It’s that time of year when people set goals (or resolutions) for themselves. We vow to go to the gym, eat healthier food, lower our sugar intake . . . or quit smoking. Achieving any of these goals can be a challenge. Acupuncture therapist Diane Joswick notes that:
Among current U.S. adult smokers, 70% report that they want to quit smoking and millions try to quit every year. If you have attempted to quit smoking, you know how difficult it can be. Nicotine is a powerful addiction. In fact, research suggests that nicotine is as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol. It is estimated that most smokers will attempt to quit two or three times, or more, before finally kicking the habit.
But guess what – acupuncture is one way to help you meet your objectives.
Six studies have been conducted in the past decade to determine whether or not acupuncture can help people stop smoking cigarettes. One study, published by the National Institutes of Health, found that acupuncture changed the taste of cigarettes and decreased the participants’ desire to smoke. The study also revealed that when the researchers followed up with participants five years after the initial eight-month study, the patients were maintaining their goals of not smoking.
How does acupuncture help you give up smoking?
Acupuncture treatments can help you control cravings and mood swings, common symptoms that people may experience when they quit smoking. Acupuncture can also help you relax and detoxify your body. During treatment acupuncture needles are inserted into various points in the ears and body. When your treatment session is finished, the therapist can apply small seeds to the acupuncture points on your ear. These can help you control cravings. When you get an urge to smoke, lightly press the seeds to calm your mind, control your emotions, and stop the cravings. You can also be pro-active during the day and press on your seeds even when you are not having a craving.
Herbs can compliment acupuncture.
Did you know that licorice can help subside your craving for tobacco? Don’t worry. I’m not talking about Red Vines. Chewing on pure licorice root can help placate your oral fixation, and it also helps to ease your cravings. Please be aware that you should not use Herbal formulas containing licorice should never be taken if you have high blood pressure or are on blood thinners, because licorice can effect your heart rate. (Click here for more information.)
There is an herbal formula by Golden Flower Herbs called Bupleurum D which is also good for any kind of smoking or drug withdrawal. This formula is contraindicated if you are pregnant or nursing, and may be contraindicated if it is taken concurrent with certain medications.
Be your own best ally.
Although acupuncture can help control cravings, it cannot change habits. Think about it. Most smokers have a routine: pack the new pack before opening the package; flip your lucky and stick it in the corner; use it as an excuse to get away from your desk and go outside . . . Smokers have a sense of community, especially now that smokers are viewed as outcasts. This doesn’t mean that you can’t kick the habit. You can still take time to got outside, enjoy the fresh air and leave the chaos behind, if only for a few minutes. Press on your ear seeds if you need a little help. Be your own best ally.