For example, if you find that you crave a cigarette when you go to the pub then consider not going to the pub for a period. If you crave a cigarette immediately after eating a meal then think of something else which will help distract you from this craving. 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.
How Does Acupuncture Help?
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 cravings, irritability and restlessness; all symptoms that people commonly complain about when they quit. It also aids in relaxation and detoxification.
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. But, acupuncture is effective in making it easier to quit and remain smoke-free for good.
Are There Herbs To Help?
Often you are prescribed herbs or supplements to control cravings or withdrawal symptoms. The Herbal Medicine is to help the system cleasing, detoxing and balansing. There are three areas to address for herbal support; dryness and tissue repair, irritability and cravings. A Lung Yin Tonic such as Mai Men Dong Tang is often used to moisten the lungs and mouth which can prevent cravings and repair tissue damage caused by smoking. A Chinese herbal formula to calm the spirit may be used for irritability. Chai Hu Long Gu Mu Li Tang can help relieve irritability and anxiety associated with detox. Many people use this formula to help them through stressful situations and prevent relapses. Ban Bian Lian or Green Tea can be sipped daily during the detox period to keep tissues flooded with elements that discourage nicotine cravings. NOTE: The improper use of Chinese Herbs can be dangerous. Please consult with a registered acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine practitioners before taking any herbal products.
What Changes Should You Make?
- 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.
- 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.
- Avoid junk food, sugar and coffee. They can upset blood sugar levels and increase blood acidity which can aggravate smoking withdrawal symptoms.
- Green Tea can be sipped 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.
- Drink water. Research shows that dryness causes cravings. Sip water frequently throughout the day.
- Practice deep breathing exercises to increase body oxygen and keep calm.
- Schedule your acupuncture treatment!