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Giants’ Bruce Bochy uses hypnotist to quit chewing tobacco

08.08.11 at 9:36 pm ET
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Given the numerous health risks associated with chewing tobacco — or “dip” — it’s no surprise users would seek even outlandish treatments to help quit using. Just ask Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who is the third member of the Giants to use hypnotherapy to kick the habit, Associated Press baseball writer Janice McCauley wrote Monday.

Bochy saw hypnotherapist AlVera Paxson on April 15 and hasn’t dipped since. Bullpen catcher Bill Hayes has been clean since Jan. 26. Equipment manager Mike Murphy hasn’t dipped in over two years.

“I’m a believer,”  Murphy said.

Bochy said that while he hasn’t dipped since one $300 session with Paxson — less than Bochy said he would have spent on dip by this point in the season — the urge has not gone away.

“It was really strange,” Bochy said. “There are so many triggers that you have that make you want to put a dip in.” Bochy also said that despite the urge, made worse by the stress of the Giants being defending World Series champions, he hasn’t broken down yet.

Paxson said her system is strong enough that she doesn’t think Bochy will backslide.

“People were not born chewing tobacco,” she said in a telephone interview from Arizona. “Your mind knows how to not do something more than you know how to do something.”

Not all members of the Giants have bought into hypnotherapy: Bench coach Ron Wotus mocks the system, and reliever Jeremy Affeldt said he doesn’t trust it enough to try it himself.

“I’d like to keep control of my own thoughts,” Affeldt said.

WebMD lists oral cancer and gum disease as diseases that can result from using chewing tobacco. Because chewing tobacco’s nicotine levels are just as high as they are in cigarettes, it is also highly addictive.

Read More: Bill Hayes, Bruce Bochy, Jeremy Affeldt, Mike Murphy