Quit Smoking with Acupuncture
Every day, people around the world vow to finally quit smoking for good only to watch their resolution go up in smoke. If you have tried to quit smoking, you know how difficult it can be. Nicotine is a powerfully addictive drug. For some people, it can be as addictive as heroin or cocaine.
The reasons to quit smoking are endless. Cigarettes have 4000 known poisons. One drop of pure nicotinic acid can kill a man. According to the CDC, tobacco kills more than 440,000 people each year in the US alone. Smoking is also associated with an enormous list of the chronic illnesses and diseases including emphysema, lung cancer, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, chronic cough, an increased frequency of colds and flu.
Many people decide to quit because of the enormous expense of a cigarette habit or are just plain tired of being dependant on a substance. There is also considerable social pressure not to smoke and more and more places do not allow smoking.
Acupuncture is an alternative approach to smoking cessation. In fact, acupuncture is often a court-mandated treatment for drug addicts because of its ability to curb withdrawal symptoms and manage cravings.
It’s estimated that most smokers will attempt to quit several times before finally kicking the habit. Acupuncture is not a magic cure in the treatment of any addiction, including smoking, however, is effective in making it easier to quit and remain smoke-free. If you are highly motivated and ready to quit, acupuncture can empower you to take control and begin a healthy and smoke-free life!
How Does Acupuncture Help Break the Cigarette Habit?
Acupuncture intercepts messages sent by the brain to the body that demand more nicotine, thereby disrupting the addictive process. It can eliminate most cravings, but not the habit. A successful quit smoking with acupuncture program will include patient preparation, patient commitment, and education about how to replace the unhealthy habit of smoking with healthy habits.
Traditional Chinese Medicine aims to treat the specific symptoms and patterns of imbalance that are unique to each individual. Treatments will focus on the jitters, the cravings, the irritability, and the restlessness that people commonly complain about when they quit. It will also aid in relaxation and detoxification.
What Points Are Used?
Each patient is custom-treated according to his or her specific and unique diagnosis. Usually a combination of body acupuncture points and points on the ear are used that are believed to influence the organs and energetic pathways associated with smoking.
Common points to help you quit smoking with acupuncture include:
Ear points:-alleviates tension; increases will power; returns the body to homeostatic balance; relieves withdrawal symptoms; Diminishes appetite and cravings.
Body points: (on the wrist) a specific point to quit smoking; a combination of two points (one on the hand & one on the foot) used to circulate energy throughout the body and calm the nervous system.
After removing the needles, ‘ear seeds’ (affixed to a small beige tape) are often applied to the ear to stimulate the points between treatments and reduce cravings.
How Many Treatments Will I Need and How Long Do they Take?
The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary. Typical treatments last approximately sixty minutes, with the patient being treated two to three times on the first week and two more treatments the second week (5 initial treatments). I recommend a booster treatment once a month for the next four to six months. Some symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.
A quit smoking with acupuncture program will often consist of 4-6 initial treatments scheduled in the first few weeks followed by monthly treatments for four to six months.
Note that herbs and/or supplements may also be recommended to help the lungs recover and support the whole body.
Also, check out my tips for creating a quit smoking plan.