such is the pull of the FOBT addiction. Is it any wonder that the guilt, shame, embarrassment of losing vast amounts of money in such a short period of time makes most gamblers lie about their behaviour and try to deny to themselves and others that there is a real problem.
The fixed odds betting terminals offer mostly games of chance, but most people play roulette. The occasional wins unfortunately are responsible for a release of a hormone into our bodies known as dopamine, which stimulates that feeling associated with every kind of addiction, from eating chocolate to drinking alcohol to betting on 32 red on a roulette wheel. The problem is not that the feeling of winning is bad its the fact that it confuses the reality of that occasional win being far outweighed statistically by the dozens of losses which eventually lead to ruin. The ‘high’ experienced through the release of dopamine means that a gambler will go to any lengths to experience more and more of the same feeling even after having lost, even if that means chasing those losses and convincing themselves that there is some way to recover. A spiral of despair as the losses grow means the gambler will stop thinking with the neo cortex or logical brain, and instead think more with the completely emotionally driven part of the brain. This is when it becomes very dangerous because the losing gambler at this point is not thinking rationally but instead being led by a completely separate entity hell bent on recovering at any cost but often with FOBTs that means total and complete ruin in the long term and even often in the short term.
Gamblers are prone with FOBTs to seeing patterns where there really aren’t any. They convince themselves that the numbers the ball landed on in the past must somehow give them a statistical edge. Of course this isn’t true and the FOBT promoters deliberately count on this illogical rationale to deliver what always ends up being the ‘house edge’ at the expense of the unsuspecting punter.
The spinning of the wheel, the noises and the experience generated by the FOBT is all designed to ‘pull in’ the gambler even though they have no effect on the result. Of course the result is always completely random.
Most scientists would argue that once you are addicted it is very hard to stop. I would argue, however, that gambling and the feelings associated with gambling are emotional in source and therefore any area of the brain which has learned to associate emotionally can either replace those emotions with new more powerful counter balancing emotions or can simply unlearn the habit at an emotional subconscious level. Either way the effect is the same if the thought behind the behaviour is no longer stimulating excitement or enjoyment because the levels of dopamine have been reduced, then the addiction begins to break down at an emotional level and can in effect be eradicated. Through my ten years of contact with seriously addicted gamblers, and not just those addicted to FOBTs, I have developed hypnotic techniques which in effect neutralise the reward centre of the brain by shifting awareness and perception. This approach has had great success with a full range of gambling activities, not least FOBTs and continues to challenge any notion that once a gambler always a gambler.
The way hypnotherapy works with the gambling habit is well covered on this website, but the area of FOBTs is a growing problem and one which threatens to enrol a new more ‘smartphone’ vulnerable generation of young gamblers who are already being seduced by seemingly harmless online games which at their heart have only one objective and that is to stimulate betting, and spending behaviours. That is why I wanted to write down why I believe we must be more mindful of the dangers we might face, either as a parent, a friend, a concerned partner or of course a current practicing gambler who can relate to much of the material here
Watch previous testimonials here
If you are currently struggling and would like to know how hypnotherapy can help you challenge and defeat your gambling addiction then simply request a completely confidential free consultation by clicking here, and I will be happy to explain how I can help.
Wishing you the very best with your search
NLP Practitioner and Clinical Hypnotherapist
In this month’s blog I want to discuss the three issues that trigger your cravings and urges to smoke, and the secret hypnotic techniques that can turn them into triggers that make you automatically lose the cravings and urges and reject the cigarettes.
In the next few minutes you are going to completely understand why it is so difficult to quit smoking, and the way hypnosis and NLP techniques can be highly effective psychological tool for neutralising the cravings and urges without having to resort to struggle or to willpower.
Here's the first issue that triggers oral cravings and urges.
All smokers get cravings and urges to smoke because putting cigarettes into the mouth provides temporary relaxation and pleasure
If you smoke, it all started when you were an infant. When you got upset, your mother stuck a bottle full of baby milk in your mouth or maybe a dummy.You got distracted by the bottle, relaxed and soon thereafter you fell asleep.Your inner computer, your unconscious mind got programmed so that now, when something is placed into your mouth, you get relaxation and pleasure from it.
Now as an adult when you feel tense or nervous, you put cigarettes (or chewing tobacco) into your mouth for relaxation and pleasure.
Here's the second issue that triggers oral cravings. Smoking is a conditioned response
Do you remember learning about the scientist named Pavlov in school? Pavlov rang a bell every time that he fed his dogs. After a few repetitions, all he had to do was just ring the bell, and the dogs would salivate.
If a person smokes and simultaneously drinks coffee, the mind takes a picture of the cigarette in the hand, and connect it to the image of the cup of coffee. Thereafter, every time the person looks at a cup of coffee, the minefields in the missing part of the picture. It flashes an image of the cigarette in the hand, and the person feels and urge to smoke
The mental picture of the cigarette is usually only at the unconscious level. In other words, the person may not be consciously aware of the picture. But the image is there, creating cravings and a compulsion to smoke.
The same thing happens if you smoke and drive, or smoke and watch other people smoke, smoke and watch TV, or smoking do anything else. Soon almost everything causes you to unconsciously see a cigarette, and it is those unconscious images which make you feel cravings and a compulsion to smoke.
