Acupuncture Therapy for Smoking Cessation

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Does Acupuncture Work for Smoking Cessation?

Yes, acupuncture is successful with smoking cessation and has turned a growing number of cigarette smokers into permanent ex-smokers. Treatments take all of your symptoms into account and aim at balancing the energy within the body to optimize health.

The acupuncture treatments focus on jitters, cravings, irritability and restlessness—all symptoms that people commonly report when they quit. It also aids in relaxation and detoxification.

In one study conducted at the University of Oslo, Norway, acupuncture was found to significantly reduce the desire to smoke up to five years after the initial treatment. Subjects of the study also reported that cigarettes tasted worse than before treatment and that the treatments had effectively reduced their taste for tobacco.

The acupuncture needles used are hair-thin. They are superficially inserted into various points in the ears and body to assist with smoking cessation. In between treatments, small pellets are often taped to the acupuncture points on the ear. When a cigarette craving hits, gently pressing on the pellets stimulates the acupuncture points to calm the mind and eliminate the craving.

Acupuncture is not a panacea or a magic cure in the treatment of any addiction, including smoking. However, acupuncture is effective in making it easier to quit and remain smoke-free for good.

Stop Smoking with Acupuncture

Among current U.S. adult smokers, 70% report that they want to quit smoking and millions try to quit every year. If you have attempted to quit smoking, you know how difficult it can be. Nicotine is a powerful addiction. In fact, research suggests that nicotine is as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol.

It is estimated that most smokers will attempt to quit two or three times, or more, before finally kicking the habit. When conventional methods to quit smoking have failed, smokers often look outside mainstream approaches and turn to alternative medicine.

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 reduce cravings and alleviate withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety and difficulty concentrating.

Smoking: A Formidable Addiction

More than 50 million Americans smoke. The numbers are even higher in other parts of the globe, with worldwide statistics showing that one out of three people over the age of 18 are smokers.

The reasons to quit smoking are endless. Cigarettes have 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing compounds and 400 other toxins. 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 emphysema, lung cancer, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, chronic cough and an increase in frequency of colds and flu.

Many people want 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. Most smokers can recall a dirty look or rude comment from someone that was nearby when they lit up.

Seven Tips to Stop Smoking

  1. Exercise more. Getting moving is a great way to remind yourself why you shouldn't smoke. Exercise can reduce your stress and help you relax far better than cigarettes.
  2. Get plenty of fresh fruit and vegetable juices to neutralize and clear the blood of nicotinic acid and to fortify blood sugar. Carrots, Carrot juice, celery, leafy green salads and citrus fruits promote body alkalinity and decrease cravings.
  3. Avoid junk food, sugar and coffee. They can upset blood sugar levels and increase blood acidity which can aggravate smoking withdrawal symptoms.
  4. Sip lobelia tea or green tea daily during the detox period to keep tissues flooded with elements that discourage nicotine cravings. Lobelia is traditionally used to rid the body of a strong toxin such as a snake bite.
  5. Drink water. Research shows that dryness causes cravings. Sip water frequently throughout the day.
  6. Practice deep breathing exercises to increase body oxygen and keep calm.
  7. Schedule your acupuncture treatment! Call us at 816-444-0204 for a personalized consultation.

How Many Acupuncture Treatments Will I Need and How Long Do they Take?

The length, number, and frequency of treatments will vary. Typical treatments last from 30 to 45 minutes, with the patient being treated two or three times a week. Some patients report reduced craving after the first treatment, but an effective smoking cessation program requires multiple treatments.

A stop-smoking program will often consist of 6 to 10 initial treatments scheduled in the first three weeks, followed by monthly treatments for 4 to 6 months. Your treatment plan may vary, depending on your smoking habit and your history of attempts to stop smoking.

What is Acupuncture?

acupuncture

Acupuncture is a 5000-year-old healing art that is considered by modern medicine to be a safe and natural practice with no side effects.

In acupuncture the body is seen as a grid of twelve dissecting energy channels which are called medians. These medians are believed to be active channels of energy along which flow the life force of Chi. It is believed that un-wellness is caused by interruptions in the flow of this vital energy.

The medicine of acupuncture uses very small needles (about the thickness of a human hair) which are injected into the skin in one or more specific sites throughout the body. The acupuncture practitioner will then gently stimulate the needles to open and harmonize the corresponding blocked energy median.

Acupuncture is safe and pain-free. We use only thinnest, single-use needles, and the insertion is very shallow—just under the skin. The acupuncturist will then leave the needles in place for several minutes, while you relax comfortably. The needles are then removed and discarded. Many patients report a sensation of feeling refreshed after an acupuncture session, which may be a result of improvement in the flow of Chi.

Acupuncture is not a one-time treatment—most conditions require several treatments for effective results. In addition, depending on the specific condition, a schedule of maintenance treatments may be recommended to cement the results.