It's high time that I address one of the questions that I get the most: Can acupuncture help me stop smoking? Rather than giving a simple "yes" or "no," I've chosen to answer this question by explaining the process, shedding light on how acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help you kick the habit.
Oriental Medicine is a simple, practical approach to helping you give up cigarettes, alcohol, or other addictive substances. Consider this: if you sought the help of an acupuncturist because you were having digestive issues and your practitioner suggested that you make dietary changes in order to assist in the healing process, chances are that you would do your best to make these changes. Smoking cessation is no different. If one makes a strong effort to quit, then, with the assistance of Oriental Medicine, your chances are good. Your desire to quit must be unwavering.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help with smoking cessation by calming jitters, cravings, irritability and restlessness, and by alleviating coughing, shortness of breath, and more. Each patient is treated according to their unique patterns of disharmony and relationships with the habit. Some people only smoke socially; some when they're hungry or after meals; others smoke when they're stressed, or perhaps in the evening with a cocktail. Through the specific diagnostic and treatment methods of Oriental Medicine, the underlying mechanisms behind each patient's habits and symptoms are addressed.
Smoking is a stimulant for some, and a relaxant for others. It just so happens that acupuncture can have the same effects on the body, providing both increased levels of energy and relaxation, but in a healthy and side-effect-free way compared to cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol. Western medications to help with smoking cessation, such as nicotine patches, antidepressants, electronic cigarettes, and drugs like Chantix®, are often fraught with unwanted side-effects such as nausea and vomiting, dizziness, nervousness, chest pain, memory loss, seizures, depression, weight gain, and more. Not only is acupuncture much safer to use, it also provides a whole host of side benefits like improved quality of sleep, reduction in pain, smoother digestion, etc. Wouldn't you rather spend your hard-earned money on something that is good for you?
It's very important to note that the more frequently you are able to come for acupuncture, and the more consistently you take your herbs, the sooner the benefits can be seen. If you smoke or drink daily, regularly throughout the day, and yet only receive acupuncture treatment once per week or less, your chances of quitting are not as good as someone who is actively working to cut back the amount they smoke or drink and is receiving treatment much more often.
The following is a list of positive changes that your body goes through when you quit smoking:
In addition to utilizing acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, here are some more tips for making quitting easier:
For more information about this topic, please contact Great Nature Oriental Medicine at (618) 694-5189.
This page is intended to serve as a source for links to blogs and articles about acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine that both new and returning patients may find informative and/or entertaining. It is also where I will share information about the history, principles, and benefits of this awesome medicine.