I saw in the news the other day that a pack of cigarettes is now $5.00 a pack. Wow! I can not imagine spending $5 for something that causes cancer. It seems absolutely crazy, but then I do not recall having the addiction to nicotine that many people suffer. People try everything and anything when they are trying to quit smoking. Patches, gum, prescription drugs, hypnosis, even books, are the most common means to help you quit. Recently, I have had a surge of people trying to quit smoking in the office. (Maybe the $5 a pack got to them, too.)
Many people do not know that acupuncture is very helpful on trying to break the habit. When people ask about acupuncture to quit smoking, the first and most important question I ask is “Are YOU ready to quit smoking? Not because the doctor or loved one gave you an ultimatum, but because you want to make a change.” If they answer yes, then I proceed to tell them how acupuncture can help. Yes, acupuncture can still help if someone has to quit for health reasons. I have found it to be more successful when the person makes that decision on their own. If you do decide to try acupuncture to help you kick the habit, there are a few things you should know, but of course this varies from acupuncturist to acupuncturist.
1. Plan on having acupuncture done a minimum of 2 times a week for a couple of weeks. This could increase depending how your response after the treatment and how much you smoke. I highly recommend to commit to twice a week for up to 4 weeks. This will change as the withdrawal symptoms lessen. Afterward, you will still need to come in once a week for a few weeks to help nourish your body from the toxin. Acupuncture helps to nourish your body, remove toxins and reduce withdrawal symptoms. It can also curb the craving for nicotine.
2. I also recommend a couple of books for my clients to read either before they start treatments or during. There are many out there, so find one that catches your interest. Read what you can throughout the day, even if it is only one line.
3. Use a straw cut to the size of your cigarettes or a pen and act like you are smoking them. It sounds stupid, but just having that trained act of hand-to-mouth movement can help you break the habit.
4. Eat raw carrots. It sounds strange but it helps draw out the nicotine, lessening your withdrawl.
5. Stop and take a deep breath often throughout the day, without using the cigarette to do it. People always say they are completely relaxed after a cigarette break. It makes no sense but yet it does when you break the act down, as Nicotine is a stimulant, so why would you feel relaxed? Easy, you get up, walk away from what you are doing, go outside and take deep (yet toxic) breaths for 10 minutes. If everyone would take a breathing break every hour throughout the day, we would all decrease our stress levels and be ready to get back to work refreshed. I encourage people to take breathing breaks during the work day. If you can not leave your desk for whatever reason, then close your eyes and breathe there.
Those are just a few tips that I give to my clients to help them break the habit while having acupuncture. Once you do quit, you will feel better and your lungs will love you for it. If you need 25 reasons why to quit smoking, check out this blog: http://dratiffarid.today.com/2008/11/17/25-reasons-to-quit-smoking/
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