Smoking is a habit that is very easy to pick up but not that simple to quit even though it can cause serious health problems including death. A person who tries to quit smoking will first need a strong desire to quit and, second a lot of support from loved ones. In one sense, the smoker will need strong tools to overcome both physical and psychological symptoms during this process.
Nicotine patches and gum are the most popular solutions used by those who want to quit smoking, however the side effects can be very strong and the odds of quitting the treatment are very high. More and more people are seeking acupuncture, a Traditional Chinese Medicine practice that uses needles to put pressure on certain areas of the body in order to balance the energy flowing through our body.
Although it may sound a bit unrealistic considering that no medicine is necessary, acupuncture is actually very effective not only to stop smoking, but also to treat a variety of medical conditions. The main reasons why this type of treatment is recommended is the absence of side effects and the ability to reestablish an overall feeling of mental relaxation, and reduce the cravings, irritability, and restlessness associated with nicotine withdrawal.
If you are trying quit this habit you should know that there are several treatment protocols used by acupuncturists to ease the symptoms associated with quitting smoking. These protocols are often treatments aimed at auricular acupuncture. Why the ear? In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the ear is considered a microsystem helpful in treating medical conditions concerning the whole body thanks to the abundance of microcells that contain precious information about our organs.
Returning to the treatment protocols, the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association auricular protocol is used by practitioners all over the world to treat addictions while helping with the physical and psychological symptoms involved in the process. Generally, this protocol has a fixed nature which allows non-acupuncturist doctors to practice perform treatment. Depending on the setting and the status of the patient, the length of the treatment can vary and the needles must stay in place between 25 and 60 minutes.
Overall, the treatment involves five points in the ear area:
- Lung 2 will help the lungs, which are severely affected by smoking.
- Shen Men is a pressure point that helps alleviate anxiety, stress, and excessive sensitivity.
- Autonomic Point will balance the nervous system while improving blood circulation.
- Liver points will reduce the prospect evolution of hepatitis and cirrhosis.
- Kidney is a pressure point useful in alleviating kidney disorders and urination issues.
Another treatment protocol used by practitioners is the American College of Addictionology and Compulsive Disorders (ACACD) protocol which also targets the ear. Compared with the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association auricular protocol, the ACACD calls for three different points in addition to Shen Men, Autonomic Point and C. Kidney:
- Point Zero offers a general homeostatic balance.
- Brain is a pressure point very useful for addictions and the re-establishment of sleep.
- Limbic System gives mental relaxation by fighting aggressive and compulsive behaviors.
Besides the auricular protocols, there is another specific point used by practitioners when a patient wants to quit smoking. This point is called Tim Mee and is directly related to smoking addiction. The location of Tim Mee is one finger width above the wrist crease on the inner side of the arm.
These are only a few treatment protocols, and focus primarily on auricular acupuncture, however, depending on the practitioner, the process can personalized according to the patient’s symptoms. In order to be sure that the treatment will generate results, it is best to choose a doctor who has some experience with acupuncture for smoking addiction.
Moreover, according to patients who managed to quit the habit for good, acupuncture had the best results when combined with hypnotherapy and herbal supplements. If hypnotherapy sounds a little bit scary to you, yoga is a very good alternative. In this case, you can order the Sciatica Pain Resource Guide written by Michael James. Even though this book is related to sciatica pain, when ordering the product you will receive four bonus book for free and two of those books contain valuable information on acupuncture and yoga.
In a study called “Alternative Smoking Cessation Aids: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials,” researchers gathered data from 14 existing studies to find out what techniques were effective with regards to smoking cessation. The results showed that both acupuncture and hypnotherapy are very productive and deliver positive outcomes in the process of quitting smoking.
Despite the great number of positive results, acupuncture isn’t among the first options recommended by doctors when a person decides to quit smoking, which indicates that further research in the area may be needed.
Acupuncture has been proven to be effective for many health conditions including those related to substance abuse and addictions. If you want to give up smoking you should definitely try acupuncture no matter how many scientific studies exist.
However, before you begin treatment, remember that the process of quitting is very demanding, and if you are not strongly determined to succeed no treatment will help you quit.
Moreover, a large number of acupuncturists will advise you to attend the first session only after you managed to stay away of nicotine for at least 24 hours. They say that this will prove to them that you have the minimum will to quit, otherwise the chances of the treatment being effective are close to zero.
You will also need strong support from your closest friends and relatives so try to involve them as much as possible and avoid isolation for the best results while you try to stay away from temptations.