Quit Smoking with Acupuncture
How can acupuncture help me quit smoking?
Acupuncture is one of the most successful techniques in Traditional Oriental Medicine as well as in modern medicine with proven efficacy in drug, alcohol and smoking cessation and detoxification programs. The reason why most people fail to quit smoking is difficulty coping with nicotine withdrawal following addiction. Withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant and painful, and may include cravings, fatigue, fever, headache, insomnia, muscle pain, nausea, sore throat, dry mouth, sweating, and tremors. You may also experience psychological and neurological symptoms of nicotine withdrawal such as anxiety, “brain fog”, depression, emotional volatility, irritability, and stress or tension.
Acupuncture is a natural, holistic treatment that addresses these unpleasant side effects so you can successfully break the cycle of addiction. It has been scientifically demonstrated by modern Western medical research that acupuncture stimulates the secretion of numerous chemical substances, such as endorphins and neurotransmitters, in the brain. This accounts for its ability to relieve chronic pain, which is the main medical condition for which Western medicine utilizes acupuncture today. The remarkable success of acupuncture for smoking cessation and detoxification programs stems from its integrated approach that brings both psychological and neuro-physiological benefits simultaneously.
Acupuncture cleanses toxins from your internal organs, relaxes muscles, and calms your mind. During your treatment, needles are placed at specific points to encourage the free flow of Qi (vital energy), promote blood circulation, and stimulate internal organs to function properly. Acupuncture also works with your brain chemistry to help eliminate addiction centers that form in the brain due to the habit-forming properties of nicotine.
Why should I try acupuncture instead of other smoking cessation therapies?
The reason why acupuncture is preferred over Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is because acupuncture is a safe, natural, drug-free, and often more affordable alternative. NRT products such as gums, patches, and prescription medications are not recommended because they often contain nicotine or other chemicals that mimic nicotine effects. As a result, NRT often produces the same negative side effects and addictive nature of cigarettes. Many people turn to acupuncture after NRT and other more traditional forms of smoking cessation have failed. Health-conscious individuals also prefer acupuncture because it is a natural, holistic therapy.
What should I do to prepare for my treatment?
Acupuncture is not a miracle. You have to be an active participant in your therapy. When making any important decision to change something in your life, a person goes through stages of change. The stages of change are:
- Pre-contemplation—-Not yet acknowledging that there is an addictive behavior that needs to be changed.
- Contemplation——Acknowledging that there is an addictive behavior but not yet quite ready or sure of wanting to proceed with a change.
- Preparation/Determination——Getting ready to change, further facilitated by a health care practitioner.
- Action/Willpower——Changing behavior through intervention…such as the acupuncture process.
- Maintenance——Maintaining the behavior change (exercise and fitness).
- Relapse Prevention——Relapse can occur when the willpower/motivation gives out and the modified behavior is abandoned. Relapse can be prevented through maintaining motivation and through an exercise and fitness routine.
To prepare for your visit, you should be sure you want to quit smoking. Most importantly, set a quit date and stick with it. Throw away all your cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters. Please make sure to talk with your friends, family, and roommates and ask for their support through this process.
What should I expect at my treatment?
At the office, your treatment will include a combination of our smoking cessation protocol with an anti-stress and anxiety protocol. During your treatment, needles will be placed in your hand, elbow, ears, chest, and scalp. Acupuncture is a relaxing therapy and patient comfort is emphasized during the entire treatment.
What should I expect after my treatment?
Most patients report a feeling of relaxation and mental calmness after a treatment. Some patients have reported decreased cigarette craving, while other patients have reported that cigarette smoke or taste is now offensive. Generally, there are no negative side effects to treatment. Within the first few days of quitting smoking, you may also experience the following side effects:
- Coughing——Nature’s way of purging toxins from your body.
- Tightness in Chest——As fresh air fills your lungs they may feel tighter. Over the course of four weeks and beyond, your lung function will improve and these symptoms will subside.
- Dry Mouth——Drink plenty of water to avoid dry mouth and aid in the detoxification process.
- Dizziness——This is due to increased oxygen and improved blood flow. These symptoms will decrease as your body readjusts.
What are some tips I can use at home?
Here are some recommendations to help you find the willpower and stick-to-itiveness to become a non-smoker:
- Always carry sugar-free mints, gum, or candy on you. We recommend having some available in places you are used to smoking, including your car, your home, and your work desk. We recommend sugar-free lollipops the most because it keeps your hands and mouth occupied.
- Find a hobby that keeps your hands busy—crossword puzzles, gardening, knitting, or even reading.
- When you find yourself in a stressful situation, take a moment and take five deep breaths. Breathe in through your mouth and out through your nose. The oxygen will circulate to your body and immediately calm you down.