More than 50 million Americans smoke. The numbers are even higher in other parts of the globe, with worldwide statistics showing that one out of three people over the age of 18 are smokers.
The reasons to quit smoking are endless. Cigarettes have 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds and 400 other toxins. These include nicotine, tar and carbon monoxide, as well as formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic and DDT. According to the CDC, tobacco is the cause of 443,000 premature deaths each year, and is associated with emphysema, lung cancer, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, chronic cough and an increase in frequency of colds and flu.
Stopping an addictive behavior is never an easy task. It can be scary because it involves change and change often times makes us uneasy. Utilizing acupuncture as a part of a smoking cessation plan is widely recognized in the United States and abroad. Acupuncture helps to break the addictive behavior by balancing the brain chemistry which; in turn alleviates cravings as well as that edgy feeling that often accompanies quitting. Along with acupuncture, patients are also encouraged to work on breaking the habit of smoking, by disassociating with common triggers such as coffee, alcohol, sugar and social situations that would lend one to want to smoke. Acupuncture and whole-food supplements are then used to heal damage caused by smoking over the years and restoring overall health and balance.
For those having concerns about needle therapy an alternative would be seed therapy. Seed therapy is a noninvasive form of acupressure whereby acupuncture points are stimulated by seeds stuck to adhesive. This is just as effective as needle therapy but does not require as much time face to face with a practitioner as the patient is sent home with instructions to stimulate the treated points throughout the day allowing for additional treatment benefits.
Initially patients are scheduled to come twice weekly for two weeks with follow up sessions recommended biweekly or monthly for overall health benefit and support. Regular acupuncture visits are important to help patients manage uncomfortable feelings they may experience while attempting to quit smoking, like anxiety, frustration, tension as well as other types of cravings.