Floraine Eastelow

LicAc.BA(Hons) MBAcC



Smoking Cessation

With the new legislation imminent banning smoking from public places, it is a good time to start thinking about having acupuncture to help you quit. Each year thousands of people try with varying degrees of success to stop smoking with the help of nicotine gum, and/or counseling. However, this strong addiction can also be successfully overcome with the help of acupuncture treatment.

Acupuncture can help detoxify the body of nicotine. Modern science has confirmed that smokers develop higher levels of nicotine induced endorphins, and acupuncture stimulates the nervous system naturally to regulate the amount of endorphins in the body and help clear away nicotine build up. Unlike the patch, acupuncture actually rids the body of nicotine instead of adding more to it.

 

Acupuncture helps to eliminate the mental and physical symptoms of withdrawal. It is highly effective in calming and relaxing the mind, enhancing the ability to concentrate, minimizing anxiety and alleviating feelings of depression. In addition acupuncture can help suppress the appetite and diminish food cravings.

 

The number of treatments you will require, partly depends on how many years and how heavily you smoked. Generally speaking you will need between 6-10 treatments. Some people require more and some people require less. Treatment involves the insertion of fine sterile needles into specific acupuncture body and ear points. After treatment, 'invisible' press beads are taped to the ear and remain in place for a few days to maintain stimulation.

 

One of the possible contributions to smoking cessation is a change in the taste of smoke after one or two sessions of acupuncture. Many people come to realise that cigarettes taste like burning ash, and are more aware of how horrible they taste. They are unable to finish a whole length of a cigarette and completely loose the urge to smoke. Many people are willing to reduce their cigarette consumption by 50% after their first few sessions. In addition most people experience a sense of calm and relaxation; a reduction in cravings and appetite; clear-headedness; greater energy and find they can breath easier.

 

It is perfectly acceptable to have acupuncture in conjunction with counseling and nicotine agents. We all know that smoking is not just about physical addiction, but also your psychology around smoking. My own approach is to treat the whole person, not just the addiction, and this will fit very well with the other means of support that you choose.

All that is required before you start a course of treatment is that you have the inner desire to give up smoking and are prepared to invest in two to three treatments in the first week that you decide to give up. Acupuncture will support your will power and your commitment to your long term health.