Acupuncture is an effective tool to help you stop smoking. It minimizes cravings, calms the nervous system and helps you to focus. It is however, an aid to stopping. It only works if you are ready to stop and willing to commit to the process.”
Oran Kivity BAc MBAcC (overseas)
Smoking Cessation with Acupuncture
People often ask us if acupuncture can `make` them stop smoking. The answer is no! Acupuncture can`t make anyone do anything. If you are resolved to give up however, it can help. We have been using acupuncture to help people stop smoking since 1987. We use three methods:
- Pain-free Japanese acupuncture to help you relax and increase your energy
- Ear acupuncture to reduce your cravings and ease the detoxification process
- Teaching self-help acupressure routines
Ear acupuncture has been shown in numerous studies to have a beneficial effect during detoxification and withdrawal from many substances, including heroin and cocaine and is widely used in the USA and Europe in detox centres.
For smokers, ear acupuncture substantially reduces most cravings, but on its own it won`t `make` you break the habit. If you are smoking more than twenty cigarettes a day it should reduce your desire to smoke, perhaps down to wanting to smoke only three to five a day. It`s your job to make it through those few remaining cravings until you are through the withdrawal phase.
The hardest part when you quit is the first twenty-four hours, but in fact the most important period is the first four days after stopping. It`s important to try to stay the course without any nicotine at all for that time. After that, the body will have got over its physical addiction. There are other difficult phases, which we will discuss during the session.
For four days before and for four days after you stop smoking, we recommend that you cut tomatoes out of your diet, and all foods containing them. This is based on research that has demonstrated that chemicals in tomatoes stimulate the desire to smoke. Coffee, sweet fizzy drinks and alcohol are also likely to trigger your desire to smoke.
Frequency of Treatment
We run a set programme for smokers that has been refined over the years. This consists of eight treatments.
- Two in the first two week, ideally two or three days apart
- Two follow up sessions one week apart
- Two more follow up sessions one month apart
- Ear acupuncture back up sessions on demand
Ear acupuncture has a proven track record in detoxification and withdrawal. You are more than welcome to visit for one or more `mini-treatments` with ear acupuncture during the first week of your course. Ear acupuncture is given in the waiting area and there is no need to disrobe. If you have bought the smoking package, the charge for this extra service is a nominal RM60. You need to allow 30-40 minutes for each visit.
Supplementation and diet
We are very keen for people to use vitamin and mineral supplementation during the detox process. This includes a multivitamin, extra vitamin C, and a mineral supplement. These are not expensive and available in any pharmacy or health food shop.
We also recommend drinking extra pure water during this period and freshly squeezed juices such as apple, beetroot and carrot juice. Wheatgrass shots are also very helpful to keep you going when you feel tired.
I gave up smoking and I feel awful!
It`s a common misconception that you should feel better as soon as you give up smoking. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case and it is more likely that you will feel rotten.
Imagine that giving up smoking is like rowing a boat away from the edge of a waterfall. At the moment you quit you have just changed direction and are rowing upstream. It`s tiring at first, and there`s a lot of splashing. In real terms, this means that you may feel weak, depressed or unwell. This should not last too long, and the acupuncture will help you through.
As you row further upstream progress becomes much easier and you have time to look around at the beautiful scenery. You feel better in yourself, and can appreciate the benefits of not smoking, such as renewed senses of taste and smell.
Getting the benefits
The good news is that the health benefits begin almost immediately:
- In just 24 hours after your last cigarette, your blood pressure and pulse rate start to return to normal
- Oxygen and carbon monoxide in the blood start to normalise
- Within a week, your risk of heart attack begins to decrease
- Sense of smell and sense of taste improve
- Breathing gets easier
- Analyse your smoking habits by determining when and why you smoke. It`s best to use a notebook for this and log your thoughts and feelings each time you light up. This will help you to devise strategies for those situations when you quit.
- Make up your mind to quit.
- Choose the day and quit on that day.
- Discuss your aims with us when you book your appointment. It`s best to be a few hours into quitting when you come for your first session.
The majority of smokers who quit do it on their own; others are helped by a variety of methods, including acupuncture. No one way works for everyone. It may take several tries for smokers to quit. Persistence is required for success. If you don`t succeed at first, it doesn`t mean that you have failed forever. For all the reasons above, what`s important is that you try again as soon as possible.
Stop procrastinating, make a difference and book an appointment!!!