As the new year begins, many people examine their health habits and lifestyle choices, and feel ready to make a change for the better. If you are a smoker, quitting smoking is one of the best actions you can take. However, as nicotine is highly addictive, it is notoriously challenging to quit smoking for good. Many smokers find themselves quitting, time and time again, but resuming the habit once more after a few months. The key to long-term smoking cessation is 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 there are several pharmaceutical options that claim to help people stop smoking, many of these 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 in the new year.
Understanding Smoking Withdrawal Symptoms
If you are hoping to quit smoking, you are likely worried about the withdrawal symptoms you may experience as your body attempts to break its reliance on nicotine. While physical withdrawal symptoms, such as increased appetite, insomnia, and restlessness, are common, there are mental and emotional symptoms as well. For instance, many people find that smoking helps to calm their nerves or helps them to manage stress, so quitting can lead to increased feelings of anxiety and depression. For many individuals, experiencing these symptoms are unpleasant enough to cause them to resume their smoking habit.
Mainstream Therapies Carry Significant Side Effects
Currently, the U.S. market is full of over-the-counter (OTC) medications that claim 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 slowly decrease their nicotine addiction. Common NRTs include nicotine gum and patches, oral and nasal sprays, and other similar products.
While NRTs—often used in combination with the antidepressant Bupropion (Wellbutrin)—can increase someone’s likelihood of successfully quitting smoking by 50-70 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 a 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, then 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. 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; and long-term wellness support to help you quit smoking for good.
What to Expect From the 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 go along with the nicotine habit. Our approach seeks to address multiple areas with the goal of promoting healing and wellness in your body, mind, and spirit. You may find that other methods, such as hypnotherapy, ear acupressure, or chinese herbal medicine, when used in conjunction with acupuncture treatments, will further promote your success.
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’ll discuss your goals and concerns so that we can develop a customized treatment plan. 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 you need to best support your smoking cessation journey.