There are plenty of reasons for quitting smoking, and many smokers would like to quit. Because nicotine is so addictive, however, quitting for good often proves very difficult. Many smokers are able to stop for a while, but they end up returning to the habit later on. The key to long-term smoking cessation is to adopt a holistic perspective on health, combined with an integrated program of therapy. Acupuncture, in combination with other therapies, has been shown to be effective in long-term smoking cessation.
Although several pharmaceutical options claim to help people stop smoking, many carry negative side effects. Natural remedies, such as acupuncture, can offer you the support you need to quit smoking for good. Acupuncture treatments can reduce cravings for nicotine, ease smoking withdrawal symptoms, and enhance overall health. Let’s take a closer look at how Five Element acupuncture can help you kick your smoking habit for good.
Nicotine: A Complex Addiction
In addition to the physiological dependency produced by nicotine, habitually consuming tobacco creates ingrained psychological reliance. For instance, many tobacco users report that smoking calms their nerves or helps them cope with stressful situations. Most of these people will experience both physical and mental cravings while attempting to quit smoking. Common nicotine withdrawal symptoms include increased appetite, insomnia, and restlessness, as well as mental and emotional symptoms like anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, experiencing these symptoms can be unpleasant enough to cause people to resume their smoking habit.
Mainstream Therapies Carry Troublesome Side Effects
Currently, the U.S. market is full of over-the-counter (OTC) medications claiming to help smokers gradually taper off their nicotine addiction. Known as Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), these products contain small amounts of nicotine and can be used to assist the smoker to slowly decrease their nicotine intake. Common NRTs include nicotine gum, oral and nasal sprays, patches, and similar products.
While NRTs—often used in combination with the antidepressant Bupropion (Wellbutrin)—can increase someone’s likelihood of successfully quitting smoking by 50 to 70 percent, there are a few drawbacks to these therapies. The rate of resuming your smoking habit is pretty high, with many people picking up the habit again within one year of quitting. Also, Bupropion is known to have several serious side effects, such as insomnia, dry mouth, dizziness, mood swings, and fatigue. This powerful drug can also create dependency, so you may have to quit smoking and then wean off the antidepressant as well.
How Acupuncture Can Assist With Smoking Cessation
If you are ready to quit smoking, it’s important to consider all of your options to determine what support systems you need to feel successful. Acupuncture treatments have been proven to assist smokers with their efforts to quit, and research indicates that acupuncture is one of the most effective forms of alternative treatment methods for smoking cessation. A 2020 review of 23 randomized studies and a review seeking to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture on smoking cessation both concluded that acupuncture provided a sustained benefit on smoking cessation. Additionally, unlike NRT and other mainstream methods, acupuncture carries no negative side effects and can even boost your overall health in other ways.
Some of the known benefits of using acupuncture while quitting smoking include:
- Reduced cravings, irritability, mood swings, and anxiety
- Managing stress levels
- Natural body detoxification to aid withdrawal
- Improved sleep and energy levels
- Increased endorphin production for emotional balance
- Long-term wellness support to help you quit smoking for good
What to Expect From the Acupuncture Treatment Process
Five Element acupuncture uses a holistic approach to heal your body, mind, and spirit. When you seek support for quitting smoking, we will work with you to examine your whole health picture so that we can design the most effective treatment plan to encourage positive and lasting results.
Nicotine addiction is complex and is more than just a physical dependency. Quitting smoking also means shifting the mental, emotional, and social patterns that accompany the nicotine habit. Our approach seeks to address multiple areas with the goal of promoting your overall healing and wellness. You may find that other methods, such as hypnotherapy, ear acupressure, or Chinese herbal medicine, when used in conjunction with acupuncture, will further promote your healing journey.
For optimal success, have a long-term plan. We recommend that you begin Five Element acupuncture treatment before you actually start to quit smoking. Together, we will discuss your goals and concerns so that we can develop a customized treatment plan just for you. Quitting for good requires a large amount of dedication, so it’s essential that you are prepared to fully commit to the process. Our mission is to give you the tools your need to best support your smoking cessation efforts.
If you believe you are ready to stop smoking for good, Inner Work Acupuncture is here to help. Schedule an appointment with Elizabeth Zenger, Ph.D., L.Ac. today by calling (503) 227-2127.