Smoking Cessation

Quit Smoking with Acupuncture

Acupuncture is useful in treating the full range of addictions and addictive behavior. It works to adjust cravings by balancing your body’s brain chemistry. One of the most common addiction-related uses for acupuncture is to help people quit smoking. And acupuncture is also useful to help heal the damage caused by smoking.

Nicotine addiction is more severe than with cocaine, marijuana and alcohol addictions. Smokers who go without a cigarette will often have strong physical and psychological reactions to nicotine deprivation, some of which can be treated with acupuncture. These include anxiety, irritability, restlessness, nervousness, difficulty concentrating, poor sleep, increase in craving and appetite, headaches and fatigue. Acupuncture which may be employed alone or along with either hypnosis or nicotine supplementation is safe and often effective.

At the first appointment, your questionnaire is reviewed and discussed, and methods from traditional Chinese medicine such as taking the pulse and observing the tongue are employed. The purpose of this interview is to determine the Chinese medical diagnosis for you and the individualized treatment you will receive. Taking into account each person’s unique smoking habits and physical and emotional make-up, every patient’s acupuncture treatment is tailor-made and designed for him or her. No two people are treated exactly the same.

Since the first month of quitting is probably the most difficult, the acupuncture sessions can ease you through this time. The Follow-Up acupuncture treatments for your quit smoking program are spaced out over three to four weeks, usually two treatments the first week, and then based on your individual needs. The treatments focus on any physical or emotional withdrawal symptoms that may arise, and also aid in relaxation.

Often you are also prescribed herbs to control cravings or withdrawal symptoms. Exercise is encouraged and dietary recommendations are given as well.

Auricular acupuncture is often used in the treatment of addictions. Sometimes a small auricular seed is tacked onto a specific point on the ear to reduce cravings. Acupuncturists usually use a combination of body acupuncture points and points on the ear are used.

 Study Results for Acupuncture and Smoking Cessation

Acupuncture was found to significantly reduce the desire to smoke in a study conducted at the University of Oslo, Norway. This study confirms that adequate acupuncture treatment may help motivated smokers to reduce their smoking, or even quit smoking completely, and the effect may last for at least 5 years. Acupuncture may affect the subjects’ smoking by reducing their taste of tobacco and their desire to smoke.

And it has been demonstrated by medical research that acupuncture is useful for smoking cessation by stimulating the secretion of numerous chemical substances, such as endorphins and neurotransmitters, in the brain.

Researchers found that some studies showed that smokers subjected to acupuncture were more than three times as likely to be tobacco-free six months to a year later. Scientists also find acupuncture to be “as effective for smoking cessation as behavior therapy”.

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