Smoking addiction or dependence is an addiction to tobacco products caused by the drug nicotine. Nicotine dependence simply means you can not stop using the drug, even though it’s causing you harm.
Nicotine produces physical and mood-altering effects that are temporarily pleasing. These effects are, however, short-lived; they will be depleted as soon as the drug’s effects wear off. Once the effect does wear off, withdrawal symptoms remain which may include irritability and anxiety.
Whilst nicotine causes addiction, the toxic effects of smoking result from other substances in tobacco. Smokers have much higher rates of heart disease, stroke and cancer than nonsmokers do.
Regardless of how long you’ve smoked, stopping smoking can significantly improve overall health.
There are many effective treatment options for quitting smoking.
How to quit smoking?
With the right plan and support, any smoker can kick the addiction—even if you’ve tried and failed multiple times before.
You are not alone if you have tried to quit smoking many times and failed. Many smokers require multiple attempts before being able to maintain stable independence from smoking without withdrawal symptoms.
You are more likely to be successful in quitting if you follow a treatment plan that addresses both the physical and behavioural aspects of addiction.
Our practitioners are experienced in guiding persons wanting to quit smoking both with treatments of Acupuncture/associated techniques and lifestyle advice to comprehensively deal with addiction.
How long does it take to quit smoking?
For some people, it is a matter of simply deciding ‘I am quitting…NOW!’ and then stopping cold-turkey so to say; they are either an irregular smoker or otherwise smoke minimally and have little withdrawal symptoms.
Others experience moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms and may either need to cut down on smoking frequency progressively and/or need assistance with withdrawal symptoms.
Regardless of the approach to quitting smoking, from the time that you stop taking nicotine (the addictive drug), there will be a period of 6 weeks where you will still be physiologically addicted to nicotine.
During and after this time, there is also a behavioural/psychological addiction that needs to be addressed. This is where many quitters come undone as a result of a lack of planning.
Does Acupuncture work for Quitting Smoking?
According to scientific research: Yes, there is moderate evidence supporting the effectiveness of Acupuncture for quitting smoking in the first 3 months1.
There are varying levels of evidence for other substances and individual circumstances as always should be evaluated by a qualified health professional.
Acupuncture is regularly performed for quitting smoking and other addictions with great results.
Where do the needles go for quitting smoking?
A general session would include acupuncture needles applied to the arms, legs and scalp and application of minute ear seeds in one ear that are to be left there for several days and stimulated yourself.
Acupuncture is quite powerful; you will feel the effects almost instantly.
Ear acupuncture is designed to continue the effects of acupuncture in minimizing withdrawal symptoms.
Stimulating ear-seeds in the ear is a powerful replacement for digital hand patterns for some smokers and highly effective.
The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association2 supports an entire protocol around the use of points only on the ear for suppression of withdrawal symptoms.
Why Acupuncture for Quitting Smoking?
- Acupuncture is a natural way to help reduce withdrawal symptoms.
- Many people prefer acupuncture to drugs simply because they cannot tolerate the side effects of prescription medications
- It is very common to notice side benefits from acupuncture such as improved sleep, mood, energy levels.
How does Acupuncture help with Quitting Smoking?
When it comes to quitting smoking, Acupuncture stimulates:
- the central nervous system to suppress the need for cigarettes
- production of powerful regulating, calming and pain-relieving substances such as endorphins in the brain that far outweigh the sensations of nicotine.
- Digital hand fidgeting solution through stimulating ear seeds which reduce withdrawal symptoms such as irritability/restlessness.
How often can Acupuncture be used for Quitting Smoking?
This depends on the individual; some only require a one-off treatment.
Others need ongoing twice-weekly treatment for the first 6 weeks of ceasing nicotine entirely (physiological addiction phase).
How many sessions depends upon multiple factors including self-discipline, current nicotine dosage, addiction level, other medical issues and social or other habit patterns.
Like mentioned above, if you are serious about quitting, acupuncture is a great choice. The cost is not a world ender and you will save money (and possibly your health) in the long run even if you need a significant course of treatment.
Are you ready?
At the end of the day, however you choose to find help, it is all worthwhile because quitting smoking is the single most healthy change you can make for your overall well-being.
Do you want to quit smoking?
- McDonald J, Janz S. The Acupuncture Evidence Project: A Comparative Literature Review (Revised edition). Brisbane: Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association Ltd; 2017. http://www.acupuncture.org.au.
- National Acupuncture Detoxification Association http://www.acudetox.com/