How Does Acupuncture Help You Stop Smoking?

Acupuncture works on three different levels to aid in the process of smoking cessation.  The first step is DETOXIFYING the body of nicotine.  Science has recently confirmed that people who smoke develop higher levels of endorphins.  Acupuncture works to stimulate the nervous system to regulate the amount of endorphins in the body and this helps to detox the body of nicotine buildup.

Second, the use of acupuncture to stop smoking helps to RELAX your body’s nervous system which is often over-worked in our fast paced lifestyles.  Your body stays in the  “fight or flight” response, the adrenals are pumping, the heart beats faster, breathing is more shallow and rapid, and the digestion is more incomplete.  Acupuncture helps to eliminate the “fight or flight” response and naturally tunes your body into a Relaxation Response.  Your heartbeat is regulated, your breathing is deeper and your digestion is more complete.  Obviously, this state of being is healthier and assists the process to help you stop smoking.

The third level that acupuncture uses is the ELIMINATION OF CRAVINGS for tobacco.  Treatments utilize special ear points for addiction elimination.   These points are highly effective in calming and relaxing the mind, enhancing the ability to concentrate, minimizing anxiety, and alleviating feelings of depression.  In addition, acupuncture successfully suppresses appetite and diminishes food cravings.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

At Hamilton-West Windsor Acupuncture, just about forty percent (40%) of our patients quit after their first treatment.  Generally, after five 45 minute treatments, eighty percent (80%) of our patients quit. The number of treatments may depend on how heavily and the number of years you have smoked.

What is the Treatment Procedure?

Charles Stueber’s experience with patients had led him to use a more effective treatment than the standard stop smoking acupuncture treatment. The treatment involves the use of acupuncture points on the hands and ears.  After treatments, press tacks are often taped to the ear and remain in place for a few days to maintain the stimulation. Other symptoms may be treated at the same time!

What Changes Can I Expect to See During My Treatments?

One of the possible contributions to smoking cessation is a change in the taste of smoke after one or two sessions of acupuncture.  Many people have come to realize that cigarettes taste like burning ash, are too weak or too strong and/or generally seem unpleasant and distasteful.  They are unable to finish the whole length of a cigarette and completely lose the urge to smoke.  About 90% of people are willing to reduce their cigarette consumption by 50% after their first treatment.  In addition, most people experience a sense of calm and relaxation, a reduction in cravings and appetite, clear-headedness, greater energy and find they can breathe easier.

What are Acupuncture Press Tacks?

After the needles are removed, tiny ear “press tacks” are placed on the ear to continue the stimulation between office visits.  These “take-homes” are covered with tape and attached to specific ear reflex points controlling nerves, appetite, metabolism, and the hormone balance.

When the patient feels an urge to smoke, she/he applies mild pressure to the point or rubs it back and forth for about 20 seconds.  This type of acupressure stimulates the point, causes a mild endorphin release, relaxes the patient, and helps them to regain their willpower or resolve about resisting the cravings to smoke.

Press tacks must be replaced periodically and the ears cleaned to avoid irritation and discomfort.  The patient removes the tacks at home after three days and throws them away or takes them out sooner if there is any irritation or discomfort.

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