Essence & Qi Blog
Quit Smoking with Acupuncture
By Diane Joswick, L.Ac./www.Acufinder.com
Each year, people across the globe 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. It is hard because nicotine is a powerful addiction. For some people, it can be as addictive as heroin or cocaine.
Acupuncture as an alternative approach to smoking cessation has a growing number of converts. In fact, acupuncture is often a court mandated treatment for drug addicts because of its ability to curb withdrawal symptoms and manage cravings.
It is estimated that most smokers will attempt to quit 2 or 3 times, or more, before finally kicking the habit. When conventional methods to quit smoking, such as nicotine gum or patches, have failed, smokers often look outside the mainstream and turn to alternative medicine.
Acupuncture is not a panacea or a magic cure in the treatment of any addiction, including smoking. But, acupuncture 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!
A Formidable Addiction
The reasons to quit smoking are endless. Cigarettes have 4000 known poisons, any of which can kill in high enough doses. 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. Not to mention the chronic illnesses and diseases that are associated with smoking. Emphysema, lung cancer, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, chronic cough, an increased frequency of colds and flu; these are just a few of the widely known risks associated with smoking.
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. I am sure that most smokers can recall a dirty look or rude comment from someone that was nearby when they lit up.
How Does Acupuncture Help Break the Cigarette Habit?
Oriental Medicine aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, Chinese herbs, bodywork, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body.
Your acupuncturist may do an interview to learn about your unique smoking habits and perform a physical examination including blood pressure, taking the pulse and observing the tongue. The emotional and physical symptoms that you are experiencing will help create a clear picture on which your practitioners can create a treatment plan specifically for you.
The acupuncture 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.
Are There Herbs To Help Me Quit Smoking?
* A Lung Yin Tonic such as Ophiopogonis Combination (Mai Men Dong Tang) is often used to moisten the lungs and mouth which can prevent cravings and repair tissue damage caused by smoking.
NOTE: The improper use of Chinese Herbs can be dangerous. Please consult with a licensed acupuncturist and herbologist before taking any herbal products.
What Lifestyle and Dietary Changes Should I Make?
* Get plenty of fresh fruit and vegetable juices and miso soup to neutralize and clear the blood of nicotinic acid and to fortify blood sugar.
How Many Treatments Will I Need and How Long Do they Take?
A stop smoking program will often consist of 4-6 initial treatments scheduled in the first few weeks followed by monthly treatments for four to six months.
Find an acupuncture provider to help you quit smoking on www.Acufinder.com