But what about the physical addiction? Isn't there a strong physical addiction? Isn't that what makes quitting so difficult question?
Now here's an interesting fact. Relaxation and pleasure make up as much as 45% of the addiction. The conditioned responses make up 45% of the addiction BUT the physical addiction surprisingly only makes up 10% of the addiction
Of course the physical addiction is to nicotine among other psychoactive elements. Scientists tell us however, that the body metabolises all of the nicotine within 72 hours! So effectively after the 72 hours we are only left with the urges and compulsions caused by the mental emotional aspects of the smoking habit
So now I'm going to share with you how you can quickly get rid of your cravings, urges, and compulsions, because this will provide a solution to quitting without with drawl, stress substitution of food or having to rely on willpower. As already discussed the craving and compulsion part of the smoking addiction accounts for 90% of the addiction, so it is the mental aspects of smoking which cause the majority of the cravings and compulsions and not the physical addiction to nicotine. In other words your mind is mostly responsible for causing the cravings and compulsions.
But here's the good news what the mind can create what the mind can learn, The mind can also unlearn
Hypnosis works extremely well at eliminating the smoking addiction because it reaches deep into the part of the brain where the unwanted habits take route, the unconscious. When implemented by an expert hypnotist and NLP specialist you can quickly eliminate any compulsion
Without a compulsion to smoke you quit without feeling tension or anxiety, or suffering from cravings or with drawl. And since you're actually feel more relaxed, you won't have any desire to substitute food in place of the cigarettes!
Through the hypnosis and NLP programs available on this site you can conquer your battle with smoking and cigarettes without the struggle. You might be wondering why hypnosis and NLP (neurolinguistic programming), works so well. The reason is simple when you change the mental association, you also change the emotion which links you to the behaviour which in turn breaks down the habit.
If you would like to find out more about this approach for dealing with your habit of smoking or any other compulsion or addiction then simply click on the CONTACT ME link at the bottom of this page or CLICK HERE for more information.
Smoking is one of the toughest habits to break, and with good reason. For most people, knowing how to quit smoking proves to be a mystery and more often than not the attempts to get away from tobacco and smoking are futile and short lived. This isn’t to say that you can’t become a non-smoker but the usual routes of will power, nicotine patches and now even e-cigarettes can only partially help break the cycle of smoking long term.
So why is it so difficult to stop smoking by yourself? The reason is simple, you are not only addicted to the pattern of smoking and of course the chemical addiction goes without saying, but you are also locked into a pattern of feeling, which underpins every cigarette you smoke. For this reason no matter how much you try to resist that cigarette, your feelings or emotions will win over your decision every time and that is a very difficult bond to break. Think of a person, who tells themselves they will stop eating cup cakes. That decision to stop eating cup cakes may last for a while by ‘being good’ or choosing to eat a piece of fruit every time they let that temptation enter their minds, but ultimately that push and pull of that resisting the temptation will constantly plague the senses until finally they either give in and have a cup cake or more likely they will have three or four. We are constantly trapped by the feelings that drive us toward the behaviours we adopt, but at an unconscious level.
Nobody really believes that smoking is pleasant or that they actually like the taste of tobacco, but what they do ‘enjoy’ is the illusion of feeling more relaxed for some reason when they smoke. This illusion results not only from the psychoactive properties of nicotine itself but also through some forgotten association with a sense of being independent and free, probably originating in some childhood experience when those rebellious tendencies, which triggered the habit, would have originated. The action of inhaling is often misconstrued with a sense of relaxing, but of course this is a fallacy, and in fact, the action of inhaling poison pure and simple into the lungs is one of the stressful things you could actually do to your body.
So what can be done? Of course it would be nice to think that therapy like hypnosis has all the answers, but I am here to tell you that if that is the claim then it is simply untrue. Merely suggesting that a person can think differently about smoking is only part of the solution. Through my experience as a therapist, I have become increasingly more aware that strong addictions underpinned by chemical influences as well as strong patterns need an array of techniques to break down the addiction. In some sense the behaviour of smoking must be seen as a layered addiction, which requires not only psychological disassociation from the pattern but also the ability to not fight the behaviour but instead make the choice to release the patterns of feeling which compel the person to smoke in the first place. In my experience the most powerful changes are sustained once the person is in a position where it is as ok to smoke, as it is not to. I know this may sound contradictory, but try to visualize a tug of war, which ultimately leads to a stale mate. Then see a situation when both sides are holding onto a rope, but instead of resisting either side has the choice to win with just a slight pull one way or the other. Once the fight is taken away then the habit can literally fall away because the patterns of feeling, which led to the behaviour are no longer present.
At Cumbria Hypnosis, we believe that our approach is unique and uses the most cutting edge strategies for permanently letting go of tobacco and smoking. At our stop smoking clinic, we use a triad of psychological techniques, including SCRT and NLP as well as exclusive emotion release strategies to help the smoker effectively outgrow their habit. Sustainable change requires a real shift from within to really address the problem, and with our system we show you how to empower yourself to do just that. If you would like to find out more then simply Click Here and make your request for a completely free phone consultation or call 0797 4319510 directly to discuss how you can outgrow your need to smoke starting today.
Wishing you the very best,
David Faratian (NLP Practitioner and Clinical Hypnotherapist) BA(Hons) Dchp AEPT