It takes a highly motivated person to look towards acupuncture to quit smoking. The reasons to quit smoking vary. There are those who may have developed signs and symptoms from smoking, such as shortness of breath, chronic cough or increased frequency of colds and other chronic illness. You might not be experiencing negative health effects yet, but want to prevent possible future effects from smoking. Some decide to stop smoking when a loved one develops a smoking-related illness such as emphysema or lung cancer.
Nicotine addiction is more severe than with cocaine, marijuana and alcohol addictions. Smokers who go without a cigarette will often have strong physical and psychological reactions to nicotine deprivation, some of which can be treated with acupuncture. These include:
Increase in craving and appetite
What does the treatment involve?
The acupuncture program for smoking cessation at the AcuHealth center consists of five visits. Before your first appointment, you are sent a detailed questionnaire that gathers information about your history and health background. The form helps us to identify the behaviors, habits and triggers that lead to smoking.
At the first appointment, your questionnaire is reviewed and discussed, and a physical exam including blood pressure, lung exam, and techniques from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) such as pulse palpation and tongue observation are performed. Every patient's acupuncture treatment is tailor-made and designed especially for you. You will learn to identify your triggers for smoking and how to avoid them. Acupuncture can reduce the cravings and lessen the withdrawal symptoms associated with your efforts to quit smoking. The five acupuncture treatments for the quit smoking program are spaced out over three to four weeks, usually two treatments the first week, and then one treatment a week thereafter. The treatments focus on any physical or emotional withdrawal symptoms that may arise.
What are the "magic" stop smoking points?
There are no "magic" acupuncture points for smoking cessation. You are custom-treated according to your specific and unique diagnosis. Usually a combination of body acupuncture points and points on the ear are used. After the needles are inserted, you will relax for about 30 minutes.
What should I do between sessions?
Often you are prescribed herbs or supplements to control cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Exercise is encouraged and dietary recommendations are given (foods to avoid and foods to be included during the withdrawal phase). Sometimes small metal balls called "ear seeds" are taped onto specific points on the ear to reduce cravings.