For those who are truly motivated to quit smoking, Acupuncture and Herbs can be invaluable in the effort to stop smoking.
Many smokers who have made the choice to quit need support in their efforts to stop smoking. They already know that smoking is habit-forming, expensive and can result in serious illnesses, but the mere desire to stop isn’t enough to kick the addiction.
- reducing cravings
- lessening withdrawal symptoms
- calming the body
- clearing the lungs
- calming and re-energizing the liver
- re-patterning addictive behaviors in the nervous system
You’ll receive the added emotional support of being able to speak with me and check in about the quitting process at each session. I recommended that a patient receive acupuncture treatment six times within the first three weeks of quitting, which can be a trying and intense period.
One of the most effective aspects of Chinese medicine is that each patient is given an individual diagnosis and unique treatment regimen to suit his or her needs. Smoking can affects each smoker’s body differently. With Chinese medical treatment, each patient’s health needs are individually addressed, resulting in the most effective treatment plan possible.
To understand how acupuncture aids smoking cessation, it’s helpful to understand a Chinese medical perspective. In Chinese medicine, qi, or energy, flows freely in the body creating balance throughout the body’s systems. Qi imbalances, or energy stagnation, result in a lack of wellbeing, and ultimately poor health.
In Chinese medicine, when a smoker inhales, “heat energy” moves into the body—especially into the lungs. This heat may initially move stagnant energy in the body, resulting in a temporary feeling of wellbeing or relaxation. These feelings, however are short-lived. Because the initial pleasure effects of a cigarette wear off, the smoker may feel the need to smoke more cigarettes to regain their sense of wellbeing—resulting in addictive behavior. Meanwhile, smoking begins breaking down the body’s health. The liver becomes stressed as it attempts to detoxify blood of cigarette poisons. Too much heat from cigarettes also destroys the balance of yin (fluids) in the lungs, resulting in an even greater qi imbalance than the smoker may have had in the first place. Ultimately, the smoker is caught in a cycle of addictive smoking, and declining health.
When a smoker decides to quit smoking, acupuncture and Chinese medicine can support their resolve. Acupuncture needling increases endorphins thereby reducing anxiety and stress during the detoxification period. With less anxiety, the smoker is less-likely to want to return to their addictive behavior. Acupuncture may also change the smoker’s experience of smoking, altering the taste and feelings associated with having a cigarette; the experience of smoking becomes less pleasurable and appealing. In a journal article published by Preventive Medicine, one study even proved that acupuncture lowered the blood levels of harmful chemicals associated with smoking. Herbs, which can be prescribed in addition to acupuncture, can also control nicotine cravings.