Acupuncture is a popular, well researched method to help smoking cessation. It is very effective because of its ability to reduce cravings and alleviate withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, stress and difficulty concentrating. Acupuncture also helps the body detoxify and repair after quitting smoking.
Why Should You Quit Smoking?
There are approximately 4000 documented toxins contained in cigarettes including 43 known cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds. These include nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide, as well as formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic and DDT. According to the CDC, tobacco is the cause of 443,000 premature deaths each year, and is associated with lung cancer, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, and increased frequency of colds and flu.
How Acupuncture Helps Smoking Cessation
Acupuncture helps release endorphins, enkephalins, epinephrine, norepinephrine,serotonin, and dopamine in the central nervous system. Endorphins provide a sense of well-being and can reduce the negative feelings associated with the withdrawal symptoms of quitting smoking.
Acupuncture can also lower your stress level which reduces the urge to smoke, to assist you to quit smoking naturally. Overall, acupuncture minimizes withdrawal symptoms and aims to balance the energy in the body to optimize health.
During acupuncture treatment your Acupuncturist will conduct an interview to learn about your unique smoking habits, and perform a physical examination including taking the pulse and observing the tongue. Your practitioner will design a treatment plan specifically targeting your symptoms.
Acupuncture works by superficially inserting hair-thin needles into highly specific locations of the ears and other parts of the body. This stimulates blood flow, thereby increasing your oxygen intake and helps to eliminate toxins from your body.
How Long and How Many Treatments Do You Need?
The length, number and frequency of treatments varies. Typical treatments last around 45 minutes to one hour, once or twice a week. Some symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic symptoms often require multiple treatments.
A smoking cessation program often consists of 4-6 initial treatments over a few weeks followed by monthly treatments for three to six months. This depends on how intense a patient’s cravings are and your level of response to the treatments.
What Lifestyle Adjustments Can You Make?
- Exercise can reduce your stress and help you relax.
- Get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to neutralize and rid the blood of nicotinic acid. It can reduce cravings.
- Reduce junk food, sugar and coffee. They can upset blood sugar levels and increase acidity which can aggravate smoking withdrawal symptoms.
- Green Tea can be sipped daily to keep tissues flooded with elements that discourage nicotine cravings.
- Drink water frequently throughout the day. Research shows that dryness aggravates cravings.
- Practice deep breathing to increase body oxygen and to keep calm.