Quit Smoking with Acupuncture
Each year, people across the globe vow to finally quit smoking for good only to watch their resolution go up in smoke. If you have tried to quit smoking, you know how difficult it can be. It is hard because nicotine is a powerful addiction. For some people, it can be as addictive as heroin or cocaine.
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 curb withdrawal symptoms and manage craving.
It is estimated that most smokers will attempt to quit 2 or 3 times, or more, before finally kicking the habit. When conventional methods to quit smoking, such as nicotine gum or patches, have failed, smokers often look outside the mainstream and turn to alternative medicine.
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. If you are highly motivated and begin a healthy and smoke-free life!
A Formidable Addiction
The reasons to quit smoking are endless. Cigarettes have 4000 known poisons, any of which can kill in high doses. One drop of pure nicotinic acid can kill a man. According to the CDC, tobacco kills more than 440,000 people each year, in the US alone. Not to mention the chronic illnesses and diseases that are associated with smoking. Emphysema, lung cancer, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, chronic cough, an increased frequency of colds and flu; these are just a few of the widely known risks associated with smoking.
Many people decide 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. I am sure that most smokers can recall a dirty look or rude comment from someone that was nearby when they lit up.
How Does Acupuncture Help Break the Cigarette Habit?
Acupuncture has turned a growing number of cigarette cravers into permanent ex-smokers. As said before, acupuncture is not a panacea or a magic cure in the treatment of smoking. It can, however, reduce the cravings and lessen the withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting.
Oriental Medicine aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual using a variety of techniques such as acupuncture, Chinese herbs, body work, lifestyle/dietary recommendations and energetic exercises to restore imbalances found in the body.
Dr. Gerega may do an interview to learn about your unique smoking habits and perform a physical examination including blood pressure, taking the pulse and observing the tongue. The emotional and physical symptoms that you are experiencing will help create a clear picture on which treatment plan Dr. Gerega can create specifically for you.
The acupuncture treatment will focus on the jitters, the cravings, the irritability, and the restlessness that people commonly complain about when they quite. It will also aid in relaxation and detoxification.
What Lifestyle and Dietary Changes Should I Make?
Exercise is encouraged and dietary and supports are recommended to rid the body of toxins and avoid relapses:
· Get plenty of fresh fruit and vegetable juices miso soups 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, chocolate, coffee and cooked spinach. 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 craving.
· Drink water - Research shows that dryness causes cravings. Sip water frequently throughout the day
· Deep Breathing Exercises - to increase body oxygen.
How Many Treatments Will I Need and How Long Do they Take?
The length, number and frequency of treatment will vary. Typical treatments last from five to 30 minutes, with the patient being treated one or two times a week. Some symptoms are relieved after first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.
A stop smoking program will often consist of 4-6 initial treatments scheduled in the first few weeks followed by monthly treatment for four to six months.