Growing up with my father who has been a smoker for 50+ years, I know how hard quitting smoking can be. From trying the patch to Nicorette®, what finally made my father quit smoking was experiencing a collapsed lung due to an emphysema attack. Now living with emphysema, he wished he had kicked the habit many years ago. You don’t have to wait this long to stop smoking. Now with so many resources out there from Zyban® to Stop Smoking / Smokers Cleanse supplements, Acupuncture is a chemical-free treatment to help with quitting addictions including smoking.
Acupuncture can’t “cure” addictions of any kind. It works as an adjunct treatment where it helps reduce symptoms of withdrawal and cravings as well as aiding in long-term recovery. Whether you are trying to quit nicotine, alcohol, illegal drugs, benzodiazepines, other prescription drugs, sugar, coffee; you name it, Acupuncture helps with the side effects that come with quitting an addiction:
- Lessens depression, anxiety and insomnia
- Reduces or eliminates withdrawal symptoms such as cravings, body aches, headaches, nausea, sweating, muscle cramping, edema, etc.
- Helps to reduce stress and prevent relapses
An acupuncture treatment will consist of inserting new, sterilized needles on the body depending on the client’s chief complaints. The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) developed the “5 needle protocol” particularly for treating addictions where 5 needles are inserted into specific points in each ear, called Auricular Acupuncture. Each point stimulates an internal body organ or function:
- Sympathetic nervous system
- Shenmen which means spirit
Stimulating these 5 points in the ear help with lessening the body’s “flight or fight” mode when quitting anything. For example, imagine your emotions when quitting a job or breaking up with a partner – anxiety, nervousness, sweating, perhaps insomnia, neck tension, headache, etc. Acupuncture helps with alleviating these symptoms so that no further damage occurs within the body when we place this kind of stress on it.
When quitting your addiction, it is advised to get daily or bi-weekly treatments for the first few treatments to help control the cravings. Once you feel like you have control over your addiction, “tune-ups” are strongly advised to prevent relapses.