If you live in the Bradenton, Sarasota or Lakewood Ranch area of Florida and you are interested in how acupuncture can help you quit smoking then it is not a coincidence you stumbled on this article. If you are reading this and you are a smoker then you are well on your way to becoming smoke-free and healthier by kicking this deadly habit using acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
Many people know that acupuncture treats pain, but most people do not know the profound effect acupuncture can have to help someone stop one of the most addictive habits around smoking. About 3 million people a year try to quit smoking, but unfortunately only half of them succeed. When one uses acupuncture there is a much greater chance of success!
If you are a smoker then you probably already know that the single most important thing you can do for your health is to quit smoking. There are so many diseases that we know are directly related to smoking, including cancer of the lungs, bladder, mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, uterus, and cervix. Not only does smoking cause these cancers in the body but it also increases ones risk of having a stroke by 30 percent and it also raises ones chances of developing emphysema.
Everyone knows nowadays that smoking is totally bad for you but even with this information quitting is extremely difficult. Just ask those who have tried to quit only to go back to smoking. It is seriously one of the hardest addictions out there to quit. The good news is that millions (yes, millions) of people have successfully quit using acupuncture.
Now I’m not going to say that this is easy by any means. The most important thing to have in place before trying acupuncture to quit smoking is the sheer, strong desire and willpower to stop smoking. If you are on the fence and not 100% committed to quitting it won’t be near as easy and you will most likely fall off the wagon. However, if you are sincerely ready to quit and you implement acupuncture along with this desire and choice to quit the odds are absolutely in your favor.
Some of the biggest barriers to quitting smoking are stress, anxiety and the depression that comes along with quitting. Many are unaware that acupuncture actually works on the body to eliminate these uncomfortable emotional side-effects associated with quitting and leaves one feeling relaxed and calm as it actually changes the body’s response to stress. This means that acupuncture changes your reaction to stress and things that normally would bother or irritate you don’t have as much power as they normally would. By releasing endorphins in the brain, which are hormones that produce a “happy” feeling, quitting smoking is not near the struggle that it would be because emotionally one is able to handle the withdrawal far easier than someone who were trying to quit cold turkey. Acupuncture also works on the central nervous system to calm the mind and relax the body leaving one feeling lighter.
So how exactly does acupuncture work to help one quit smoking? Well, specific acupuncture points in the ear and wrist are used to accomplish this. The point on the wrist is specifically used as a “stop smoking” point and the ear points are a protocol all on their own used to quit all sorts of addictions, not just smoking. Patients are given ear seeds when they leave their treatment to help with cravings. These seeds are actually little mustard seeds with tape on the back and they are placed on the different addiction points in the ear and when a craving arises, patients are instructed to press each seed and hold it for 30 seconds. Many times the craving subsides. Additional body points are used to calm the mind and help with any emotional side effects that come with quitting. There are also bonus benefits that come along with acupuncture. You may also notice an increase in energy and that you start sleeping much better. This is because acupuncture works to put the whole body back into balance.
So how many treatments will you need? I usually recommend a series of 10 treatments over the course of several weeks. The first couple of weeks you are coming in for treatment three days a week and then treatments are spread out to help with weaning from this habit. I also put my patients on an herbal formula which also helps with the emotional side-effects of quitting and have them drink a tea three times a day which helps eliminate cravings. Utilizing the herbs, tea, ear seeds and regular acupuncture, we hit the cravings from every angle to help kick that habit.
While getting acupuncture it’s important to do as much as you can on your own to facilitate the process. What can you do? Here are a few tips:
- Make sure you drink plenty of purified water to help the detox process.
- Eat a balanced, healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Refrain from eating sugar as this causes further sugar cravings and unwanted weight gain.
- Manage your cravings. Try and distract yourself because the cravings will fade within a few minutes. Go for a walk. Do something besides sit around and think about that cigarette. Before you know it the craving has passed.
- Avoid spending time with smokers until the temptation to smoke has gone. This is a very important one. It’s so much harder for people to quit if they hang around with others who are smoking.
- Most importantly, make up your mind you are quitting. Don’t tell yourself you will “try” to quit, tell yourself you “are” quitting! Your mind is extremely powerful and your thoughts and words become reality. Make the decision and decide to stick with it.
So if you are in Lakewood Ranch, Bradenton or Sarasota, Florida and you are looking to quit smoking then know that acupuncture and Chinese medicine can provide a safe, natural, drug-free and effective way to quit smoking. Quitting smoking yields outstanding benefits and using acupuncture to quit smoking can also restore your body to a healthy state of well-being by not only balancing the body physically but also emotionally.
Dr. Amanda Carter is a board-certified acupuncture physician and Doctor of Oriental Medicine. She is the owner of Lakewood Ranch Acupuncture and Wellness servicing Bradenton, Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch, Florida. For an appointment, please call (941)518-6237.