Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine are two tools that can help to increase your chance of success with quitting smoking. My patients tell me that they experience fewer cravings and less stress and irritability as they quit. Many discover that they no longer find smoking or tobacco to be enjoyable. Several of my patients who began acupuncture for other main complaints (such as back pain or anxiety) have also decided to stop smoking during the course of their acupuncture treatment.
Your mindset will play a major role in how easy or difficult it is for you to quit smoking. Quitting smoking is more likely to be effective if you want to quit for your own reasons, not because of social pressure from those around you. If you are at all ambivalent about quitting– whether because you enjoy the social aspect or worry about gaining weight– it will be much harder.
Here are a few more tips to get you started:
Find your motivation- Make a list of your reasons for quitting and keep them close to you so that you can remind yourself whenever things get tough.
Make a plan- Some people like to try a few acupuncture treatments and see how they feel before committing to a quit date. While this is fine in the short term, ultimately it is better to hold yourself accountable with a plan. That plan can either be a set quit date, or a resolve to cut down the amount you smoke by half each week.
Know your triggers- Avoid situations where you are likely to smoke and avoid other smokers whenever possible. Have a plan in advance of how you will deal with cravings. Create a support network of people who will encourage you in your goal.
Stay healthy- Get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated by drinking enough water, and eat a balanced diet. This will help you to feel better overall and to manage stress. Avoid caffeine and sugar, which may stimulate nicotine cravings.
Get help from local and national organizations
Some great sites to get you started:
American Cancer Society
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Try to Stop
Quitting smoking with acupuncture
Depending on the severity of your withdrawal symptoms, you probably need to come in at least two or three times a week within the first few weeks of quitting. At this stage, there is no such thing as getting acupuncture too frequentlyâ€”if you need it, feel free to come in every day for treatment. You will be able to taper off the number of treatments you need as the weeks progress.
Most people find acupuncture to be extremely relaxing, both during the treatment and for a time afterwards. This helps with stress management, and specific acupuncture treatments can also help to target cravings.
Quitting smoking with herbal medicine
There are also several Chinese herbal formulas that can help with irritability, anxiety, and stress. Not everyone will choose to use herbal medicine as they quit smoking, but it can be a helpful adjunct to acupuncture treatment.
Since Chinese medicine seeks to restore balance to the body as a whole, you may discover other health benefits from acupuncture and herbal medicine as well. Remember, quitting smoking is a process and acupuncture is most effective when you can commit to a series of regular treatments. Don’t give up, even if you â€œslipâ€ or have a bad day. Good luck!