Smoking Cessation

There are an estimated 43.8 million smokers in the United States and roughly 70% of them want to quit. Acupuncture has gained a well-deserved reputation in helping smokers quit. Here is how it works.

  • Detoxifying the body – which helps reduce withdrawal symptoms.

  • Curbing cravings- every cell in all of the tissues of a smoker’s body has been intoxicated by nicotine and these tissues become dependant on it. When nicotine is withdrawn panic sets in causing stress and the smoker will be drawn to smoke to relieve the unpleasant feelings.

  • Acupuncture induces the release of enkephlins and endorphins, which reduce stress and promote feelings of well-being.So while acupuncture is detoxifying the body it is also curbing cravings and promoting feelings of wellness. When detoxification is complete the physiological cravings diminish or disappear altogether.It is extremely important that the smoker sincerely wants to stop smoking not because they think they should or because they’re significant other wants them to but because they want to. Either they have developed a strong desire to improve their health or they have become thoroughly disgusted with the habit of smoking or a combination of the two.

 

OTHER WAYS ONE CAN START AND HELP THE PROCESS:

  1.  Schedule mini smoking fasts. Choose a time of the day or a day of the week when you will not smoke. Try your best but don’t beat yourself up if you fail, rather resolve to not fail the next time.

  2. Exercise. I recommend short periods of strong anaerobic exercise at least 4 times a week with frequent short walks throughout every day. In fact one of the best ways to curb a physiological craving is to just get up and move. Walk down the block, do the dishes, mow the lawn, clean out all of the ashtrays in the house and car. A physiological craving only lasts about 10 minutes and if one can just change the channel and get the blood moving the craving will diminish quickly.

  3. Meditation – simply put, meditation helps us to be more comfortable with those uncomfortable aspects of our experiences and ourselves. It also reduces stress and anxiety which is the biggest trigger to smoke.

  4. Breathing exercises – I teach breathing exercises as part of my quit smoking training because they can accomplish all of the above.

  5. Improving your diet – Remember the main goal with regards to stopping smoking is detoxification. I’ve helped hundreds of people detoxify for reasons other than smoking cessation and one of the bennies is that they lose the taste for things like sweets, caffeine and nicotine.

  6. Write down your goals – It can take 2 minutes to write down why you want to stop smoking. Download a picture of a smoker’s lung and hang it in a prominent place. Think of this while you’re cleaning the dishes or doing breath work to ward off a craving attack.

  7. Take responsibility for your choice – If you do break down and light up admit to yourself before you light up that you are choosing the cigarette over your health. At the same time this needs to be done gently. Hold the cigarette in your hand for a little while and simply be mindful of how you’re feeling. Most of the time when someone breaks down and gives in they do it with a resentful attitude toward themselves and their goal. Be mature and take responsibility for the choice you’re about to make. It’s very important. Using mindfulness at a time like this can help you make the shift toward self-responsibility and wholeness.

 

So if you want to quit you will. It’s a choice. Although your body will kick and scream if you deprive it of tobacco in reality you don’t need to smoke. Develop a strong intention along with education and every time you reach for a cigarette take responsibility for it. This is very important and can initiate the beginning of an important shift toward healing.